15 Unique 30-Day Challenges Guaranteed To Make You A Better You

15 Unique 30-Day Challenges Guaranteed To Make You A Better You

Today’s post is brought to you by Jeff Boss, Contributor on Forbes.com

The appeal of 30-day challenges is they offer just enough time for a new goal to be palatable yet long enough to be challenging. While many people wait until January to set their new year’s resolutions, the window of opportunity is always open for those who want to set new goals. In fact, the window never really closes because anytime is the right time to conjure up new aspirations and strive towards improvement.

To help spur new ideas for personal optimization, here are fifteen 30-day challenges designed to help make you a better You:

1. Avoid words with contractions for 30 days. What contractions do is highlight the negative, such as words like “can’t,” “won’t,” “shouldn’t.” Instead, flip the focus of that sentence around such that you focus on the positive rather than the negative. Here’s an example:

“I don’t want to go to dinner there” (negative) versus “I would rather go to dinner elsewhere” (positive). The purpose of this is to retrain your brain to look for the positive in everything rather than default to the negative.

 2. Set a “no expectation” rule for 30 days. What expectations do you have of yourself? Of others? What new views would you have if there were no expectations? What are the beliefs that constrain your expectations? How would your relationships with others change if you didn’t have expectations of them? Expectations are formed based on personal life experiences, upbringing, culture, religion, etc… When you suspend judgment for the moment, you open your mind to entirely new possibilities.

3. Start exercising within two minutes of [insert activity here] for 30 days. This could be anything ranging from waking up and putting on your running shoes immediately to checking into your hotel room and heading immediately for the gym. The goal here is to “rest later” by not giving yourself the option to procrastinate.

4. Create daily white space in your calendar for 30 days. What would you do if you had just an hour to yourself every day? Read a book? Exercise? Play with the kids? More so, how would that single hour impact your life for the better? The point here is that everybody has the same amount of time every day but not everybody has the same priorities. So how, then, do other people seem to have more time and get more things done? The answer is they know what their priorities are and how to stick to them. Make it a goal to set time for yourself and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel—and how much more you get accomplished as a result.

5. Eliminate sugar. This was extremely hard for me because sugar is in everything (and it tastes so good!). Studies indicate that sugar rots the teeth, impedes mental acuity, adds to obesity, increases chances of depression and serves as a stepping-stone towards diabetes. How’s that cupcake sound now?

6. Read everyday. While time is always a constant struggle (see #4), technology isn’t. Wait let me rephrase that. Technology abounds as does time, so leverage the accessibility that mobile apps and e-readers provide by downloading newspapers, magazines and books to your smartphone and reading whenever you can. Waiting in line for Starbucks? Read. Waiting in line for anything? Read. In other words, look for the little slivers of time throughout your day where you can optimize.

7. Listen intently for 30 days. Let your mind wander during conversation (but not in the “I’m no longer listening to you” way) rather than thinking of what to say next.

8. Keep a Quid Pro Quo log for 30 days. Keep track of how much you “give” versus how much you “get.” Aim to increase the former.

9. Journalize your decisions. This is a great way to build emotional intelligence as doing so will shed light on three different areas: 1) what leads to good or bad decisions; 2) what causes you to be decisive; 3) the emotions wielded as a result of your decisions.

 10. Change your taste buds in 30 days. No, the veggie tofu sesame wrap with sprouts doesn’t sound good—nor does it taste good—but there are significant health benefits (mental and physical) to eating for performance versus eating what tastes yummy. Taste buds can be trained; they’ll adapt to whatever you want them to like through repetition.

11. Keep a surprise journal. Along similar lines of #9, when you record surprises you reveal blind spots; lapses in vision or erroneous judgment. These are extremely valuable as you can reflect upon these surprises and ask yourself, “how could I have anticipated this sooner?”

 13. Increase your happiness in 30 days. Studies have shown that sharing positive moments at least three times a day will turn that frown upside down—for the long term. The Happier app allows you to do just this as well as learn from others what makes them happy.

14. Become a better speaker in 30 days. When you’re speaking to an audience and feel an “uh” or “mmm” coming on, take a breather. Just pause, slow down, and wait for your mind to catch up with your mouth (or vice versa). Taking this extra second will also instill greater confidence as a speaker.

