Busy adults everywhere know how important it is to have strong muscles in order to enjoy the activities they love. So how to keep muscles in optimal shape for not only exercising but also for keeping up with the day-to-day? A new study by researchers at Trinity College Dublin suggested that Vitamin D might be key.

The study, published in the international journal Clinical Interventions in Ageing, found that adults 60 and older who did not have enough Vitamin D did not perform as well those who did when they were evaluated for handgrip strength and during a common test called the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). It concluded that impaired muscle strength and physical performance was associated with Vitamin D deficiency.

So here are some ways to add more Vitamin D:

Step into the sun: According to the Vitamin D Council, sunlight is the most natural way to get extra Vitamin D. It notes that people can make Vitamin D from sunlight before their skin burns or tans. Spending time outdoors has other health benefits, too, but of course a doctor can advise on what is most appropriate for individual needs.

Feast on fatty fish: Sockeye salmon, trout, mackerel and eel all are good sources of Vitamin D, according to WebMD. And if fresh fish isn’t an option, canned tuna can provide Vitamin D as well.

Make a milkshake: In the United States, almost all milk can be found fortified with Vitamin D, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Add a supplement: There are two forms of Vitamin D, ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol, according to the National Institutes of Health and both increase Vitamin D in blood.

If a Vitamin D deficiency is suspected, it is important to talk to a doctor because a Vitamin D supplement (like any supplement) may interact or interfere with other medicines prescribed to you.  In addition, a doctor can advise on the proper amount of Vitamin D that may be required and monitor changes with recommendations tailored to each individual.

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