Getting Back on Track

Here in Western Pennsylvania, today marks the start of our move into the “Yellow” phase of re-opening after the Covid-19 stay at home orders.  For our family, we are looking at this move into “yellow” as a re-set point to get ourselves back on track to our healthy habits.

While we consider ourselves to be of general good health, at the start of 2020, we recommitted ourselves to a new regimen of eating healthy and exercise.  We used a system that we had planned to roll out to our patients this spring.  The pandemic, however, brought things to a halt.  While we had the best intentions of staying on track, with our gym closed and comfort eating becoming one of our nightly habits.

Let’s just say we strayed a little off course.   Maybe you’ve had the same experience?

Sometimes We Need a Re-set

Sometimes you need a symbolic push to get things back in gear, whether it be the start of a new year or, what the heck, moving to “yellow”.

As we re-start our routine, we will share some things here that we are doing with you along the way, in hopes of inspiring the same in your home.   We encourage you, if you’ve gotten a little off course, make a plan to re-set your healthy routines as well.

And, here’s to hoping our light switches to “Green” soon!

Photo by David Guenther on Unsplash

 

Creative Solutions to Stay on Track

During this unprecedented situation, we are all looking for ways to stay healthy and keep our basic routines going as much as possible.  One bright spot is the creative solutions provided online.   We will attempt to share them with you as we find them.  In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy!

andrea-leopardi-QVD3Xht9txA-unsplash (1)

For the Body

It’s essential to maintain your fitness regimen.  We have been using online workouts and outdoor walks to keep ourselves active.  Here are some resources for you to do the same:

Our former neighbor and all-around good guy Jason at Fuse Fitness Studio is offering two weeks of free fitness coaching.

IC Fitness instructors are providing online workouts via Facebook Live.
Check out Fitness Fun with JulieFitness_Wave with  Michelle, Ali- Barre and TBC with Ali or TIFFIT Virtual Classes.

Venture Outdoors has transitioned its outdoor youth programming into an interactive learning tool. Activities can be completed on a short social distancing walk in your yard or from the inside.   They also offer ideas for short hikes that you can do while maintaining proper social distancing.

For the Mind – Keep the mind healthy while social distancing…

This is tough on everyone mentally.  In addition to worrying about the health of our family and friends, we are all struggling with fear of the unknown – fear about what happens to our jobs, our businesses and the economy when this is over.   We are, however,  working very hard at keeping our spirits positive.

First and foremost, we have our faith.  Many faith-based organizations and churches are streaming services online, so be sure to connect with yours.

Take time to appreciate something that you don’t usually have time to do.  How about some art?   Have you ever been to the Frick Museum?  Whether you’ve seen their collection in person or not, you can truly appreciate the detail of all these paintings through this virtual exhibition.    Click here for a full list of virtual offerings from the Frick, including kids’ activities, virtual exhibitions, and virtual tours.

In fact, with Google Arts and Culture, you can visit museums around the world from your home.

Artwork Archive offers up ideas on how to experience arts and culture virtually.

Local photographer, J.P. Diroll, offers up Pittsburgh Coloring Pages.

Read!  In our house, we are getting caught up on all those piles of books we’ve been wanting to read.  If you are in the market for a new book, consider your independent bookseller.  

Music can lift your spirit…

The Pittsburgh Irish Festival will live stream Irish music on their Facebook page starting tomorrow  (3/25)  evening.

Do you or your kids play an instrument?  Follow along with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’sPractice Practice Practice learning opportunity.

Do you have an idea?

What’s keeping you sane during the shutdown?  I’d love to hear from you.  Send emails to drtim@drtimsciullo.com.

*This post will be updated frequently, so check back often!

Photo by Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash

 

 

 

The Importance of Vitamin D

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from my patients about how they can boost their immune system.  So, I’m going to focus on a few posts around this subject.