15. Exercise for 30 days. No, not a 30 day boot camp of non-stop training but rather a month of planned exercise routines. Common exercise schedules are to follow a five days on, two days off or a three days on, one day off schedule.

Jeff is the author of Navigating Chaos: How To Find Certainty in Uncertain Situations and former Navy SEAL. 

www.ScullyFit.com

5 Morning Habits That Shape Your Whole Day

5 Morning Habits That Shape Your Whole Day

These practices will change your state of mind and routine for the better.

What you do in the morning contributes greatly to the tone of your day. When we roll out of bed after hitting snooze 15 times and neglect to plan for what’s ahead, we throw up a prayer for chaos into the ether… and more than likely, chaos is what we will get.

There are plenty of posts about the habits of the most successful people, but there really is a reason the way they begin their days impacts how well it goes. Not only on a functional, logical level (you have your ducks in a row, you have a schedule and a plan, you have organized the essentials for things to run smoothly), there’s something psychologically very powerful about beginning your day in a way that says, “I am a competent human and, man, do I have this day on lockdown”.

From getting on top of the logistics to the positive psychology tricks you can employ, here’s how to leap out of bed on the right foot—and stay on it until you get back into bed at night.

1. Make your bedquilt-layered-on-bed

Sounds pretty simple and probably something your mom would remind you to do, but there’s a reason making your bed in the morning sets you up for success. This simple act of organizing—sheet, sheet, cover, pillows—and leaving your bedroom in a presentable condition reinforces to your highly impressionable, half-asleep brain that order and calmness abound. More calmness equals less stress, and less stress equals better mood, more productivity and (hopefully) a better day.

2. Hydratehydrate

Your cells have been without water for several hours, so reintroducing water before any other substance (yes, that includes coffee) is key to prepping your GI tract for efficient work throughout the day. It’s an easy way to rehydrate your body if you do it on autopilot. Plus, if you sip water throughout the morning, you may end up consuming two of your eight recommended glasses for the day. Set the tone for great hydration first thing.

3. Plan your dayplan_your_day

 A simple list of the three big things you’d like to accomplish in the short term (i.e. before noon, before the end of the day) can go a long way in terms of helping you move calmly through the day. Putting it on paper or in your phone takes away the stress of remembering and can serve as a helpful reminder of your goals. Even if it’s “pick up dry cleaning, find birthday card and make quinoa,” a few small tasks to keep you on track will make for better time management all day. As they say, those who fail to plan plan to fail, so prioritize the big things to make the rest of the day run even more smoothly.

4. Play music you lovelisten-to-music

Regardless of your morning plans, a soundtrack of uplifting, energizing tunes will help prime your mind for positivity all day long. Pick whatever makes you happy and use it to get through your must-do’s for before you leave the house. Bonus: Great music makes a long commute way less stressful.

5. Movetrail-running-w-dog-jpg-html

Want to feel better mid-afternoon? Make time in the morning to get your body in motion. Whatever it is—gentle stretching, walking the dog, going to CrossFit—starting your day with movement revs your metabolism and stokes your energy for the day. Plus, you’re more likely to make better food choices if you’ve done something positive for your body earlier in the day. You’ll get that great workout in (it’s harder to make excuses first thing) and you’ll reap the benefits for hours afterwards. It’s a win all around.

This post was originally published on ClassPass’s blog.

www.ScullyFit.com

Try this Do-Anywhere HIIT Workout to shake up your fitness routine!

Try this Do-Anywhere HIIT Workout to shake up your fitness routine!

If you are looking for a workout to shake up your normal fitness routine, you’ll love this High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout brought to you by HealthCentral.com.

hiit-workout-for-scullyfit-site-11-21-16

Health Fitness Revolution breaks down why HIIT workouts are so beneficial:

What’s not to love about High Intensity Interval Training? As it’s name suggests, the workout involves various intervals – usually of high intensity – ensuring you get a maximum benefit from your workout. HIIT boosts your metabolism while burning tons of calories in a short period of time. These are only a few of the many benefits you can earn through HIIT.

