Physical therapy is not just about conditioning the body today to live an active lifestyle the next day. Rather it is about creating habits that have positive impact on health for the long term. One such habits is good diet with essential nutrients.

Of all the vitamins and minerals that our body needs, Vitamin D is absolutely essential for life. Vitamin D is in fact not a vitamin at all. It is a hormone and one of the most useful ingredients to keep the body functioning efficiently. What it does is not mysterious anymore. It unlocks the genes that control the daily activities of the body and makes sure that the brain, heart, bones, skins and nerves are in working order. The deficiency of Vitamin D is known to cause havoc inside. We all know of rickets – a disorder due to this deficiency that causes bones to become weak and brittle. But there are other consequences of not having sufficient vitamin D in the body. They range from multiple sclerosis to colon cancer, even mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

Yes, depression is one of the side effects of lack of Vitamin D. On the flip side, people with depression has a low level of this hormone in their blood. Giving these people a mega dose of Vitamin D can eliminate depression and induce anti-inflammatory properties inside the body. Accordingly, Vitamin D has been proved to be the best antidepressant available in the medical world. Ask any physical therapy centreville va professionals and they will tell you how crucial this vitamin is in order to make the person physically active as well.

Because Vitamin D is such an important element, our bodies have the ability to create it in adequate quantity under ideal conditions. But it takes a little sunshine to kick start the process. What really happens is, the ultraviolet rays from the sunlight initiates a chain reaction that converts cholesterol into Vitamin D. So, when someone is exposed to midday sunlight, their body will produce enough Vitamin D to last the entire day. Consistent exposure to sunlight will produce enough of Vitamin D for the entire year. People who live in the tropical region and are out most of the day have sufficient quantity of Vitamin D in their body. Conversely, those who live in the winter area need to store it during summer months.

Unfortunately, over half of the US population is deficient at the end of winter and many people lack the adequate amount that is necessary to sustain their bodies. Nevertheless, supplements and fortified dairy products haven’t done much in terms of providing the required quantity Vitamin D and protecting people from depression and other health conditions. In fact, most of this vitamin added to milk have been rendered unusable. So, what is the cure? There are two options that are worth exploring. One is getting a high dose of Vitamin D in the form of pill. The second option is obviously spending a little time in the sun on a daily basis. The latter seems to be the safest bet.