Friday, January 27, 2012

Janathon 2012 Day 26: Vitamin D

Janathon 2012 Day 26: Walk - 7 miles, Time - 2hrs, Weather - bright
After all the greyness the weather perked up and the sun came out. What a difference that makes to my mood! A longish walk along the canal was a perfect thing to do - a chance just to enjoy being outside without worrying about how fit/unfit you are.
Whilst walking and enjoying the light I thought about vitamin D, which is the vitamin we mostly get through exposure to the sun. Up until this week I would have thought that this walk would have given me enough sunlight to generate some but I would have been wrong. I heard a doctor on the radio saying that in Britain the sun is not strong enough in winter for us to get enough of the vitamin. As a general rule, he said,  if your shadow is longer than you then the sun is too low in the sky to be of any use. These days the shadow s are very long.
The topic has been in the news recently (there is an article here) because the chief medical officer for England has told GPs to recommend the supplement for those at risk (i.e. the young and old). But apparently half the adult population don't get enough of it during the winter, so I don't know why it is not recommended for everybody. 
I have always been rather sanguine in my attitude to supplements, as I have believed that a balanced and varied diet will give you everything you need. Perhaps I need to change that to: I can get everything apart from vitamin D. As a result I got some vitamin pills on the way home. i am sure they won't do any harm and they might do a deal of good.
P.S. Today's photo caught my eye as I was impressed by the way a temporary bridge could be erected. They were repairing the swing bridge and had closed the road and at first i wondered why the foot bridge was necessary but it only took a couple of moments of thought to realise that you needed to be able to get to the pub!

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