Are you getting enough sun to avoid a stress fracture?

Right now? Probably not.

and injuries stink. 

photo 1

(hint: no more of this for a while)

Especially when they come when you were running well, feeling good and planning to race your first marathon in 2 months. But they do come and they happen to the best of us.


It is official, I won’t be running for 6 weeks due to a stress reaction in my hip. The good news is it’s not a stress fracture. It is just 6 weeks of my life, one race, and luckily there are activities I can still do. I am also totally blessed to have a wonderful doctor who wants to help me get back to running as much as I want to run.

So enough about me, lets talk about the sun, our bones, and staying healthy. 

After talking with my doctor about this injury I found out some interesting things I had never known before about the cause of stress injuries (i.e stress reactions/stress fractures):

  • This doctor see’s more stress fractures (in the many runners he works with) in the winter than any other time. This is interesting because most runners are at their highest mileage during the summer. Why is this? Lack of vitamin D. 
  • 80-90% of vitamin D is obtained through sun exposure and usually this is enough, but what about those few months of the year where the sun is hiding?

  • Most probable cause for inadequate vitamin D is due to lack of sun exposure, deficiency is common in athletes especially during winter months.

  • Vitamin D is not found in many foods.

  • Supplementation is needed to maintain levels during the winter .

  • Low vitamin D related to frequent illness, stress fractures and musculoskeletal pain

All of this can be especially important for female endurance athletes who have a history of stress fractures and/or low bone density (I have both). 


What are we supposed to do to avoid this?  This is what the doctor ordered:

1. Vitamin D3- 4,000 IUs/day

Vitamin D has been shown to reduce inflammation, pain and illness. It promotes calcium absorption and is necessary for bone health.

2. Strontium- 250mg twice/day

Decreases bone loss and can help build bone. Used to treat osteoporosis.

3. Vitamin MK7- 90mg/day

Vitamin K that is available in dietary supplement. Shown to reduce bone fractures.

So that is the plan: no running for 6 weeks , start taking these supplements, make sure I am getting enough protein and not loosing weight and after getting  injury heals, evaluate bone status and stay on top of keeping them healthy. It is crucial to make sure your bones are healthy now so that problems do not arise later in life!

Lets talk:

Have you every dealt with a stress reaction/fracture? How did you get it and what did you do?

 Healthy Regards,






  1. I HAD A STRESS FRACTURE in my foot for 4 weeks over the holidays! It was MISERABLE, however, I forced myself to work out on the elliptical. I wore so much foot support that it actually felt okay on the elliptical, walking was the problem. I couldn’t walk AT ALL. It took me like 20 minutes to walk to the bathroom, which was CLOSE TO ME when I would chill on the couch at home!! It was pathetic and actually scared me because I thought I pinched a nerve or something. I never went to a doctor – so obviously I self diagnosed, but I know it was a stress fracture, and I am trying to be more careful for the future!

    • hayleyelytle@gmail.comsays:

      Thanks for stopping by here, Gigi! Be careful though girl! If you had a stress fracture you should still be taking it pretty easy, they take a while to heal and sounds like it was pretty bad. Try getting in the pool/ on the bike, things where there isn’t too much force acting through your foot.

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