Quite an exciting week for me! I spent a few days in the UK visiting friends and family, returned home on my birthday to celebrate with more friends, I completed and passed the first of four tests on my course and conducted the first of at least six ‘health histories’ that also count towards my final grade.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had to complete a formal test so I was a bit nervous but it makes such a difference when you are studying something you want to study, and I sailed through. I even enjoyed the revision beforehand… who enjoys revision!?!
The health history starts with the completion of a form, which is the basis for the initial consultation a health coach offers to potential clients to get some background information on them and their lifestyle. It’s simply a list of questions that allows the health coach to identify problem areas, health issues and goals etc. It’s a great way to get to know each other to a level where you both know if you’d like to work together. I was quite nervous about doing my first one but I actually really enjoyed it, I practiced on a friend who gave me lots of positive feedback so I know I’ll be more relaxed with the following ones.
The Sunshine Vitamin
I’ve also been studying the importance and role of Vitamin D so here’s a brief rundown…
Vitamin D, sometimes known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, is a fat-soluble nutrient that plays a crucial role in our body, contributing to the wellness of physiological functions, meaning our cells, muscles and organs. It aids in the prevention of osteoporosis, many cancers, depression, diabetes and obesity.
Sources of Vitamin D
Most of us are aware that we get vitamin D via sunlight, hence it’s common name, but unfortunately very few individuals get enough exposure to give them adequate levels. If you do spend plenty of time outside, the level of absorption is also affected by pollution, use of sunscreen and buildings blocking the sunlight, particularly in built up cities. And of course, sun exposure has to be balanced to avoid over-exposure which could increase the risk of skin cancer. Arrgghh, too much, too little… so what do we need?
Experts differ slightly on recommended exposure but for those with fair skin, just under 10 minutes per day will suffice and for those with darker skin around 25 minutes per day may be required to maintain sufficient levels.
Aside from sunlight, vitamin D can be obtained through some foods. Not many foods contain it naturally but some are fortified with it to boost levels. Sources include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines and eggs. Fortified sources include some brands of milk, yogurt, cheese, orange juice and cereal. Some people also swear by cod liver oil which contains high levels, but this also contains a lot of vitamin A, which may be toxic in large amounts, so care should be taken.
It is common for people to take a supplement to obtain sufficient levels, especially in northern areas with limited sunlight. If you are considering this, do check with your health professional that a supplement is necessary.
Most experts agree that sunshine is the best option wherever possible and who doesn’t enjoy the feel of the sun on their face on a beautiful day. Combine it with a 10 minute brisk walk or run to boost your exercise regime at the same time… so what are you waiting for… have you got your trainers on yet….?
Thank you so much for reading! As always I’d love to hear from you and if you’d be willing to be a guinea-pig and let me practice a health history on you, please drop me an email at email@example.com. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to sell anything, this is simply for me to practice.
Catch you next week…