Boost Your Immune System with Vitamin D

One of the best ways that you can boost your immune system is with Vitamin D.  The best way to get it is from natural sunlight.  Now, coincidentally, it is a beautiful sunny day here in Pittsburgh, and I’ve been making a point to step outside myself today to get some rays.  Even if you can only grab ten minutes at a time, it can help.

One of the challenges of living in Pennsylvania is that we don’t have daily access to natural sunlight.  Here is a good overview of the importance of and how to get Vitamin D into your system in other ways as well, from an article published in the Washington Post back in January. 

Since we are heading into spring, and hopefully there will be more sunny days, take advantage when you can of that natural sunlight.

sun

 

Eight Tips to Be More Active in 2020

bemoreactive(1)With every new year, it’s common to want to attempt to improve your health. While your mind is motivated, it’s a perfect time to take steps to improve personal health and fitness.  

We are well into January, and if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to make sure you are focusing on some positive new habits. For many, physical activity is a great place to work towards new and improved habits. 

Being physically active is vital to your health, especially for adults. Physically active adults are less likely to develop certain chronic diseases than inactive adults.

 Here are eight tips to be more active. 

1. Start activities slowly and build up over time

If you are new to exercise, build up slowly to help prevent injury. After a few weeks, increase the frequency and duration of your activity.

2. Get your heart pumping with some cardiovascular exercise.

For health benefits, shoot for at least 2½ hours of moderate activity each week. Good options are brisk walking, biking, swimming, or cycling. It’s ok to start small and add time every week incrementally. You can also increase your time by spreading activities over the week, but doing them for shorter amounts. 

3. Strength-train for healthy muscles and bones twice a week.

Good options include lifting weights, doing push-ups and sit-ups, or working with resistance bands. Again, start small and build from there. Find a supervised class to attend to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly. 

4. Make active choices throughout the day.

Every little bit of activity can add up, and doing something is better than nothing. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break, or park further away from work and walk.

5. Do something that you enjoy.

To avoid boredom, mix it up with a variety of activities. Ideas could include dancing, biking, or martial arts.

6. Exercise with a friend.

It will be more enjoyable than doing it alone. Join a walking group, attend fitness classes at a gym, or play with the kids outside. Build a support network — your network will encourage you to keep being active.

7. Have a system.

Set goals and track your progress. Schedule your activity as an appointment.

 8. Have fun.

Find things that you enjoy, and the exercise won’t be a chore. 

Take steps to make a positive difference in your own health in 2020!

Happy New Year!

We hope everyone had a great holiday season.  The office is now back to regular business hours.

2020(1)

The start of a new year is a time for new beginnings and new habits.  It’s a new decade, so go big this year!    You can look forward to lots of new content on the blog this year to help you achieve optimum wellness.  To start, let’s focus on habits.

Here are five habits to focus on in the new year.

    1.  Get a good night’s sleep.  Limiting electronics and television before you go to bed is a positive first step.
    2. Clean up your diet.  Focus on whole foods and eliminate processed foods and sugar.
    3. Get moving.  Find ways to incorporate exercise into your schedule.  If you sit at a desk for work, make sure you stand up and move around every twenty-five minutes on average.
    4. Stay hydrated.  Choose water over soda, tea, coffee, or juice.
    5. Step away from the screen.  Do you remember the days when people talked to each other instead of looking at their phones?

We look forward to bringing you more information on these topics over the coming year.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2020.

Traveling with Essential Oils

Don’t Leave Your Oils Behind this Summer

TravelEssentialOils (1)Is your summer vacation pack list together?  If essential oils are a part of your daily health and wellness routine, don’t leave them behind.  Consider what you need to pack to maintain your physical, emotional and mental well-being on the road.

We always take essential oils with us when we travel.  We’ve even been known to stow a diffuser in a suitcase, although this is not always practical.  Here are some ideas on what we take and how to take them with you safely.

What to pack.

