Fit-to-Live Health & Fitness Retreats use naturopathic medicine and the Neurological Integration System to help you optimise your health and fitness.

Whatever your aim: rehabilitate after injury or illness, weight loss, improve health and fight chronic illness, to get prepared for pregnancy, or simply to relax and re-charge.

Set in the beautiful Charente-Maritime countryside of western France, amongst forest, vineyards and sunflower fields, our aim is to enable everyone to have the knowledge and motivation to realise your full potential and perform to your best ability whether that be at work in an office environment, in your hobbies, as a parent or as an athlete.

In case of injury e.g. bruising, sprains, strains to any part of the body:

Remember PRICE

Protect from further injury - stop doing what you were doing!

Rest stay calm, lying down is usually best, wait for any spasm to subside

Ice apply anything cold for 10 minutes

Compression use a support bandage or cushions as needed.

Elevate an injured limb to reduce swelling.

Seek advice if necessary.

  Injured?

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Most people are aware of its importance in bone and calcium metabolism and prevention of rickets in children but it also has a role in

          reducing inflammation in the body (possibly why it has been shown to reduce the pain associated with arthritis)

          the synthesis and balancing of many hormones including thyroid hormones, insulin, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone affecting sleep, digestion, energy metabolism and sex hormone balance.

          as well as the central role that calcium has in energy regulation and lipid metabolism, partly via its effects on the parathyroid gland.

And these effects on hormone and insulin balance is where weight loss comes in.

A study published on 18th April 2014 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that when women were supplemented with sufficient vitamin D to bring their blood levels up to the currently recommended level of 32mg/ml (USA recommendations; the UK NHS recommends levels between 20 and 50mg/ml), they lost significantly more weight than those whose blood levels were deficient.

A study published in the Nutrition Journal 2013 (12:8), showed that vitamin D supplementation alongside calcium supplements significantly increased fat loss, including visceral fat loss.

Vitamin D - Sunlight and Weight Loss

Yes, you really can just lie in the sun and let the weight drop off!  

Well maybe that’s not entirely the whole story, but there is a lot of research going on at the moment regarding vitamin D and the very widespread effects it has on the body.  

What Does Vitamin D do?

Vitamin D is a nutrient needed for health and to maintain strong bones. It does so by helping the body absorb calcium (one of bone's main building blocks) from food and supplements. People who get too little vitamin D may develop soft, thin, and brittle bones, a condition known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

Vitamin D is important to the body in many other ways as well. Muscles need it to move, for example, nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and every body part, and the immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. Vitamin D is found in cells throughout the body.

Most of our vitamin D comes from sunlight on our skin. The vitamin forms under the skin in reaction to sunlight. The best source is summer sunlight. However, if you are out in the sun, take care not to turn red or get burnt.

Small amounts of vitamin D can also be obtained from oily fish, liver, egg yolks and fortified dairy products, however, even with a very healthy diet, you cannot obtain enough vitamin D from food alone.

The official recommendation is that about 10 and 15 minutes in the UK summer sun, without sunscreen, several times a week is probably a safe balance between adequate vitamin D levels and any risk of skin cancer (but this depend on the amount of skin exposed and how dark your skin is).

During the winter months in the UK, there is not enough UVB for the body to make vitamin D.  Therefore, the body relies on stores of vitamin D and vitamin D obtained through the diet.

Many assessments have shown that by October, most people in the UK, even those living in the south of England, have below recommended levels of vitamin D.  In Scotland, it has been shown that 42% of people were deficient in vitamin D in the summer months and this rose to 92% in the winter months.

Vitamin D toxicity usually results from taking an excessive amount of vitamin D supplements — not from your diet or too much sun exposure. That's because your body regulates the amount of vitamin D produced from sun exposure, and even fortified foods don't contain large amounts of vitamin D.

Although vitamin D toxicity is rare even among people who take supplements, you may be at greater risk if you have health problems, such as liver or kidney conditions, or if you take thiazide-type diuretics. As always, make sure your doctor is aware of any vitamins or supplements you take.

The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia), causing problems such as kidney stones or abnormal heart rhythms.

Many multivitamin supplements contain vitamin D and these are fine to take, however, if you require more vitamin D, it is best taken as the individual vitamin in capsules.  These usually come as 500iU capsules from health food shops and this is a good, safe daily dose to take.  

If you are prescribed vitamin D by your doctor, these may be in much larger doses for a limited period of time.

One popular source is from cod liver oil, however this should not be taken by pregnant women due to cod liver oil also containing large amounts of vitamin A.  For the same reason, the current recommendation is for older people and anyone else at risk of developing osteoporosis to not take cod liver oil either.  This is because if you do not get enough vitamin D, you could be more at risk of the harmful effects of too much vitamin A (and cod liver oil contains a lot of vitamin A), one of which is reduced bone density. These groups of people should take the individual vitamin D capsules, or a suitable multivitamin.

More About Vitamin D

Too Much Vitamin D?

Vitamin D Supplements

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