Here’s our list of the Top 10 Health Benefits of HIIT:

  • Helps build endurance – High intensity training adapts to the cellular structure of muscles which enables you to increase your endurance while doing any type of exercise. “Journal of Physiology,” posted a study where people participated in HIIT for eight weeks and the results showed that they had doubled the length of time they could ride a bicycle while keeping the same pace.
  • Burns calories and fat in a shorter period of time – HIIT is great if you have a limited amount of time to work out. Studies show that 15 minutes of high intensity interval training burns more calories than jogging on a treadmill for an hour.
  • Effective energy use – HIIT uses a system of work-hard-then-recovery intervals, alternating between high intensity workouts with short resting periods. Through interval training your body learns how to efficiently use the energy that comes from your body’s energy system. HIIT also helps remove toxic wastes from your muscles during the resting periods. Alternating between the exercises also helps you breathe effectively.
  • Boosts metabolism – The American College of Sports and Medicine said that High Intensity Interval Training helps you consume more oxygen than a non-interval workout routine. The excess amount of oxygen consumed helps increase your rate of metabolism from about 90 minutes to 144 minutes after a session of interval training. Thus the increased metabolism helps burn more calories at a faster rate.
  • Burn calories and fat hours after you leave the gym – When participating in such high intensity workouts your body’s repair cycle goes into hyper drive. This means in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout your body is still burning calories and fat whereas in steady-pace workouts, you may not.
  • No equipment necessary– HIIT workouts are extremely cost efficient because you need zero equipment! All you need is a little open space. HIIT workouts utilize your own body weight, so any workout that gets your heart rate up quickly such as plyometrics, high knees and jumping jacks can be implemented into a HIIT workout. In fact, weights can actually make sometimes make the workout less effective because your main focus in HIIT is getting your heart rate up rather than toning a particular muscle group.
  • Lose fat and not muscle – Steady cardio is often associated with losing muscle. HIIT workouts, however, combine weight training (the weight being your body) and effectively allows dieters to preserve their muscle gain while still shedding weight.
  • Choose your own workouts – The great thing about High Intensity Interval Training is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just running or biking. In fact, you can pick any cardio workout and make it an interval workout. You can bike one day at max speed for 30 seconds and take 45 second intervals in between and the next day you can switch it up to jogging or aerobics.
  • Good for heart health – They say that extreme training helps build extreme results. It’s hard for most people to push themselves to an anaerobic zone where you lose your breath and feel your heart pounding faster and faster. With interval training it’s easier to push yourself to that level because of the rest interval that comes right after you reach that point. This helps keep a healthy heart and helps blood flow effectively throughout your whole body.
  • Challenging – HIIT workouts offer seasoned workouts a new challenge and beginners a quicker way to see results. You are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone therefore you can never get bored with your workout!

www.ScullyFit.com

34 Healthier Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Today’s post is brought to you by Kate Morin at Greatist.com 

34 Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes

It’s that time of year again: Families gather (and bicker), turkeys get browned on the outside and left accidentally frozen on the inside (whoops), gravy ends up a lumpy mess, and cranberry sauce plops loudly from white-labeled cans everywhere. Though we can’t promise no bickering, this list can help save your Thanksgiving meal. Here you can find all the recipes you could possibly need to prepare a successful dinner for any size family. Most are our own personal creations, but we’ve also included some stars from the kitchens of our very awesome recipe contributors too.

Salads and Starters

2. Spicy Kale Salad

Kale is the perfect hearty fall green to use as a base for any seasonal salad. Try this easy option with freshly grated pecorino cheese and red pepper flakes as a side dish or starter with a little kick.

With eight simple ingredients and less than 10 minutes of prep time, this spinach and sprouts dish brings a little California sunshine to any dinner table.

4. Curried Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin just screams Thanksgiving. Start your meal with this simple soup filled with warming spices to get your gourd on.

5. Arugula Salad with Fennel, Apple, and Pecans

On a day when nearly every dish is an indulgence, it’s smart to start with something a little greener to fit in those important nutrients and antioxidants. This combo of arugula with crisp and refreshing fennel and apple is the perfect solution. (The balsamic-dijon vinaigrette doesn’t hurt either!)

Sides

We can’t get enough Brussels sprouts at Greatist. The addition of pancetta and maple make these healthy little guys just the right amount of decadent (without going overboard on the unhealthy stuff).

7. Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter and Sage

Looking for the perfect turkey pairing? Try these roasted Brussels sprouts topped with earthy brown butter for a delicious addition to any Thanksgiving table.

8. Healthier (Vegan) Creamed Corn

Instead of heavy cream, this version of the classic uses coconut milk to achieve a luscious texture. But it doesn’t taste tropical thanks to all the amazing spices.

9. Cranberry-Orange Sauce with Thyme

Repeat after us: No. Canned. Cranberries. Anyone who can boil water can make this recipe sweetened with honey and orange.

10. Basil Cranberry Sauce

For those who prefer an herbal twist on the side, here is the answer. Plus, there’s no added sugar; the sauce is sweetened with apple juice.

11. Green Bean Casserole

This classic side dish is typically anything but healthy. However, this version takes out all the bad stuff by swapping in, well, less-than-bad stuff. Grandma will never know the difference.

12. Kale and Butternut Squash Stuffing

Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, no Thanksgiving would be complete without the holiday staple. And this quick and easy recipe is full of unexpected veggies and can be made vegetarian-friendly.

Savory muffins sound weird—we know. But trust us. This combo of pumpkin puree and cheddar bring life to otherwise bland dinner table bread options.

14. Cauliflower Leek Puree

White, fluffy, and absolutely delicious, these look like mashed potatoes but have loads more flavor and are even creamier (hat tip to the Greek yogurt).

15. Roasted Asparagus

With just three ingredients and less than 20 minutes from start to finish, this roasted asparagus recipe makes one simple, crowd-pleasing dish.

16. Maple and Sage Roasted Squash

It does take some muscle to chop up a butternut squash. This recipe makes it totally worth the workout. Colorful, sweet, and savory, it requires only five ingredients.

17. Hearty Greens with Garlic

We know, we know, greens aren’t a “traditional” Thanksgiving dish. But take a chance this year, and pick your favorite leaves to toss with a hearty dose of garlic. They taste great and offer an extra-heavy dose of antioxidants!

18. Apple-Parsnip Mash

Another potato replacement, this inventive take uses apples and parsnips to make a similarly colored dish that’s slightly sweet and 100 percent velvety. You may never eat mashed taters again.

19. Honey-Orange Carrots

Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, but all too often they’re just plain boring. These carrots are a refreshing change, and because they’re roasted, they take little effort so you can spend less time in the kitchen.

Mains

20. Cranberry Pecan-Stuffed Pork Chops

Not a fan of poultry? Try pork this Thanksgiving. (Yes, you can call it Pork Day if you must.) Plus, the cranberry-pecan stuffing is the bomb.

21. First Timer’s Guide to Cooking the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Taking your first stab at cooking the big bird this year? Don’t even try to enter the kitchen without this simple guide.

22. Herb-Stuffed Turkey Breast

Hosting Thanksgiving can be a hassle. And wrestling a 20-pound turkey can make things extra stressful. Take this less-traditional route and choose a smaller piece of the bird—the breast—for a creative (and equally delicious) main dish.

23. Quinoa and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Mushrooms

These sweet potato and quinoa stuffed mushroom caps are just as filling as a hunk-o’-turkey and can be enjoyed by anyone around the dinner table.

Desserts and Drinks

Cookies may never be a health food, but whole-wheat flour, flaxseeds, and pumpkin add more fiber, omega-3s, and antioxidants. And they all go fabulously with chocolate chips.

25. No-Bake Pumpkin Custard

With only five ingredients and no oven required, this stress-free dessert tastes just as good as grandma’s pumpkin pie.

26. Quinoa Apple Cake

With a quinoa and apple base, this snack cake is filling enough to kill that dessert craving. And since it’s Thanksgiving, go ahead and serve it à la mode!

27. Harvest Fruit Compote

Looking for a way to use up all that fall fruit? Try this simple compote for an all-natural sugar fix. Serve with ice cream, fresh whipped cream, or angel food cake for some extra decadence.

28. Healthier Coconut Macaroons

Macaroons may not be the first thing that comes to mind on Turkey Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make these coconutty balls. And they’re so (so!) much easier to make than pie.

29. Cranberry-Pear Crisp

Combine two favorite fall fruits and top with a crispy sugary crust for the perfect blend of tart and sweet. It also looks gorgeous, and anyone can make it, even novice bakers.

