If you find yourself occasionally feeling “down and blue,” you are certainly not alone today. And while you may want to just curl up in a ball and avoid the world, please KNOW THIS: It is vitally important that you take action now against these only seemingly overwhelming feelings. And here’s the GOOD NEWS… Perhaps the most effective step you can take is now also one of the easiest. Let’s start with 3 key facts so you know exactly what it is and what to do: 1) Low vitamin D is one of the most urgent issues of our time. In fact, studies show that over 70% of Americans have unhealthy levels of vitamin D. 2) What low vitamin D levels can lead to include, you guessed it, those feelings of being down and blue!
In fact, nearly EVERY tissue in the body has a vitamin D receptor, including the immune system, skin, thyroid, stomach, colon, pancreas, and more. Therefore – in addition to mood issues -- lower vitamin D levels can also impact the body in other ways, including the circulation… brain health… immune function… bone health… skin… muscle strength… and MUCH more!
3) That’s why perhaps the most important and easy step you can take right now is to supplement with the right high-quality vitamin D.
You see, it is extremely difficult to get the vitamin D you need from food.
For example, many experts recommend you get at least 2000 IU of vitamin D daily, but one whole egg has only 41 IU of vitamin D and a cup of typical store-bought mushrooms has less than 10 IU.
Instead, the sun is nature’s top source of vitamin D for our bodies.
Unfortunately, people spend an average of over 90% of their time indoors, so they’re not getting nearly the amount of sun needed for proper vitamin D.
Making the problem WORSE is that the older you are, the less your body produces vitamin D from the sun. (For example, a 70-year-old can make 4 TIMES LESS vitamin D than a 20-year-old.)
Therefore, taking a high-quality vitamin D supplement is simply very smart.
Conquer the Mountains with Jumps on a Hill
We often say that Spinning® was born from the road, and by that we mean that it was created by cyclists, out of a passion for the sport, and based on the same athletic moves and principles. The program is so authentic to cycling, that we also often say, “If you wouldn’t do it on a road bike, don’t do it in Spinning®.” When you watch someone riding a Spinner® bike you can see how they look just like an outdoor cyclist riding in and out of the saddle, with quicker pedaling speeds for the flat roads, slower pedaling for the hills, and even all-out sprints to the finish line. But what about Jumps and Jumps on a Hill? Those are the two moves that people often think are the exception to the rule. Surely you’d never see a road cyclist going up and down, in and out of the saddle in a rhythmic sequence. But yes, even Jumps are born from the road. Spinning® VP Robin Degtjarewsky explains: “Jumps and Jumps on a Hill represent the transition from seated to standing that cyclists do all the time. In a Spinning® class we do that repeatedly as a drill to develop the strength and coordination it takes to smoothly execute that transition with grace and power.” So in honor of a Spinning® class favorite that has stood the test of time and continues to contribute to the athletic benefits we get from the Spinner® bike, let’s dive into Jumps on a Hill! What are Jumps on a Hill? This move is a combination of Seated Climbs and Standing Climbs, going back and forth from one to the other while maintaining a smooth pedal stroke. Technically, it’s considered an advanced move that a rider should only do after mastering Seated Climbs, Standing Climbs and Jumps. Why Jumps on a Hill? Out on the road, there could be a number of reasons why a rider would make the transition from seated to standing while climbing a hill. In a Spinning® class we mimic the same intent: ● Breaking away from the pack: during a race, a rider might power out the saddle on a hill when trying to pass another cyclist. ● Powering up a switchback: when making a sharp turn on a mountainous road, a rider may come out of the saddle, trying to maintain momentum and ride at a consistent cadence. ● Powering over the crest: at the top of a hill, a rider may add resistance and quickly power out of the saddle as if trying to get over the crest of a hill. ● Posture Break: if a rider on a hill can’t keep turning the pedals over smoothly, they may come out of the saddle to get the momentum needed to regain proper form when returning to the saddle. How do we do Jumps on a Hill? Jumps on a Hill begins seated in Hand Position 2 or 2.5 while slowly adding resistance to create a Seated Climb. The amount of resistance should put the rider into a cadence range of 60-80 RPM. Next, you come out of the saddle to Hand Position 3 for a few seconds before returning to the saddle to Hand Position 2 or 2.5. The goal is to maintain a smooth and steady pedal stroke throughout the movement. Instructors might cue a single Jump on a Hill while incorporating language from the road, or lead the class through multiple reps, sometimes in rhythm with the music.
A Prayer to Remember
Dear Lord, You are always growing me. Thank you for the work you are always doing in and through me. Amen.