I have written previously about the importance of winter Vitamin D supplementation. Despite its importance, it’s estimated that anywhere from 30% to 80% of the U.S. population is vitamin D insufficient. A nutrient insufficiency differs from a deficiency in that a deficiency causes a disease, in the case of Vitamin D a deficiency causes rickets and osteomalacia. Vitamin D insufficiency doesn't cause a disease, but neither does it promote optimal health.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble micronutrient that promotes calcium absorption, it also modulates cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function and reduces inflammation. There's a growing body of scientific analysis that is suggesting Vitamin D has an important influence on COVID-19 symptom severity.
This week in the scientific journal Nature a group of researchers published a study of vitamin D level among asymptomatic and critically ill COVID-19 patients.
The researchers compared people with asymptomatic infections to people with severe infections: 97 percent of people in the severe group had vitamin D deficiency vs. 33 percent in the asymptomatic group. The fatality rate was seven times higher in the low vitamin D group (21 percent vs. 3 percent).
All of these studies (there are over a dozen of them now) are observational studies that are correlative and don't prove a causal relationship between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 severity. However, the strength of the relationship might justify the inclusion of recommending vitamin D supplementation in public health advice.
I advocate vitamin D supplementation in the winter because :
Vitamin D is incredibly safe when taken at appropriate doses (up to 8,000 IU/d).
Vitamin D insufficiency is widespread in the industrialized world. It’s estimated that anywhere from 30% to 80% of the U.S. population is vitamin D insufficient.
Vitamin D is relatively cheap.
Vitamin D is readily available without a prescription.
The benefits of correcting vitamin D insufficiency are well established.
We might now add to this list that vitamin D could reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Of course, we can't out-supplement an unhealthy diet or lifestyle. So make sure you continue to eat whole unprocessed foods. drinks lots of water, and get daily exercise.
Sleep, Eat, Move and Manage
The New year is a natural time to establish healthy habits and that is why we are starting our 28 Day Healthy Habit Challenge on Monday, Jan 3.
Most of you know I don't have faith in New Year's Resolutions. Most folks make them without a plan. Most New Year's resolutions are vague and un-measurable. They often don't have a time frame, no set criteria for success, and over 80% of them fail in only 2 weeks.
That is why we are offering a specific, time-bound challenge that has measurable outcomes. The challenge is focused on 4 important daily habits: sleep, eat, move and mindset which we call manage.
Sleep - our goal is to fulfill your basic sleep quantity.
Eat - our goal is to eat minimally processed, “real” foods and to find what works for your body to feel its best.
Move - our goal is to get at least at least 60 minutes of movement throughout the day.
Manage - our goal to to help you develop clarity on your values and priorities.
You will work with Coach Leslie to determine your specific goal for each category. We will use the free app, Habit Share, to track our daily success and to create a social network of encouragement, accountability and motivation.
During the course of this challenge, we’ll build more solid nutrition habits; practice mindfulness and build a daily meditation habit; stay engaged and challenged on workouts; and improve our sleep.
We’ll undo the negative effects of Covid, the holidays, and many of the unhealthy lifestyle habits we let creep back into our lives.
This challenge will cost $299 for most people, but as a member of our TSCF tribe, you’ll get it for $149.
Your health is the most important thing to me right now. If you have friends who really need help finding focus and clarity in their health right now, share this with them. Let’s beat the long-term effects of this stupid pandemic together!
If you have any questions about the challenge or are ready to sign up now email Coach Leslie
Why we row hard and rest
A keystone of our strength and conditioning program is the High-Intensity Interval. Most folks call this kind of training HIIT (high-intensity interval training.)
We love HIIT for its ability to make us stronger, faster and more powerful. Anyone who's trained with us has experienced the brutal elegance of 10 rounds of 2 min max effort row, bike or run with a prescribed rest after each effort.
Newbies always want to shorten the rest. Don't fall for it.
THE REST IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS.
I know that might seem strange coming from a fitness coach. We coaches have a saying, you don't get stronger from your efforts, you get stronger from recovering from your efforts. This holds true for a sprint workout just as much as for a strength workout.
The rest between intervals is what determines your power output. Power output is what determines the stimulus of the workout and the training adaptation.
Today we are only "working" for 6 minutes total and because we are doing it in intervals, our power output will be much higher than if we had a sustained 6 min effort.
You have certainly experienced this. Go for a 10 min run and measure your heart rate. Now, break that 10 mins up into 5 x 2 min intervals with 2 mins rest and go as fast as you can for each interval. Measure your heart rate now. Which one was harder? Which one required more power output?
Can you guess which type of workout will get you in shape faster?
Yep, the 5 x 2min intervals. Every. Time.
High intensity interval training is what Olympians and we, mere mortals at TSCF, use to get in shape and become fitter, faster and more powerful.
Sure we also program longer sustained training and we program strength days. It's the combination of all of these things that gets our folks in such good condition.
So let's get after our HITT today! Have some fun and great ready to show us your power!
Take some time today to read a good book and take a nap.
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
Record your WOD on Beyond the Whiteboard.
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