30. Fruit Salad with Lemon-Lavender Syrup

Peaches, plums, and cherries, oh my! This sophisticated fruit salad gets kicked up a notch with a lemon-lavender syrup. The perfect light dessert.

31. Baked Apples

You might need to wait a few hours after dinner to have room to enjoy these warm, gooey, oat-stuffed apples. Regardless, they’re the perfect way to warm up after that mid-afternoon nap.

32. Apple Cider Margaritas

What better way to kick off the festivities than a nice, stiff drink? Try this fall take on a traditional summer cocktail. “An apple a day” applies to apple cider too, right?

33. Peach Rosemary Crisp

You’re in for a real treat with this dessert combining the natural sweetness of juicy peaches with a savory twist. A welcome substitute for classic apple crisp.

34. Hot Mulled Wine

Wine is always a winner—let’s be honest. But wine slightly warmed with lots of awesome fall spices? That’s a Thanksgiving victory for sure.

www.ScullyFit.com

8 Metabolism Secrets That Help You Blast Calories

Today’s post is brought to you by Health.com

8 Metabolism Secrets That Help You Blast Calories

Discover how to torch more calories every day and boost your metabolism in this complete guide to your body’s fat-burning engine.

Your metabolism

It’s no wonder metabolism is a subject of fascination and speculation: The process that turns food into fuel powers all that we do. “Even when you’re sleeping, your body requires energy for things like breathing and repairing cell damage,” says Donald Hensrud, MD, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. The number of calories you need to perform such basic functions is called your resting metabolic rate (RMR)—and it can affect everything from your waistline to your energy level. Read on to learn how to keep your metabolism revved so your body is operating at just the right speed.

metabolism

Dieting can lower your metabolism

“Whenever you cut calories, your metabolism slows down, often by more than you’d expect,” says Kevin Hall, PhD, an obesity researcher at the National Institutes of Health. Studies have found that formerly obese people have a 3 to 5 percent lower RMR than people who’ve never had to lose weight. But such a drastic slowdown isn’t inevitable. Other research has shown that regular exercise can counteract the effect. And a gradual weight-loss strategy can help keep your metabolism humming. A good rule of thumb: Reduce caloric intake by no more than 500 calories a day, and torch roughly the same number through exercise. A 1,000-calorie daily deficit should help you lose about 2 pounds a week. greens

Chronic stress slows your burn

Wigged-out and gaining weight? No, it’s not in your head (unfortunately). Research suggests that when you’re totally frazzled, your metabolism stalls. One reason: Chronic stress stimulates the production of betatrophin, a protein that inhibits an enzyme needed to break down fat, per a University of Florida study. Other research found that women who experienced a stressful event the day before eating a single high-fat meal burned 104 fewer calories over the seven hours following the meal than their more chillaxed counterparts. “The stressed women also had higher insulin levels, which contributes to fat storage,” says study author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, a professor at The Ohio State University. These effects could lead to a gain of 11 pounds a year, she says.

stress

Intermittent fasting may help

For the most part, experts have advised against cleanses and other trendy fasts. But research now shows that alternate-day fasting—which entails eating without restriction one day, then consuming about 500 calories the next—can trigger weight loss without mucking up your metabolism. Women who followed this plan for eight weeks lost an average of 13 pounds, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago. “When we compared the change in their resting metabolic rate to that of subjects who lost weight by consuming 25 percent fewer calories overall, we didn’t see any differences between the two groups,” says study author Krista Varady, PhD.

What’s more, after the first few days, most of the women in the alternate-day fasting group didn’t report feeling hungry. But Dr. Hensrud cautions that further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of this strategy. If you’re tempted to try it, do so under a doctor’s supervision.

fasting

Lift weights the right way

There’s no question that strength training is a good way to combat the drop in metabolism that comes with age. But new research suggests that when you’re lifting weights, the ideal strategy is to go slowly. Resting for two to three minutes between sets may actually promote more muscle growth than a shorter rest interval, according to a U.K. study published this year. “The most important thing is to just do it, two or three times a week,” stresses Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body-for-LIFE for Women. To reap the most benefits, add your strength training to a HIIT workout (like a boot camp class), she says.

lift-weights-the-right-way

Protein is key

You’ve probably heard that the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. And you know protein is essential for muscle growth; it helps prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue that happens as you get older and when you cut calories, says Caroline Cederquist, MD, an obesity specialist in Naples, Fla., and the author of The MD Factor Diet. But the trick, she adds, is to divide your intake evenly throughout the day. “You can utilize only 4 to 6 ounces of protein at a time. If you consume more than that at one sitting, it will get stored as fat.”

