Just Do Something: 30-Day Challenge

Greatist.com and FitBit have partnered to bring you this easily achievable 30-day challenge to get you through the holidays. Our blog and mission focus’ on promoting measurable and attainable health and wellness goals for our residents and readers. Greatist.com says it best: “Some of our all-time favorite advice: Doing something, anything at all, is always better than nothing. It’s not only true, but the bigger takeaway is that sometimes (like during the holiday season) being realistic is far better than an all-or-nothing approach.”

The 30-Day Challenge they have created, in partnership with Fitbit, makes staying active during this busy time of the year possible. No equipment needed, and the time required each day is minimal. To make it even better, they are giving away a Fitbit Charge HR. For more details, check out Greatist.com 

30 day holiday fitness challenge

 

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Vitamin D Can Improve Your Workouts

vitamin d deficiencies

Along with setting the clocks back for Daylight Savings Time comes colder weather, less sunshine, and vitamin D deficiencies for many people. It’s not something we often consider, but is certainly understandable. For those of us who work a typical work week, it’s dark when we wake up, and dark again when we leave the office. If your job keeps you indoors most of the day, there really isn’t much time to be getting the vitamin D that our bodies require from the outdoors.

A lack of vitamin D can cause various health problems and is an important hormone for our bodies. Vitamin D is used in the formation of bones and teeth, and is necessary for the proper absorption of other nutrients. It may also play a role in preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, diabetes, depression and weight gain.

Natural sources of vitamin D include:

  • Sunshine
  • Fatty fish – salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna and eel
  • Canned tuna fish
  • Fortified milk
  • Some types of orange juice – ex. Florida Natural and Minute Maid
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified cereal

Unfortunately it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D through your diet alone.

In addition to the associated health implications, research has shown that maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D reduces the risk of heart disease, but also helps you improve your performance during exercise.

In a recent study, participants were given either 50 micrograms of vitamin D every day for two weeks, or a placebo. The results showed that those who were given the vitamin D each day had lower blood pressure levels, lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and more interestingly were able to cycle, on average, 6.5 km in 20 minutes, compared with just 5 km before the study began two weeks prior. They also showed lower signs of physical exertion even though they had increased their distance.

With this in mind, ensuring you are supplementing your natural vitamin D intake is certainly something to consider.

So, are you convinced and wondering where you can get the best supplements around to up your workouts, and of course your health? Labdoor.com analyzed the 20 best-selling vitamin D supplements in the US for vitamin D3 content, heavy metal contamination and the presence/absence of GMO events.

We have included the top ten from their list below. All of the options analyzed exceeded their claimed vitamin D3 content, and passed their heavy metals and GMO assays.

 

vitamin d

You should be able to find these supplements at your local drug store easily, or you can purchase them right now, on Amazon.

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Tabata Tuesday: Cardio Tabata Superset Workout from Pumps & Iron

This workout is brought to our ScullyFit residents by Nicole of Pumps & Iron.

A tabata is four minutes long: 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. For each superset, you’ll do a 4-minute tabata: 8 rounds of 20 second of work and 10 seconds of rest, alternating between the two exercises each work round. Once you’ve gone through all four supersets, start back at the top, completing a total of two rounds (= eight 4-minute tabatas total).

cardio tabata superset workout

 

SUPERSET 1 | Hot Feet + Snowboarders

  • Hot Feet: You probably know these best as a basketball or football drill. You essentially run in place as fast as you can while in a wide-leg squat position. With your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart, squat down. Staying low, you’ll quickly run your feet up and down, staying on the balls of your feet and barely picking them off the floor (an inch or two) so that you can maintain the speed.
  • Snowboarders: This is essentially a rotating squat jump. Squat down, hips and butt back and down, weight in your heels. Bring your left fingertips towards the ground in front of you and look over your right shoulder (think of the stance of a snowboarder or skateboarder looking ahead). From here, you’re going to jump up and turn towards your right shoulder, rotating 180 degrees in air and landing back in a squat facing the other direction, this time bringing your right fingertips towards the ground and looking over your left shoulder. Repeat, rotating towards your left shoulder this time. A good way to think about it is you’re always looking ahead in the same direction, just changing which foot is in front.

