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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.

6 Odd Things You Might Not Know About American History

on Tuesday, 12 September 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

You know American History, don’t you? George Washington and the American Revolution? Read it in school. Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation? Got it! Thomas Edison, and Harriet Tubman? Check and check.

For those who want to delve a little deeper however, here are some obscure events that might not have made it into the school textbooks:

  • Betsy Ross is credited with sewing the first American flag, but who came up with the modern version? That would be 17 year-old Robert Heft, who designed it as a school project. He only got a ‘C’ for his efforts.
  • In an early example of artists ripping off each other’s work, composer Francis Scott Key, famous for writing the Star Spangled Banner, actually took the music from an English drinking song.
  • Early America almost had a fourteenth state. The region of Franklin, then a part of North Carolina, voted to secede from the state and petitioned to join the new union. They were rebuffed and became part of Tennessee instead.
  • Women’s suffrage wasn’t a thing until 1920, so we’re told. Well, the women of New Jersey exercised their right to vote through the American Revolution until the early 19th century.
  • In Salem, New Jersey, tomatoes were put on trial. These colorful fruits were believed to be poisonous, and it wasn’t until 1820 that Robert Johnson stood in front of the local courthouse and proved their innocence.
  • Some American presidents have been true political heavyweights, but none fit that description as well as William Howard Taft. At an estimated 350 pounds, Taft was the largest man to have ever held the office.

Americans have had a long and occasionally checkered history. It’s a fascinating journey into how we got where we are today, and there’s always something new to learn.

Grandparents Day

on Tuesday, 05 September 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

If you’re a florist or a greeting card maker, the idea of Grandparents Day might not excite you the way Valentine’s Day does. In the floral industry, this holiday, observed the Sunday after Labor Day, isn’t even a blip on the radar. The picture isn’t much rosier for card makers either.

That’s okay, though.

Marian McQuade, the West Virginia homemaker who worked tirelessly throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s to gain national recognition for the holiday, wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. An advocate for the elderly, McQuade instead saw the day as a chance to bridge the gaps between different generations. She wanted to encourage younger people to tap into the wisdom and experience grandparents could provide, and for those grandparents in turn, to feel they still had something to offer.

How do you observe Grandparents Day? McQuade thought of it as a day for families rather than a cause for wild celebrations. So celebrate any way you like. Have a family picnic, gather on the porch for stories or play a board game together. If they’re far away, Grandparents Day is a great excuse for you to phone, text, FaceTime or Skype. You might even go down to the post office and send a message the old-fashioned way.

Better yet, reach out and make any day a Grandparents Day. That’s really what Marian McQuade had in mind all along.

The Importance of Forgiveness

on Tuesday, 29 August 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

In the 2015 film, The Revenant, actor Leonardo DiCaprio portrays an early 19th century frontiersman whose companions abandon him in the wilderness. The film is partially based on the real-life story of Hugh Glass. According to some historical accounts, rather than enact revenge when he returned, Glass forgave those who had wronged him and went on with his life.

If Hugh Glass can forgive after surviving such an ordeal, can we learn from his example?

There are many reasons to feel wronged, both large and small. Perhaps a coworker lied to cheat you out of a promotion, or maybe a partner was unfaithful. The need for vengeance is a natural reaction, but it can also cloud our thinking. Just as there are reasons to feel vindictive, there are reasons for forgiveness, including healthier and better relationships, reduced stress, improved heart health and higher self-esteem.

Without forgiveness, we often find ourselves locked in the past, struggling to find peace within our minds. We pass up new opportunities that arise and deny ourselves the chance to grow. If you’re struggling to find some forgiveness in your heart, here are some things to consider:

  • How have you reacted, and what effect has this had on your life, your health and your well-being?
  • How is holding on to that grudge benefitting you?
  • Who is being hurt by holding onto it?

Learning to forgive isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come overnight. Gradually though, we can move to a point where we’re concentrating on what we’ve done to define our lives, not what someone else has done. That’s where the real forgiveness begins.

Learning a Word a Day

on Tuesday, 22 August 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Is your vocabulary listless and worn out? Are your everyday words as bland and boring as yesterday’s meatloaf? Are you tired of explaining your same routine when you could be elucidating on your deportment?

Many studies have shown that a strong vocabulary is one of the most important factors in career advancement. If you’re looking to expand your vocabulary, and you have the time, you could simply heft a large dictionary and start at the beginning, looking up words from agastopia to zoanthropy as you go. But if you’re like most people (short on time and wary of hefting), there is an easier alternative.

It’s the One Word a Day plan. This plan not only lets you learn at your own pace, but lets you fully absorb the word’s meaning. With that greater understanding, you can make your vocabulary grow exponentially. And of course you’ll want to figure out how to incorporate the new words in your daily life.

One word a day may seem small, but it can add up pretty quickly, and won’t take up much of your time. These days you don’t even have to worry about that heavy dictionary. There are multiple websites that provide free word of the day services such as:

The One Word a Day plan is simple and easy to use. If you’re looking to bolster your vocational habilitation or you’re just tired of trying to appear magnanimous when your friend once again trounces you at Scrabble, check it out.

Back To School Shopping Time

on Tuesday, 15 August 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

“No you don’t need that designer book bag or that pen set! Do you see the price tag?”

“But all the other kids—”

“You’ll just lose them like you did last year.”

If you’ve heard a conversation like this around the store lately, it can only mean it’s back-to-school time. For many parents it can be a bit of a nightmare. You want your kids to have everything they need to succeed, but your wallet can only take so much. And then there’s the nagging thought in the back of your mind about how long it’ll be before that expensive lunch box gets left behind.

Here are some tips that may help you make that dreaded shopping excursion into a positive experience for your family.

Plan ahead. There are hordes of people in the store all hunting the same bargains as you are. Beat them to it by taking advantage of early-bird specials, online discounts and summer sales.

Bring a friend. Maybe stores will offer a discount if you buy in bulk, or will have two-for-one sales. Shopping with a friend lets you utilize these discounts and share extra expenses such as gas or shipping.

Include your kids. You’re not going to agree on everything, but including your kids in your shopping not only gives them a sense of responsibility towards the items you buy, but also teaches them about prioritizing and budgeting.

Back to school shopping may not be the most wonderful time of the year, but if you plan it out right, you can whip through it with your wallet a litter fatter and your kids a little wiser.

Cool Treats for a Hot Summer

on Tuesday, 08 August 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The summer heat is rippling. You can hear the melodic tones of the ice cream truck from several blocks away. You grab up your money and run to follow. There you see a colorful array of sweet and delicious goodness awaiting you. Which one? It may be one of the hardest decisions of your childhood.

Why not try all of the above? Many of these summertime staples are easy to make at home, so you and your family can enjoy a cool treat any time, all without the sweaty sprint after the truck.

Here are some ways to create the perfect Pop right in your kitchen:

  • Watermelon and summer go hand in glove, so celebrate the season with refreshing watermelon pops.
  • These easy to make peach popsicles are a great way to make your summer peachy-keen.
  • Popsicles aren’t just for kids.  If you like yours with a little extra kick, try these Tinto De Verano red wine popsicles or maybe cool and refreshing sangria.
  • The passion tea lemonade so popular at Starbucks can now be yours on a stick.
  • If you believe warm weather is no excuse not to reach for a stiff cup of joe, this iced-coffee popsicle may be just what you’re looking for.
  • Didn’t get a chance to hit that beach this year? Well, you can bring some of the tropics to you with these pineapple and orange popsicles.

These ideas are just the beginning. With a little experimentation, you can find your perfect flavor combination and let the other kids run after the truck.

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