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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.

Take a Hike!

on Tuesday, 24 September 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Hiking is a great way to get active this fall while checking out the changes of the season and enjoying the crisp fall weather. Take a moment to review these hiking tips before heading out to blaze your trail.

Be sure to choose the appropriate attire.

Getting dressed for a hike involves a little more than choosing your favorite t-shirt. Account for the time of day, length of your hike, and any changes in elevation when choosing clothing. For comfortable hiking in the fall, consider dressing in layers. As you warm up on the trail, you can shed layers.  If it cools off late in the day, pull a layer back on.

Also pay careful attention to your shoes.  Supportive, well-fitting shoes are a must for hiking. If you spring for a new pair of shoes, don’t rush right out to hike. Shoes and boots should be broken in to avoid blisters and other damage to your feet.

Hiking is more fun when you take a friend, and it’s safer too.

Hiking with at least one companion gives you back-up if there’s an accident on the trail. They can perform first aid and go for help if necessary. Whether alone or in a group, make sure someone at home knows your plans as well. Tell them where you’re hiking and what time you will leave and return. Cell phone coverage can be spotty at best in prime hiking areas, so don’t count on your phone to get you out of a jam.

Take the right supplies.

Even for a short day hike, take a light pack with snacks and plentiful water. Water is the most critical supply, and if you’ve planned a longer hike than you can comfortably carry water, you might choose to invest in purification supplies. Once you’re on the trail, don’t use everything up at once. Save some to get you through the final stretch.

Pull on your boots and gather a group to explore your surroundings. You’ll challenge your body physically and recharge mentally. Get out of here, and take a hike!

Outdoor Family Fun

on Tuesday, 17 September 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The temperature is finally dropping, and it’s nearly fall. Now is the time to head outdoors and get active. Old Man Winter will be here before you know it. Here are some ideas for outdoor family fun.

 

  • For an inexpensive and fun activity, grab a Frisbee or a ball and head to a park to play. Toddlers to teens will enjoy running, catching, and throwing in the mild fall weather. You’ll have a blast, and no one will notice that it’s exercise too.

 

  • Road races and bike rides provide an enjoyable way for the whole family to be active together. These events often support charitable causes through entry fees and other fundraising efforts. Whether you walk, run, or roll, children and parents can set fitness goals and train together. Then when race day comes, engage in a little friendly competition to spur each other on to new achievements.

 

  • Rake some leaves together. Fall’s changing colors eventually carpet the yard around your home. Take the drudgery out of this annual chore by having everyone chip in so the work gets done fast. Be sure to save a huge pile for jumping in and rolling around. No one is too old for this classic fall fun!

 

Playing sports and spending time outdoors provides a low-key way for parents and kids to stay connected. As the school year starts up, plan some fun fall activities into your schedule. The conversations, fun, and laughter will last for a lifetime.

Remember and Serve

on Tuesday, 10 September 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

On September 11, 2001, the nation grieved together for lives lost and for lives forever changed. In the succeeding years, individuals and community organizations sought to overcome the hatred and horrors witnessed that Tuesday morning by uniting in service to remember the victims of September 11th. Congress officially recognized the date as a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009. Come together with friends and neighbors to make a positive impact in your community by participating in service and remembrance activities this year. 

If you want to find a place to volunteer, you can start your search at United We Serve. You can search for activities by specifying a cause or interest that you have, or you can search for volunteer opportunities by location. You can also register an event to publicize it to other potential volunteers.

You may have seen an opportunity to make a difference in your community. You can be the start of positive change by coordinating a special event for remembrance in your neighborhood. Bring your friends and family together for a simple dinner and meaningful discussion. You might initiate a drive to raise resources for a local food bank or a homeless shelter.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 shocked and enraged people around the world. It would be easy to become consumed by fear and anger in the aftermath. Americans should choose to reach out to one another and build solidarity in their towns and cities. Become a part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance to heal the wounds of tragedy and to find a way forward together.

After School Snacks

on Tuesday, 03 September 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s late afternoon. The kids come home from school. They’re hungry. They’re ready for video games and a TV marathon. How can a family stay on track with healthy choices?