Research backs up her advice: A 2014 study found that people who took in 30 grams of protein at each meal had 25 percent better muscle protein synthesis than those who ate 90 grams in a day in irregular portions (10 at breakfast, 15 at lunch and 65 at dinner). As for the best sources of the nutrient, study author Emily Arentson-Lantz, PhD, a scientist at University of Texas Medical Branch, suggests lean meats, seafood, legumes, eggs, dairy and nuts.

protein-is-key

You can blast calories all day long

6 A.M.: Work out. You can melt up to 20 percent more body fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach, according to a 2013 U.K. study.

7:30 A.M.: Have the right smoothie. Swiss research found that folks who consumed whey protein at breakfast burned more calories throughout the morning than folks who ate a high-carb meal.

11 A.M.: Refill your water bottle. In a German study, drinking 17 ounces of H2O increased metabolic rate by about 30 percent for more than an hour.

1 P.M.: Add some sweet red peppers to your salad. They contain a metabolism-boosting chemical called dihydrocapsiate.

3 P.M.: Take a call on your headset and go for a walk. Small bursts of activity like this can torch up to 350 calories a day, found Mayo Clinic researchers.

7 P.M.: Turn off your iPad before dinner. Exposure to blue-enriched light (the kind emitted by electronic devices) during the evening meal increases insulin resistance, according to a 2016 Northwestern Medicine study.

7:15 P.M.: Enjoy some carbs. A 2014 study showed that people who saved most of their daily carbs for nighttime burned more calories after lunch than those who ate their carbs early on.

9 P.M.: Turn down the heat. Sleeping in colder temps ramps up your body’s production of brown fat, a type that burns calories, per a study in Diabetes.

conshohocken restaurants, local table market fresh cafe smoothie

Certain health problems can affect your metabolism

Thyroid disorders: An overactive thyroid (called hyperthyroidism) can cause your metabolism to speed into overdrive, while an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can make it slow to a crawl. Fortunately, both conditions can be controlled with medication.

Prediabetes: This condition elevates insulin levels, which inhibits fat metabolism, explains Dr. Cederquist. But lifestyle measures such as exercise and a low-glycemic diet can help repair metabolism.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: Neither condition affects metabolism directly, but both can make exercise painful—and not exercising enough can lead to muscle loss and a drop in metabolism, explains Dr. Cederquist.

Polycystic ovary syndrome: Women with this hormonal imbalance are at higher risk of developing insulin resistance, which can in turn impact metabolism. Possible treatments include birth control pills to regulate hormone levels and the diabetes drug metformin.

www.ScullyFit.com

10 Fitness Tips for Fall

Check out these 10 fitness tips brought to you by Livestrong.com to help motivate you as we ease into this beautiful Fall weather.

Overview

Autumn is a transitional time of year. The leaves on the trees change, it becomes darker earlier, and the temperatures cool down. It is a favorite time of year for many people. However, these same changes can also lead to stress for individuals who tend to fall off the health and fitness wagon during the transition. There are many enjoyable opportunities to remain fit, or even begin a fitness program in the fall that can work for everyone. Planning for seasonal changes, finding support from group exercise and embracing events and activities that the season has to offer are key factors in staying fit through the transition.

fall-exercise

1. Take Advantage of Autumn Activities

Autumn group events like pumpkin picking, corn mazes, haunted trails, and building leaf piles are active options that can also be fun bonding experiences for family and friends. Organize a weekend trip or local get-together with an autumn theme and plan to be active.

2. Get Involved in Community Events

With the fall season come many holiday-themed local fun runs and events. Look in the newspaper for Halloween runs, turkey trots and reindeer romps. According to a 1991 summary report by ERIC Digest, training for a specific goal such as a race increases adherence to an exercise program. Signing up with friends or family will hold you accountable for completing the training.

