20-Minute Cardio Blast Workout

This energetic workout is brought to our ScullyFit residents by Susi May of PopSugar. Some days, your schedule just doesn’t allow for a long workout, or maybe you are traveling and don’t have access to your local gym or at home equipment. I came across this quick and effective 20-minute workout that requires no equipment and can be done anywhere – even your bedroom or hotel room. It looks simple at a glance, but I can assure you it’s challenging.

cardio blast workout

 

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Tone in Twenty Workouts by Fresh Fit Foodie

For me, the best way to stay engaged in a workout regiment is to constantly switch it up. It keeps it interesting, and certainly makes it go faster.

Some days, your schedule just doesn’t allow for a long workout, or maybe you are traveling and don’t have access to your local gym or at home equipment. I came across these fantastic HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts on FreshFitFoodie.com that require no equipment and can be done anywhere – even your bedroom or hotel room. I’ve already tried a few and they are awesome – quick and effective!

tone in twenty workouts; hiit workouts

tone-in-twenty-core

tone-in-twenty-everything

tone-in-twenty-lower

tone-in-twenty-upper

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Should You Exercise When You Are Sick??

exercise when sick

Getting into a good, steady exercise routine feels great and it’s so frustrating when life gets in the way – especially when it’s in the form of an unwanted cold or flu. When you get sick after you’ve come so far to get into a regular schedule, it’s natural to wonder – “Is it still ok for me to get my cardio in today?” “Will exercising make me feel worse? Or will it help me kick this cold”.  We’ve wondered the same things, so we asked our experts and did our research to get you the answers you’ve been looking for.

In short – the consensus is to use your judgement, evaluate your level of illness and decide accordingly.

If your sickness is simply a common cold, it should be okay to work out, as long as you listen to your body. In regards to whether or not to work out when you’re sick, fitness trainer Anthony Moscardelli explains “It’s not so cut and dry. It’s almost like saying, should you stop exercising if you are injured? The old school of thought is to work around your injuries. The same thing holds true for being sick. If you are “deathly ill”, then obviously you shouldn’t exercise. If you simply have a common cold that is entirely different. Most people with a common cold may feel a bit weaker and should curtail their workouts according to how they feel. I would not suggest to just stop working out all together, as some colds or sinus infections could take 3-5 weeks to get rid of entirely.”

With this information in mind, there are a few things to be cautious of.

  1. Physical activity increases your heart rate, which some cold medicines can cause also. This combination can cause you heart to pump very hard, and lead to a shortness of breath. If you start to experience this, slow down or stop.
  2. If your cold comes along with a fever, exercising can stress your body even more – so hold off for a few days.
  3. Decrease your intensity. If you work out too hard when you have a cold, it can cause you to feel worse and can even slow down your recovery – so cut it back a little.

Richard Besser, MD says to use the neck rule”: If your symptoms are above the neck – sneezing, sinus pressure, stuffy nose – then breaking a sweat is generally considered safe. The American College on Exercise recommends holding off completely if you are experiencing flu-like or below-the-neck symptoms like nausea or vomiting.

So – if you’re symptoms are above the neck and you’re feeling up to sweating out some of those germs, here are the best workouts to embrace and the ones you should completely avoid.

Just Do It

  • Walking: If you want to get moving but don’t have a ton of energy, something is better than nothing. Even a 20 minute walk can help you reap the benefits of regular exercise, and as a bonus can help your symptoms. “If your sinuses are plugged up, walking will stimulate you to take deep breaths and can help open up those passages,” says Besser.
  •  Jogging: If it is part of your regular routine. Running is a natural decongestant – just remember to scale back the intensity.
  • Yoga: Research suggests that stress relieving techniques like breathing exercises and yoga may help boost immunity. A Swedish study also found that humming is a good way to open clogged sinus passages
  • Dance: This is a low impact alternative that allows you to break a sweat without putting too much stress on your body.

Don’t Do It

  • Endurance Running: If you’re in the middle of training for an upcoming distance run or marathon – put it on the back burner, even if you are just starting to feel better or are just coming down with a cold. Andrea Hulse, DO, explains “In general, regular exercise stimulates the immune system and helps keep us healthy,” says Hulse. “But too much regular exercise at a high intensity can have the opposite effect,” she adds. Immune function may be compromised for up to 24 hours after prolonged, continuous exercise (1.5 hours or longer)
  • Lifting Weights: Your strength and performance will likely be diminished while you’re battling a cold, says Besser—especially if you’ve missed out on quality sleep—putting you at increased risk for injury while trying to lift heavy equipment. Plus, the muscle strain required to lift weights can cause sinus pressure and headaches to feel even worse, he adds.
  • Team Sports: Plain and simple – nobody else wants what you have!

So the last question out there is – “When is it ok to  resume your regular exercise routine after you’ve recovered?” Raul Seballos, M.D., vice-chair of the department of preventive medicine at the Cleveland Clinic says, “Listen to your body. Colds typically last for a week to 10 days but it may take you two to three weeks to recover from the flu, depending on the severity. Don’t go 100 percent the first three or four days. Start at 75 percent of your normal workout (for both cardio and weights) and increase gradually for the first week or so. If you try to go back too soon you may have a prolonged recovery phase. You may also be more short of breath if you’re recovering from an upper respiratory infection.”