1. Include a bottle of something to purify and cleanse the air.  doTERRA’s Breathe is a good choice.  Or, take along an introductory kit, which includes conveniently sized smaller bottles of lemon, lavender, and peppermint.  Diffuse the oils by simply putting a few drops on sheets in your room.  Here are a few other ideas.  

2. Don’t forget your calming oils.   We love doTERRA Balance to keep us calm and grounded.  The 15 ml bottle is small enough to carry on a place.  We typically stash it in a carry on or purse.

3.  Beat the bugs.  doTERRA TerraShield Spray also comes in a bottle that you can pack in a carry-on bag.  Or make a super TerraShield mix by adding lemongrass and eucalyptus to TerraShield in a spray bottle.  We have tried this spray on mix already this summer and it works great.

4.  You’ve probably read the stories about the horror of germs on airplane surfaces.  To cleanse and purify surfaces in public transportation areas, make a simple DIY spray. Combine 2 fluid ounces water and 24 drops tea tree essential oil in an approved travel mist bottle, which can be found at most drug stores.  Lavender oil can also work well for this.  To use, shake bottle, spray surfaces and wipe down with a paper towel or napkin.

5.  Last but not least, don’t forget your Deep Blue Rub, for any aches or pains while you travel.  We have small sample sizes in the office and would be happy to give you one for your upcoming trip.

How to Pack Essential Oils for Travel

1. Wrap anything breakable in a cushioned sleeve, but not so securely that you can’t easily access it.  A small piece of bubble wrap or tissues can work for a small bottle.

2. When packing in luggage, we double pack liquid items in sturdy resealable plastic bags and place it in a protected area of the luggage or car.

3. You can purchase small drams on Amazon, and make mini size bottles for your trip.  If you have repackaged something, make sure you label it.

Use these ideas to make a list of what you would like to take with you.  Prepare anything that you need in advance of your trip, and you’ll be good to go!

Wishing you safe and happy travels this summer!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Exercise Your Way Through the Holidays

HolidayExercise (1).jpg


The holiday season is often packed with the hustle and bustle of planning events, shopping for gifts and travel.  During this time, you can find yourself stressed out and lacking energy.   Be proactive in taking care of yourself during this busy time.  One great way to do this is through exercise.

An easy way to reduce stress and improve health is to get moving.  You can do this maintaining your active exercise routine or incorporating spurts of activity into your day.  This could include taking a walk or cleaning the house.   Make a point to do something every day.

I know it seems like a busy time, and exercise might not be a top priority but try to work it into your daily activity for a healthier holiday season this year.

 

 

Shovel Snow the Right Way.

snowshovel-1-e1516820699484.jpg

It’s that time of year again.   Snow shoveling the wrong way can lead to muscle strain and back injury.    If you don’t have a snow blower or someone else to do it for you, take some time to review these tips to make sure you don’t hurt your back.

 

 

  • Keep your chin up while shoveling and use your lower body muscles to pick up the snow.
  • Avoid arching your back.
  • Avoid twisting to throw the snow off of your shovel, especially if the snow is heavy.
  • Try pushing or sweeping the snow away instead of lifting it up, if at all possible.

Additionally, this article from CBS News provides good advice on avoiding other health issues from shoveling.

Hopefully, these tips will help to keep you pain-free and healthy when shoveling snow this year.

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

How’s Your Posture?

Poor posture is a leading cause of back pain.  

usama-377315-unsplash (1)With the increased use of tablets, phones, and laptops, poor posture has become a common cause of back and neck discomfort for many people.  

Making simple adjustments to your posture can help keep yourself aligned and pain-free.  Having good posture helps you to avoid weakening or overusing muscles when you are sitting, walking and standing.  There are changes that you can make to how you stand, sit and carry yourself, that if done regularly over time, can make a  difference in your level of back pain.  

Dr. Sciullo can offer advice on how to make some simple changes in these areas to help to keep you out of pain.  

 

Photo by Usama on Unsplash