With sun-up to sun-down summer intensive hours approaching, remember that there are some vitamins you can’t get from snacks and meals alone. Researchers have found that athletes who train indoors have low levels of vitamin D due to lack of sunlight. Vitamin D allows bones to absorb the calcium they need to stay strong and it helps to strengthen the immune system.
What’s more, in a study on elite ballet dancers, those who improved their levels of vitamin D also significantly improved their strength and the height of their jumps. The group also had fewer injuries than dancers with lower levels of the vitamin.
How much sunshine should you be getting? Experts say that depending on your skin tone, all you need is five to twenty minutes of sunscreen-free sun exposure. (The darker your skin tone, the more rays you should be catching). That sounds like just enough time to run out for a pre-rehearsal snack with some friends! While dancers in the study were given oral supplements of the vitamin, experts note that supplements are not for everyone, and to ask your doctor before adding any to your routine.
So the next time you realize you haven’t been outside all day, remember that a little sunshine outside the studio will help you shine inside the studio.