3. Head to the Trails

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year for getting outside. Grab a friend and find some local parks or trails to walk, run or bike and take in the view of changing leaves.

4. Dress for the Weather

When weather gets cooler, it can deter people from going outside to work out. This problem can be mediated by wearing wind-shielding clothing and dressing in layers. Proper attire and accessories (hats, gloves, etc.) that cut down on bulk but still allow for warmth make outdoor fitness more enjoyable as the chill of fall approaches

5. Drink Water

Stay hydrated even when the temperatures cool down. People often feel less thirsty when it is not hot outside, but staying hydrated is just as important in the fall as it is when the sun is blazing. When fall rolls around, remember to stay on top of your fluid intake to help with both exercise recovery and appetite control.

6. Drink Tea

Drink more tea to warm up for the cooler temperatures. Green tea and black tea contain antioxidants that help ward off diseases during flu season so you can remain healthy and active as the season shifts.

7. Avoid Holiday Candy

According to the National Institutes of Health, on average, non-obese adults gain about a pound a year around the holidays. In addition to creating unhealthy habits, accumulation of this weight over time can lead to obesity. Be sure to pack lots of healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day to help deter you from grazing on sweets that pop up in the office, at home or at holiday parties.

8. Turn Fall Chores into a Workout

According to Health Status, a 150-lb. person can burn 135 calories by raking leaves for 30 minutes. Turn outdoor chores into a game by setting small, achievable goals to help pass time and burn away fat.

9. Exercise Early in the Day

Try to work out in the morning or during the day. With the time changing and the sun setting earlier, it can feel as though it’s later in the day than it really is. This can make people more tired than usual. Getting into a routine of working out early will guarantee the workout gets done and still allow time in the afternoons and evenings to relax.

10. Vary Activities

As the weather cools down and summer ends, it can become difficult to stay motivated. Trying a variety of different activities and varying workouts will help keep a fresh spin on exercise and allow for confidence to build within a wide range of activities.

www.ScullyFit.com

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

www.scullyfit.com

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

Dessert for Breakfast: Acai and Smoothie Bowls

If you follow any health food accounts on Instagram, you have definitely noticed the new trend moving toward smoothie and Acai bowls. Whether you are big on greens, or prefer something a little sweeter, there is a recipe out there for you! These super-bowls will fill you until lunch with no problem, are full of nutrients and most importantly taste great!

These bowls are meant to be a bit thicker than a regular smoothie, and you can achieve this simply by using a little less liquid. When you see how delicious and creamy the pictures below look, you’ll be running out to the store to buy ingredients to make your own.

Here are some great recipes and articles you can follow to make your own.

Coconut Acai Berry Bowl 

acai bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen acai smoothie packs
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk, used: almond milk (more as needed to blend)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (or substitute with more almond milk)
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • toppings: 1 tsp goji berries, 1 tsp cacao nibs, 1 tsp shredded coconut, splash of coconut milk, fresh blueberries, chopped nuts or raw jungle peanuts

Recipe listed on lunchboxbunch.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl

chocolate peanut butter smoothie bowl

  • ½ cup rice milk (125 ml)
  • 4 bananas (2 of them were frozen)
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 8 tbsp carob powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 dates

Recipe listed on simpleveganblog.com

The Best Green Smoothie Bowl

green smoothie bowlIngredients

  • 1 Cup Milk of Choice (Cashew, Almond, Coconut, etc.)
  • ½ Frozen Banana, Chopped
  • ¼ of an Avocado, Sliced
  • 2 Cups of Spinach, Packed
  • ½ Cup of Ice
  • 1 Teaspoon of Chia Seeds (can sub Hemp or Flax)
  • Optional:
  • 1 Scoop of Your Favorite Protein (I like Vega One)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Honey (If you like things sweet)
  • Toppings:
  • Chopped Fruit, Coconut, Granola, Nuts, Seeds, etc.

Recipe listed on thebalancedberry.com

Vanilla Raspberry Protein Smoothie Bowl

Vanilla raspberry protein smoothie bowl

  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 packet Vega Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds + 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup of granola
  • A few fresh raspberries
  • A sprinkling of cacao nibs

Recipe listed on mydarlingvegan.com

 

www.scullyfit.com