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Doctor Lee's Blog

Musings from The Doctor of Fitness: Fitness Trainer, Nutrition Expert, & Sports Medicine Physician

The purpose of this blog is to write informally for anyone who is interested in fitness, strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, sports medicine, and breaking fitness and nutrition news. If you'd like to reach me directly, you can contact me here. Feel free to take a look at my professional bio and my not-so-professional bio.

Date Night

on Tuesday, 20 June 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

There is this person in your life. You tell them ‘hi’ and ‘bye.’ You catch a fleeting glimpse of them coming as you’re going. You send them romantic texts like: “Can you pick up some milk on your way home.”

The problem is that person is your boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse or lover. In other words, they’re the sweetie you never see anymore. If intimacy got lost somewhere in the shuffle of business meetings, schedule conflicts, kids, and office politics, it might be time for a date night.

Date night can be as elaborate as you want to make it. Three dozen roses and dinner at a fancy restaurant followed by an evening of dancing is a perfectly acceptable date night if you both like that sort of thing. But it can also be as simple as you want. It can be anything from a stroll in the park to breaking out some old board games and whiling away the evening in the living room playing Jenga or Monopoly.

For some ideas on a great date night, check out this link from Stylecaster.com.

The real importance of date night comes from taking some of your precious time and intentionally spending it with the person you love best. It says to your partner that you are working to create a special space for one another. Sometimes the smallest gestures have the greatest meaning.

So take some time to do more than just text a hello between office meetings. Like your business, relationships are work, and the more you put into it, the more it will give back to you.

Online Coupons and Rebate Resources

on Tuesday, 13 June 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The only thing better than a great __________ is a great __________ at a cheap price, or preferably at no cost at all. Feel free to fill in the blank with your trip, gizmo, tool or event of choice.  But how do you get to have your cake and eat it too, at a discount?

As with anything these days, the information is at your fingertips. You just have to know where to look.  Here are some resources to get you started:

GroupOn.  Whether it’s discount hotel fares or tickets to events in a distant city, this site has it covered.  You can easily set up alerts to let you know when there’s an upcoming special.

Ebates.com. This is a general coupon site for the budget conscious. You simply type in the name of the store or the type of item you’re looking for and it will pull up any available sales discounts. Many retails businesses have special ‘cash back’ deals with Ebates so when you shop through an Ebates link you might actually get a check in the mail.

Coupons.com. This site has a wide variety of manufacturer’s coupons you can print off for all sorts of brand name products. It’s organized by category rather than by brand name.

Don’t confine your bargain hunting to just these three sites. There are plenty more. If you’re interested in a particular brand, check out their Facebook page, where you’ll often find daily coupons. Many major retail chains also offer online discounts for shoppers on their sites. 

You may not actually read it for the articles anymore, but that doesn’t mean the local paper is useless. The Sunday edition will often include inserts with a whole host of coupons, many of which you can actually use.

With these sites, there’s no need to pay full price for your cake (or any other item you crave) again.

The Art of Listening

on Tuesday, 06 June 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

“Did you even hear me?” your exasperated friend says to you.

“Sure,” you say, inwardly hoping they don’t ask you for feedback.

The truth is you heard every word that came out of their mouth, but you didn’t listen to any of it.

Listening is more than just your ears taking in the sounds someone makes to you. It is absorbing the full meaning of what someone else is saying. The best listeners also take in clues from the speaker’s body language and the context in which it’s being delivered.

Listening is not as easy as it sounds. The first step in being a good listener is avoiding some bad habits. These include:

  • Thinking of what you’re going to say next
  • Evaluating what’s being said from only your perspective
  • Talking over the speaker

Like any skill, listening takes work. Here are a few tips to help get you started:

  • Treat it like a test. With any luck the speaker won’t present you with a multiple choice exam after they’re done talking, but pretend they will.
  • Summarize. This technique is also known as the “so what you’re saying is…” trick. If you’ve truly listened you should be able to quickly sum up what they’ve said. It can also provide clarity and gives you a little more time if you don’t know how to respond.