*You should always consult your doctor for a confirmed medical opinion. The content in this article was developed through online research and discussions with local fitness trainers.

www.scullyfit.com

 

Source: Mens Fitness, WebMDHealth

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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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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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,

 

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25 Reasons for a Healthy Lifestyle That Aren’t Weight Loss

healthy lifestyle

We saw a link to this great list on greatist.com, and immediately had to click through since the title was so in line with our ScullyFit philosophy. Our goal is to make health and wellness a lifestyle for our residents, not just a weight loss fad. With this in mind, here is a list of 25 science-based reasons to start living a a healthier lifestyle today that have absolutely nothing to do with your weight! Health and fitness:

  1. Works as an antidepressant
  2. Reduces PMS
  3. Reduces stress and anxiety
  4. Boosts creativity
  5. Wipes out allergies
  6. Strengthens your heart
  7. Helps you resist temptation
  8. Reduces risk of metabolic syndrome
  9. Lessens the risk of other diseases
  10. Protects your eyes
  11. Adds years to your life
  12. Adds life to your years
  13. Makes you respect your body
  14. Strengthens your bones
  15. Saves money
  16. Helps your fertility
  17. Makes you a sex god or goddess
  18. Improves self-esteem
  19. Helps you sleep like a baby
  20. Makes you look and act younger
  21. Pumps you up
  22. Blasts bad and boosts good fat
  23. Makes you a good example for your loved ones
  24. Makes you smarter
  25. Manages chronic pain

For further details on the reasons listed above, visit the full article at greatist.com.

 

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Ask the Expert: Resistance Training

pistol squat, resistance training

Expert fitness and performance nutrition specialist Anthony Moscardelli answers all of your questions in his “Ask the Expert” segment on the ScullyFit site. Submit your questions for Anthony by emailing scullyfit@scullycompany.com.

Question: What are the benefits of resistance training?

Physiological Benefits

1. Beginning a structured resistance training program has the proven ability to build muscular strength and development.

2. Resistance training aids in building a stronger bones. As we age, absent some form of resistance training, we each, at some playing in our lives, will begin to experience a loss in bone density which unfortunately could lead to certain debilitative conditions such as hip fractures and osteoporosis.

3. Research has shown that between the ages of 32 and 50 our body naturally loses upward of 10% of its muscle mass. By the age of 60, that number is likely to double. Resistance training will reverse that probability.

4. A strength training program can allow us to regain certain useful levels of flexibility.

5. Resistance training leads to a stronger healthier heart. A strong, healthy heart is associated with lower levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks are also diminished greatly.

6. Strength training increases the bodies ability to keep insulin levels in check. It has also been proven to prevent or reverse certain life-threatening diseases like diabetes.

7. The use of weights for resistance training enhances the bodies ability to reduce oxidative stress and cellular damage, it has also been proven to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Psychological Benefits

1. Strength or resistance training has a profound effect on boost in confidence and self-esteem.

2. Strength training allows us to better cope with life stressors.

3. Strength training provides for a better quality of sleep.

4. Resistance training is a natural mood elevator, which has been proven to boost overall cognitive function in the brain.

Content courtesy of Anthony Moscardelli.

anthony moscardelli personal trainer

Anthony Moscardelli is a seasoned fitness and performance nutrition specialist.  He offers mobile personal training services and group fitness for all ages, abilities, and goals.  His mission is to help set people on their way to living a fit, healthy, and happy lifestyle.  His unique training methods will not only keep you engaged and energized, but will keep you guessing what he might come up with next!

To discuss taking the next step in reaching your health and fitness goals, contact Anthony at (215) 970-6799 or phillystrength@gmail.com 

 

www.scullyfit.com

One Free Week of Yoga During Yoga Month!

 

yoga month

yoga, yoga month, free yoga, yoga on the beach

September is National Yoga Month, designed to educate the public about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle.

Yoga is a complex system that focuses on harmony between body and mind, which originated in India. Yoga’s ultimate aim is to strike a balance between mind and body and attain self-enlightenment. Though the exact origins of Yoga are unknown there are records that show this ancient practice has existed for over 4,000 years. It is considered to be the oldest physical discipline in existence and symbolizes balance in every area of life. Today, yoga can be an important practice for maintaining balance between work and a healthy lifestyle.

Benefits of Yoga include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Cardio and circulatory health
  • Maintenance of a balanced metabolism
  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality
  • Ability to better manage stress

Free Yoga Classes

Studios nationwide are participating in promoting Yoga Month by giving one free week of Yoga to students visiting their studio for the first time. Follow this link to claim your free week: http://www.yogahealthfoundation.org/oneweekfreeyoga .