SUPERSET 2 | Frog Stamp Push Ups + Mountain Climbers

  • Frog Stamp Push Ups: Start in a plank position, hands aligned under shoulders, core tight. Do a push up (you can always modify by dropping to your knees for this). Next, jump your feet up towards the outside of your hands, landing in a wide-stance crouching position, and then jump the feet quickly back to plank. Try to keep these quick! Push up, jump up, jump back, push up, jump up, jump back—no pause, keep moving.
  • Mountain Climbers: These are like doing high knees in a plank position. Start in a plank, hands stacked underneath shoulders, core squeezing in tight (don’t let your low back sag or your butt stick up in the air). From this position, drive one knee at a time up towards your chest, like running horizontally. The pace on these should be quick.

SUPERSET 3 | High Knees + Jump Lunges

  • High Knees: Maintaining good posture (don’t hunch forward!), run in place, using your core to drive your knees up high as you do. I like to hold my hands at about belly button height as a guide and drive my knees up to hit them. Keep these quick! If you have knee issues or need to modify, march in place instead of run (but still get those knees up high!).
  • Jump Lunges: Start in a split-stance lunge: right foot in front, ball of left foot planted on the floor behind you. Both knees should be bent to 90 degrees, front knee aligned over ankle, back knee hovering just a couple inches off the floor. From here, push off your feet to jump up in the air, switching feet in mid-air and landing back in a lunge with left foot forward and right foot planted behind. Continue, alternating feet with each jump.

SUPERSET 4 | Bicycle Crunches + Full-Body Crunches

  • Bicycle Crunches: Start laying on your back, hands behind your head (but not pulling on your head) and legs extended straight out, hovering off the floor a couple inches. From here, bend your left knee in, keeping the right leg extended out straight, and crunch your upper back up off the floor, twisting the right elbow across your body to meet the left knee. Repeat to the other side, fluidly moving from one side to the next, legs alternating in a pedaling motion. Don’t move so quickly through these that you aren’t extending your leg out completely straight with each rep.
  • Full-Body Crunches: Start in a seated position balancing on your tailbone, hands lightly on the ground by your side for support, feet lifted off the ground and torso leaning back, core engaged. Extend your legs out straight in front of you as you lean back further (feet should be hovering), and then crunch everything inward, bringing your knees into your chest and sitting up a little straighter, abs in tight.

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Healthy Holiday Side Dishes

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Today, Katie Cavuto – Dietitian and Culinary Nutritionist shares some healthy side dishes to make at home this holiday season!

There is something fun about modernizing the holiday table. I am all for traditional holiday foods but I also love adding unique, healthy dishes that compliment the flavors of the season.  Here are a few easy to make side-dishes that are perfect for holiday entertaining be it a party or the main event!

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash 

Trail Mix Rice Salad 

Curried Eggplant 

Farro with Lacinato Kale and White Beans

Curried Quinoa with Butternut Squash

philadelphia dietitian katie cavuto

Katie Cavuto is the official dietitian to the Philadelphia Phillies and the Flyers, as well as a chef, writer and nutrition expert who offers corporate and private nutrition counseling and cooking classes. She’s also a local and regional TV and media personality whose writing and voice has appeared in Parents Magazine, foodnetwork.com, O, the Oprah MagazinePhiladelphia magazine, and Women’s Health (among other publications). Katie also plays the role of mom: Son Hudson is four. For more healthy living inspiration visit her blog Nourish.Breathe.Thrive.

www.scullyfit.com

 

Best Holiday Fitness Gifts

There’s lots of lists out there for the best holiday fitness gifts. We’ve scoured them all to bring all of you early shoppers our top picks for the 2016 holiday season!

Wordlock

Easy to set – never forget. This clever lock uses letters instead of numbers to help you remember you’re “combination”.

wordlock combination lock

Exercise Journal

It may not be high-tech, but sometimes nothing beats a good old-fashioned planner to track progress. This version also includes motivational sayings, healthy recipes, and spaces to record workouts and fitness goals.

fitness planner

Quilt My Shirts

Stop wondering what to do with that stack of race t-shirts, or the drawer full of your young athletes team shirts. Take those shirts and have them made into a unique custom quilt that will be a road map of their success’ for years to come!

tshirt quilt

Fitbit Surge

 If the fitness fanatic in your life doesn’t have a Fitbit yet, I’m sure they want one! The Surge is the top of the line Fibit, and takes fitness trackers to the next level by also measuring cycling, cross training and other workouts. If you’ve ever felt like you weren’t getting “credit” for your workout, you know how frustrating it can be. Now, Fitbit Surge owners won’t have to feel that way any longer!

fitbit surge

Inspirational Art

Make getting up for that early morning workout better with some motivational artwork.

motivational artwork

 

180 Ear warmers with Headphones

Ear warmers are a must have for any outdoor activity that’s got you braving the elements. And music is an essential component of many a workout. Solve both situations with the 180s Urban With Headphones ($35), which click from the back and stay put to warm lobes and keep eardrums happy.

earwarmers with headphones

 

Race Bib Coasters

For runners, every race you complete is a special memory. Sometimes you might feel sentimental and save your race bibs, but what are you ever really going to do with them? Thanks to this genius idea, you can now commemorate these momentous occasions and accomplishments by having your bib made into custom coasters.

custom race bib coasters

 

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Hummus Recipe

hummus

Today, Katie Cavuto – Dietitian and Culinary Nutritionist shares her favorite hummus recipes for our ScullyFit residents to make at home!