Better listening skills can be a great help in business communication as well as your personal relationships. So practice listening and save your friends some exasperation.

Surviving a Tax Audit

on Tuesday, 30 May 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The image of IRS agents gobbling up your hard-earned assets and selling them at auction may have flashed through your mind when you received that sweet love letter from Uncle Sam, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

The first thing to understand is the letter itself. Read it carefully and pay particular attention to what’s being audited and for which tax year. Another thing to watch is the return instructions.  Unless they state differently, any correspondence should go to the office it came from, not to a general IRS address. 

Make sure you have your records as organized and as detailed as possible. Precise, accurate records can be your best defense against an audit.

Don’t answer any question unless asked, and don’t volunteer any additional information. Also, don’t provide any additional records unless they pertain specifically to the audit.

Don’t ignore the notice. When you hear about IRS agents seizing assets or placing a lien against a tax payer, it’s usually because the taxpayer has already ignored the notices for an extended period of time.

Whenever you provide documents to the IRS, make sure they are copies, not the originals. The IRS has a habit of losing things. 

Most importantly, if you don’t feel comfortable dealing directly with the auditor, consult a tax professional as quickly as possible. They can often ensure a better outcome to the audit.

Red, White and Blue It Up For Memorial Day

on Tuesday, 23 May 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, is traditionally the last Monday in May. For many Americans it’s also the first official day of summer. What better way to kick off a great season than with an all-American red, white and blue spread? 

Appetizers:

Red, White and Blue Corn Chip Bites. While you’re getting the grill good and hot, keep the party rolling with these tasty treats.

Main Dishes:

Red, White and Blue Burgers.  Red peppers and white onions make this burger stand out, while the blue cheese completes the ensemble.

Red, White and Blue(berry) Chicken.  If a burger just isn’t in the cards for you, then why not chicken? While the colors don’t run, they may stain, says the recipe, so enjoy this dish outdoors.

Sides:

Red, White and Blue Deviled Eggs.  Everyone likes deviled eggs, so make them with patriotic pizzazz.

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad.  Who says potato salad has to be bland looking. Red and blue potatoes give this dish its all-American credentials.

Salads:

Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad.  For a lighter fare, try this simple salad with watermelon and blueberries for color and flair.

Desert:

Summer Crostini.  Sure you could bake a cake, but you want to enjoy the summer. These easy-to-make treats will let you do just that.

Drinks:

Patriotic Drinks.  While you may have plenty of cold ones on hand, don’t forget the kids. This colorful and kid-friendly concoction is perfect for any star-spangled occasion

It’s great food with a little slice of patriotism. What could be better this Memorial Day?

Family Game Night

on Tuesday, 16 May 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Has that humdrum day got you down? Wanna spice up your life? Well, why not bring the Monopoly Man home with you for hours of real-estate mogul inspired adventures? And if the Monopoly Man isn’t your style, there’s Pac-man, the lovable Donkey Kong, competitive Scrabble, lawn bowling and more.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”  ~ George Bernard Shaw

A family game night can have other benefits too. If you include the kids, games can give them valuable practice at problem solving. Many games build specific skills that can be useful to them throughout their life such as math, spelling, and vocabulary.

Research from Carnegie Mellon shows that even a small amount of practice playing games can lead to better results in the classroom. And who says the kids can’t teach Mom and Dad a thing or two?

There are advantages for adults as well. Playing games can improve your relationships and help foster empathy for others, key skills in just about any profession. Games can even help create an improved state of mind. Developing a playful nature can help you deal with stressful situations and make new friends.

Whatever your guilty or not-so-guilty pleasure, a family game night may be just what you need to break out of the mold and shake things up a bit. You can include the kids or not, but the idea is to have fun, and more importantly, share the fun with others.

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