 

Yoga Tips for Beginners

  1. Start with an entry level class: You may be in great shape, or maybe you’re an athlete, but form and alignment are everything when it comes to yoga. It is important to take the time to learn and perfect each pose in a beginners class, before moving on. Some more advanced classes can be vigorous in intensity. It may just look like stretching and bending, but you’ll find it’s so much more.
  2. Understand the Types of Yoga: Power, Bikram, Classical, Hatha – There are so  many types of yoga, it can be intimidating to choose where to begin. Women’s Health Magazine created a thorough breakdown of the different types of Yoga, what each type is known for, the benefits of each type, and what you should know before trying each style. Be sure to check out their guide before attending your first class: Women’s Health Magazine.
  3. Keep Trying Until You Find The Right Fit: If you take a class and you don’t enjoy it, identify what it was that you did not like. Was it the instructor, the look of the studio, the type of class? If it was the instructor, try another teacher, or even another studio altogether. If you are frustrated with one of these elements, or the class style is not compatible with your personality and goals, you will not be able to focus on yourself. Keep trying until you find a class that you feel comfortable in to enjoy your practice

Yoga Products

The Grommet is my favorite spot to discover unique gifts, innovative tech gadgets and more. In honor of Yoga Month, they have some high quality products to help you improve your practice listed on their site.

yoga mat; yoga month

Yoga by Numbers Mat

 

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7 Tips for Starting and Sticking with a Health and Fitness Routine

fitness tips, fitness routine

The weeks leading up to Memorial Day. . . New Years Day . . .the days surrounding a “big” birthday. . . These are the popular times for people to start a new workout routine. Unfortunately, the excitement with which these intentions are born, often fizzle out within a few weeks – leaving people feeling frustrated and defeated .

ScullyFit believes that being healthy isn’t a fad or a trend, instead its a lifestyle – a 365 day per year focus on healthy choices, not crash diets or fitness fads. With this in mind, today is a good a day as any to start a health and fitness routine and take the first step in becoming the newer, healthier you.

Here are some tips for starting AND sticking with your new health and fitness routine:

  1. Keep it simple and start small
  2. Create habits
  3. Keep it real
  4. Find a workout buddy
  5. Track it
  6. Cheat
  7. Switch it up

 

Keep it simple and start small: Deciding to change your lifestyle for the better is an exciting and important decision. With today’s constant media splatterings of conflicting fitness information and imagery, its easy to get caught up in the hype! Don’t try to take on too much at once. Far too often people decide to they want to be healthier, so they – rush out and join a gym,  buy a bunch of expensive vitamins and supplements, purchase an entire grocery cart of organic items they have never eaten (some of which they can’t even pronounce), and set a goal to lose 15 lbs in three weeks. Trying to change this many aspects of your life all at one time is unrealistic.

Create habits: People who are successful at creating change, are successful as a result of their habits. Habits determine 95% of your behavior.Instead of trying to change everything all at once, make a list of what needs changing, and then try to create one new habit at a time. For example, if you are lacking a healthy diet, and the idea of eating greens makes you cringe start by reversing one unhealthy habit at a time. Maybe start by cutting out soda and switch to drinking water with every meal instead. This one minor adjustment alone will make a huge impact. Once you’ve conquered that, try and find some healthier alternatives to your favorite meals to ease your way into that healthier diet, for example – substitute ground turkey for ground beef. The lesson here is to break big goals into small manageable habits.

Keep it real: The same goes for your new fitness plan. You can’t expect to go from being out of shape to running half marathon in a month. Start with small weekly goals, and continually build on the previous weeks accomplishments. If you are looking to start running, the free Couch to 5K app (C25K®) is a great place to start. C25K® is the easiest program to get beginners from couch potatoes to 5K distance runners in 8 weeks. Over 5 million people did it, and the app is tailored for first time runners! Once you’ve completed this app, you can move on to the 10k, 13.1 and 26.2 versions if you choose.

Find a workout buddy: Find someone to join you on your quest for fitness. Having a workout partner will make exercising more fun, and will make you more accountable. If you don’t have anyone to workout with, try a fitness class at a local gym or community center. People who workout in groups make it to the gym 45% more than those who do not! At Scully Company’s ScullyFit communities, we offer weekly group fitness classes from Spin class to kickboxing to Zumba style classes and more – just one of the many perks of being a Scully Community resident!

Track it: Set an achievable goal for the number of workouts your schedule will allow you to complete each week. Create a fitness journal and track your workouts to keep yourself accountable. A good practice is to weigh yourself every two weeks and take pictures (front facing and side facing) every four weeks. You may find taking the first one to be nerve-wracking, but it shouldn’t be. The pictures are only for your personal use, and when you are able to compare your four and eight week pictures to your before picture, the motivation they will give you and the pride you will feel will be overwhelming!

Cheat:  Depriving yourself of all the tasty treats (or beverages) you love so much, will only make you want them more. When you reach a goal, treat yourself! Everything is okay in moderation, and once you satisfy that craving, you can stop thinking about it and continue on your healthy journey 🙂

Switch it up: Be sure to mix different types of workouts into your routine. Doing so will create muscle confusion, and allow for better results. Try to get at least one session of stretching, cardio and strength training in each week.

If you follow these tips, you will be off to a great start.

Our ScullyFit fitness experts are always happy to answer your questions – send them to scullyfit@scullycompany.com.

 

Go Make Today Yours!

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