Hummus is one of my all-time favorite snack dips. It is made using whole food ingredients like beans, tahini (sesame seed paste), garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. You can use it as a dip for fruits and vegetables or as a spread on sandwiches. I also love the versatility of hummus because you can take the foundation recipe and add extra vegetables, herbs and spices so that you never get bored! Here are a few ways to spruce up your hummus and a couple of recipes I love!

Hummus Add-ins:

  • Spices like cumin, turmeric, hot pepper, coriander and saffron
  • Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil and cilantro
  • Vegetables like sweet potato, butternut squash, roasted peppers or kale
  • Mix up your beans and try white beans, edamame or black beans instead of traditional garbanzo beans
  • Get creative with condiment mix-ins like siracha, harissa, wasabi and garlic chili sauce

Recipes to try!

Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Smoked Butternut Squash Hummus

philadelphia dietitian katie cavuto

Katie Cavuto is the official dietitian to the Philadelphia Phillies and the Flyers, as well as a chef, writer and nutrition expert who offers corporate and private nutrition counseling and cooking classes. She’s also a local and regional TV and media personality whose writing and voice has appeared in Parents Magazine, foodnetwork.com, O, the Oprah MagazinePhiladelphia magazine, and Women’s Health (among other publications). Katie also plays the role of mom: Son Hudson is four. For more healthy living inspiration visit her blog Nourish.Breathe.Thrive.

 

www.scullyfit.com

Tabata Tuesday: 30 Minute Workout from Pumps & Iron

This workout is brought to our ScullyFit residents by Nicole of Pumps & Iron.

A tabata is four minutes long: 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. For this workout, each tabata will consist of two exercises that you’ll alternate between: Exercise 1 for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, Exercise 2 for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, Exercise 1 for 20 seconds, etc. So even though there are eight rounds, you’ll only do each exercise four times.For each superset, you’ll do a 4-minute tabata: 8 rounds of 20 second of work and 10 seconds of rest, alternating between the two exercises each work round. Once you’ve gone through all four supersets, start back at the top, completing a total of two rounds (= eight 4-minute tabatas total).

Once you finish the first tabata, rest for 30 seconds (ish) and then move right onto the second tabata. In total, it will take you just over 30 minutes to complete the seven tabatas (taking rest into account).

tabata workout,

 

www.scullyfit.com

Philadelphia Dietitian and Culinary Nutritionist: Katie Cavuto MS, RD

philadelphia dietitian katie cavuto

To add to ScullyFit’s growing database of health and fitness resources, we are excited to be partnering with Katie Cavuto MS,RD. Katie Cavuto is the official dietitian to the Philadelphia Phillies and the Flyers, as well as a chef, writer and nutrition expert who offers corporate and private nutrition counseling and cooking classes. She’s also a local and regional TV and media personality whose writing and voice has appeared in Parents Magazine, foodnetwork.com, O, the Oprah MagazinePhiladelphia magazine, and Women’s Health (among other publications).

We encourage our residents to reach out to Katie directly for guidance and direction in their own nutritional planning.

Katie’s mission is to use her unique background as a chef and integrative dietitian to teach others how easy it can be to live a healthy lifestyle. Her goal is to inspire and empower people to rebuild their relationship with food and improve their food and wellness confidence using a foundation of self-love. She promotes a food philosophy that celebrates quality whole food ingredients, conscious living and mindfulness.

As a chef, Katie champions food appreciation and encourages her clients to enjoy their time spent in the kitchen as cooking can be a grounding and meaningful part of your day. She inspirits her clients to expand their cooking and wellness knowledge while providing them with the tools they need to make lasting lifestyle changes. Her joyful enthusiasm and ability to translate health tips into practical, everyday messages has awarded Katie the opportunity to share her expertise on local and national TV and in print.

Katie can be reached by phone (215) 545-2802 or email Katie@healthybitesdelivery.com.

 

www.scullyfit.com