Campbell Wealth Management - October 2020

Does Vitamin D Help Our Bones and Our Muscles?

Vitamin D enters the body in an inactive form. It doesn’t become active until it comes in contact with the right enzymes in either the liver or the kidneys. To learn more about what factors affect this vitamin’s rate of absorption and activation in the body, researchers observed the levels of inactive vitamin D in 116 women ages 20–74. What they found was that women with higher muscle mass had lower levels of inactive vitamin D, while women with lower muscle mass had higher levels of inactive vitamin D. The conclusion researchers drew was that active vitamin D might help optimize muscle strength. While that conclusion is not ironclad, vitamin D’s other well-known benefits still make it worth getting your daily dose. It can aid weight loss, enhance mood, support cardiovascular health, boost the immune system, and strengthen bones, among many other benefits. So, its potential muscle- boosting properties are just another reason to get more vitamin D. To get more of this important vitamin in your diet, try adding salmon, mushrooms, and even canned tuna to your menu. Also, as winter approaches, it might be time to start taking a vitamin D supplement. Whether you’re 20 or 74 years old, it’s never too late to find ways to strengthen your muscles.

As the weather cools and the days get shorter, we can’t rely as much on the sun for our daily dose of vitamin D. The primary function of vitamin D is regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are necessary for strengthening our bones and teeth, which becomes increasingly important as we age and our bones naturally become more brittle. While these benefits of vitamin D are well documented, did you know that getting your daily dose of vitamin D can also contribute to healthier muscles? A few years ago, researchers published a study that seemed to show that vitamin D could potentially help people gain muscle mass. While the research team said their results weren’t conclusive, their findings were certainly interesting.


When we talk about health and fitness, we often talk about starting small. One good way to do this is by going on short walks and each day or week increase the length. However, as cooler temperatures set in, more people will be spending time indoors. This makes getting consistent physical activity a little more challenging. If you aren’t interested in lifting weights or the traditional gym approach, there is an alternative: yoga! Yoga is easy to do in your own home, and it’s a great way to work in a few minutes of activity every day. In fact, it’s a great “starting small” approach. No matter your age or athletic ability, you can benefit from yoga. Simply put, yoga is a form of meditation mixed with methodical exercise. It not only benefits the body but also your mind and overall well-being. There are many variations of yoga, including forms that emphasize physical fitness and others focused on meditation and relaxation. Some exercises focus purely on breathing. One Harvard Medical School study found that people who practice yoga “were more aware of their bodies” than those who didn’t. When you’re aware, you’re in tune, and you feel better.

Other benefits include improved flexibility and balance. These become more important as we age or deal with injury. Many yoga stretches and exercises help keep joints strong and can reduce aches, pains, and inflammation.

A great type of yoga for beginners and those 55-plus is gentle yoga. It’s perfect for those who have never tried yoga before or those who want to ease into it. It’s also a good option for those recovering from surgery or injury. The benefits of yoga are not just physical. The practice helps relax the mind. It makes use of many breathing exercises that can reduce anxiety and stress. A calmer state of mind reduces blood pressure and allows you to get a more restful night’s sleep — and quality sleep is an important part of good personal health.

If you are interested in trying yoga, you can find many instructional videos online simply by searching “yoga” or “gentle yoga” on YouTube. Or, if you are interested in more complete or specialized instruction, signing up for yoga classes is a great option. Keep in mind, however, that many local classes are being held online given current conditions due to COVID-19.

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