If you have read previous Apple A Day RX blogs, you will know how important Vitamin D is an important nutritional supplement. Vitamin D is used alone or together with calcium to improve bone health, immune function, and may also protect against osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases.
A key study published in April 2017 issue of Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has shown that there is a link between exercise and levels of vitamin D. The study carried out on 10,342 people who were free from heart disease were assessed for a 19-year period. Their serum samples were analysed which showed that those who followed the physical activity guidelines set out by the American Heart Association had higher levels of Vitamin D and higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol than those who had intermediate and poor levels of activity. Those who followed the recommended guidelines had 24% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Physical activity is known to improve the activity of HDL-C, vitamin D, apolipoprotein B, and haemoglobin A1c which have positive effects on cardiovascular health.
This study further shows the importance of exercise as holistic healthcare treatment. With holistic health, it is also important to understand that exercise and diet are the cornerstones of holistic therapy.
By its nature, holistic healthcare treatment involves focusing on the whole person. We limit our thinking if we continue to believe the traditional model of medicine that the only answer to good health is by taking medicine. We need to consider the complete person, physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually, in the management and prevention of disease.
Thus good health is not just about taking the right drug or herb in isolation. Holistic health treatment and/or integrative medicine is a combination of conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease. Holistic healing is not an alternative to conventional medical care. Sometimes going to a medical professional is the best solution to addressing a disease but a holistic medicine doctor or integrative medicine doctor will take all the factors into account. Not all body systems work in isolation and thus a holistic mind- body-spirit care is essential for good health. As an example, for arthritis pain treatment, exercise not only improves levels of Vitamin D and HDL, but it also improves sleep. Improved sleep increases energy levels which allow for more social engagement for the patient. This will aid self-gratitude which then leads to improved self-care resulting in healthy eating, appropriate intake of nutritional supplements. The net result of holistic healthcare approach is thus reducing reliance on medication and paves the way to return to optimal health.