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.

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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.

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Source: Mens Fitness, WebMDHealth

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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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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Low Calorie Summer Cocktails

If you’ve worked hard all summer to keep your beach body intact, you don’t want to spoil it over the Labor Day Weekend! If you want to celebrate with some adult beverages, without packing on the pounds, here are some refreshing low-calorie recipes you can try.

Vodka & Club Soda with Lemon/Lime

Not the most exciting option – but definitely one of the lowest calorie options out there. This is always a go to for me. I prefer to use Ketel One Vodka, which is also available as Ketel One Citroen or Ketel One Oranje for a little extra flavor.low calorie alcoholic beverages

Real Strawberry Daiquiri

So many frozen drinks are high in calories due to the heavy corn syrup and other sweeteners they are made with, as is the case with many pre-made daiquiri mixes. Ditch the mix and make your own for only 135 calories each! Puree 1 cup of strawberries in a blender with 1 oz. of light rum and a handful of ice cubes, then sprinkle with sugar.

healthy strawberry daiquiri

White Strawberry-Lemon Sangria

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced (any kind)
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle white wine (a dry-ish white wine is best – I like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 cup light rum
  • 4 cups lemon-lime soda

Directions

  1. Add lemon slices to a large pitcher, then the apples, then the strawberries.
  2. Pour the wine and rum over the top.
  3. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 hours.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and add the lemon lime soda. Add a few pieces of the fruit to your glass and pour sangria over to serve.

fruit sangria

Skinny Pina Colada

Take all the heavy mix away, and try this natural juice twist of this tropical favorite. Combine 2 oz. of Cocnut Vodka, 1/4 oz. of Pineapple Vodka, 2 oz of Club Soda, a splash of pineapple juice and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Mix and pour over ice. Garnish with pineapple for an added touch!

skinny pina colada

Skinny Girl Cosmo

You can’t have a low-calorie list without including the original Skinny Girl creator – Bethenny Frankel. If you are a cosmo lover, be sure to pick up a bottle of pre-mixed Skinnygirl White Cranberry Cosmo. It doesn’t get any simpler – just chill with ice, strain and pour! Bethenny describes the cocktail as “a sassy take on a classic drink, combining hints of orange essence, subtle lime, berry fruit notes, and cranberry into a natural, agave-sweetened wonder.” Only 100 calories per serving!

skinny girl white cranberry cosmo

Strawberry-Citrus Vodka Cocktail

In a shaker, muddle together 1 sprig of mint and 2 strawberries, then add 3/4 ounce of light agave nectar, 1 3/4 oz. of Citrus vodka and 3/4 oz. lemon juice. Pour entire contents of the shaker into a tall glass over crushed ice. (Be sure to include all of the mint and strawberry pulp).

strawberry citrus vodka cocktail

In case none of these options suit your taste, here are some quick tips from Greatist.com that you can use to adapt some of your other go-to cocktails.

8 tips for healthier boozing

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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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