5 Incredible Benefits of Vitamin D

5 Incredible Benefits of Vitamin D

You probably know that vitamin D is good for your bones, but that's not the half of it's benefits!

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The days are starting to get shorter, which means people are getting less vitamin D from the sun, and that's a problem. You've heard that vitamin D is good for your bones and skin, but that's not the half of it. In fact, vitamin D has a plethora of health benefits, so here's our top 5:

1. Strengthens Your Bones

Ok, you know that vitamin D is good for bones, but probably don't know just how important it really is. Did you know that osteoporosis and fractures from bone weakness eventually affect half of all women? It's true, and vitamin D helps you absorb important minerals like calcium that strengthen bones.

2. Fights Seasonal Depression

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There seems to be a direct link between levels of vitamin D and seasonal affective disorder. In fact, this type of depression is much more common in higher latitudes that get less sun, especially during Winter months. If you get the Winter blues, it might be due to low levels of vitamin D.

3. Helps You Lose Weight

Do you gain unwanted pounds in cold weather? It's probably due to your low levels of vitamin D. When your level of vitamin D drops, it actually increases your appetite and can lead to weight gain. Make sure you get enough vitamin D in colder months to keep off unwanted extra pounds.

4. Boosts Your Immune System

Sure, vitamin C gets all the credit for fighting colds, but vitamin D might actually be even better for keeping you healthy. When the weather gets colder and vitamin D levels drop, cases of the flu and colds start shooting up, and it's no coincidence.

5. Lowers Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Vitamin D helps protect healthy cells and inhibits the growth of cancerous ones. In addition to breast cancer, vitamin D has been shown to also help prevent colon and ovarian cancer.

Hopefully we've convinced you to get more vitamin D in your diet. The two best ways are getting a healthy amount of sunshine (you only need 10-30 minutes in the Summer) and eating foods like fresh seafood and dairy products.

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12 Things Any Sorority Girl Worth Her Letters Brings Home For Winter Break

Don't forget to say goodbye to your big!

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As you start packing to go home for winter break, there are obviously many things that you cannot leave without. Everyone brings home the shoes they always wear or their favorite hoodie. Well, there are many other things a sorority girl brings home that the average person does not.

Being a sorority girl myself, here are the couple things that no srat girl will leave college without.

1. Sorority sweatshirt 

It also happens to be my favorite one but you always want to rep your letters!

2. Comfort Colors T-shirts 

Olivia Jacques

I think I packed every game day T-shirt and every T-shirt that has my letters on it.

3. Cute beanie 

4. Going out clothes

Just in case.

5. Her sorority water bottle 

Rep those letters!

SEE ALSO: What Your Go-To Cup Or Bottle Says About You

6. Booties 

Well, duh.

7. A gift from her little 

Olivia Jacques

8. And probably something her big gave her too

Olivia Jacques

9. New music to show her friends from home

10. Maybe even a game day button 

Because why not?

11. Pictures from rush to show her family 

Olivia Jacques

"And this is when all the new girls came home."

12. Literally anything with her letters on them

Always represent!

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5 Ways to Use Your Smartphone to Lose Weight + Get Fit

Your iPhone can be a great tool for diet and fitness, and many of the best features and apps are free! Here's how to use your smartphone to lose weight and get in shape

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Did you know that your new iPhone is more than a million times more powerful than all of NASA's computing power in 1969? You could definitely say that the smartphone is a giant leap for mankind.

You probably rely on your smartphone for dozens of things every day, but did you know your phone can be your health and fitness coach? Some modern devices come with health tools built-in, but there are hundreds of apps you can install to tailor it to your own needs. Smartphones could be the answer to the global problem of obesity and the rising level of diseases like diabetes.

The broad range of health and fitness apps available means you can use technology to achieve whatever goal you choose. For example, a running app can be used to train and prepare for a 5k or marathon. If you want to reduce your alcohol consumption or increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in your daily diet, there are apps that can help.

The following smartphone tools can improve your fitness and help you to lose weight, and most are free.

#1. Heart rate monitors

The free Health app on an iPhone offers a range of options and ways to monitor your fitness, including a heart rate monitor. For older devices and Android smartphones, there are apps available to track your heart rate and stress levels.

Heart rate apps work using the device's built-in camera and are a convenient way of taking a heart reading without the need for a fitness tracker or other equipment. Knowing your heart rate can help you to exercise at the correct level of intensity.

Best heart rate monitor app for iPhone / Android? Try Instant Heart Rate from Azumio. ($4.99 for iPhone, free for Android)

#2. Activity monitors

Monitoring your physical activity can be very helpful if you want to improve your fitness. An app like Google Fit can track the number of steps you take in a day and be used to track your progress to a goal. Most experts suggest a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. Tracking your activity levels and BMI can motivate you to find the time to exercise, and it's rewarding to see what you're achieving.

Best activity monitor app for iPhone / Android? Try Human Activity Tracker from Mapbox

#3. Exercise reminders

If you find it hard to build exercise into your daily routine, a nudge from your smartphone may be what you need. Google's (free) Calendar app can be used to set goals like 'Run 3 miles twice a week.'

The free app will suggest times of the day you can fit this in and remind you when it's time to put your shoes on. Some apps, like MapMyRun, offer the option to become part of a virtual community where you can encourage each other and share tips and ideas for sticking to your exercise plans.

Best free exercise reminder app for iPhone / Android? Try Johnson & Johnson's Official 7 Minute Workout

#4. Mindfulness apps

As well as helping to improve your physical fitness, there are smartphone apps focussing on mental well-being. Mindfulness has become very popular over the past couple of years, and an app is a great way to experiment with some of the techniques.

Your smartphone can take you through guided meditation exercises for improving well-being and aiding relaxation. Mindfulness apps can also help you to sleep better, and this, in turn, will improve your physical health and appetite for exercise.

Best mindfulness app for iPhone/ Android? Try Insight Timer for free, or Aura for a monthly ($7.99) or annual fee.

#5. Virtual personal trainers

If you lack the motivation to stick to an exercise program but can't afford a personal trainer, a virtual coach on your smartphone could be the answer. Basic versions are free, but for more advanced personal trainer apps charge a subscription fee.

They can suggest exercises to target different areas of the body, track your progress towards goals and even play music to keep you moving. Some apps also allow you to video conference with a real personal trainer and find local groups you can exercise with.

Weight Watchers now offers personal coaching that adds unlimited phone calls and text messages to your WW Digital subscription, but it will cost you more than FreeStyle (Online) only.

Best workout apps for iPhone or Android? Try MyFitnessPal, Map My Fitness, PEAR Personal Fitness Coach, or Workout Trainer from Skimble

Weight Loss & Fitness: Also Consider Wearing a Smartwatch

Smartwatches and other wearable devices like FitBit are taking fitness apps to the next level. Although I don't like watches and wearables for email or business-related use, they can be great for health and weight loss. Think about your current exercise goals and needs, and try some apps to see how they can help. (Just try not to lose them!)

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