Organic? Gluten free? Low carb? Choosing snack foods can be a tricky business with all the latest health tips and diet crazes. The easiest rule to follow: Eat the right amount. Even sweets and treats can be a part of a healthy diet when you pay attention to the serving size. Take care not to serve children adult size portions. Overfilling their plates, then expecting them to clean their plate is the perfect recipe for overeating.

You might know that the average can of soda contains ten to twelve teaspoons of sugar. Many people are surprised to know that many fruit juices contain nearly the same amount of sugar and calories as sodas, and fruit juices generally don’t have the same nutritional benefits as actually eating a piece of fruit. Extra sugar, therefore extra calories comes in some sneaky packages sometimes. Make water the go-to beverage in your house. A glass of chilled water refreshes better than soda pop, fruit juice, or sports drinks, and it’s the perfect partner to a light afternoon snack. 

Physical play helps children burn calories and develops their growing bodies. Encourage children in active play when they come home from school. Bike riding, running and walking, and organized athletics all get kids moving. Exercise curbs the appetite from too many before-dinner snacks. Studies show physical activity increases an individual’s ability to concentrate. If your normal order is homework before playtime, it might be time to switch things up.

Today children hear mixed messages every day about what to eat and how to exercise. Even parents get confused about how to address complicated issues of childhood obesity and eating disorders. Making healthy choices doesn’t have to be hard. Learning simple rules about nutrition and health creates an easy path for children and adults to follow.

Labor Day

on Tuesday, 27 August 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Members of the Central Labor Union first staged a Labor Day celebration in New York City on September 5, 1882. By 1884, the holiday moved to its current spot on the first Monday of the month of September, and the idea started to spread like wildfire among American workers around the country. In 1894, the holiday got the official approval of Congress, and Labor Day has marked the end to summer ever since.

Celebrate Labor Day with a big bang. Many locales offer amazing fireworks displays to honor the holiday. Ask your friends and neighbors their take on the best spots for viewing the show. Once you’re in the know, you can pack up a picnic dinner with some cold beverages to go watch the night sky light up. Feeling a do-it-yourself spirit? Get familiar with fireworks safety precautions so that your backyard show doesn’t go up in smoke.And please be sure to check local laws in your area before purchasing or using fireworks.

You can also celebrate Labor Day with a big splash. In most areas of the country, September is still plenty hot to enjoy pool time and water games. Break out your patriotic decorations from Fourth of July, and invite everyone over for a backyard cookout. Spread the labor around by encouraging guests to bring a side dish, dessert, or drinks for the festivities. 

A full-time worker logs over two thousand hours a year at work. When Labor Day rolls around at the end of summer, take advantage of twenty-four hours to enjoy the fruits of your labor with family and friends. As we all know, Tuesday morning, it’s back to the grindstone!

School Sports

on Tuesday, 20 August 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Getting active is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. By starting young, you can build a fun and healthy habit for a lifetime. Teens and young adults can find ways to live healthy and happy through sports activities in high school and beyond.

Parents (and grandparents) -- please feel free to share this with the middle- and high- school students in your family and circle of friends. Playing athletics in a healthy and smart way will help them gain skills that last a lifetime.

Find a sport that’s the right fit. Between physical ability and personality, not every sport is for everyone. Take stock of your natural abilities, and decide what you hope to take away from your participation. Some individuals love the thrill of intense competition while other athletes enjoy the camaraderie of intramural sports. Team sports require cooperation, but individual sports recognize individual achievements. With dozens of activities to choose from, you’re bound to find something you enjoy.

Use the right equipment. Injuries do happen, even when you’re just practicing or playing for fun. Studies report that more than sixty percent of youth sports injuries occurred at practice, not in competition. Whether it’s a supportive pair of running shoes or a helmet and safety pads, play it safe by using the correct protective equipment.

Train smart. When training for a sport, optimize your conditioning instead of just maximizing your workouts. Overtraining can cause serious damage to muscles and joints. Athletes can avoid overuse injuries by using cross-training strategies to strengthen some muscles while resting others. When physical training is balanced with rest and recovery periods, skill and strength develop quickly.

Organized athletics offer great rewards to everyone involved. Playing sports boosts physical health. Joining a new activity opens the door to meeting friends and finding opportunities. The most important thing to remember is to be a good sport by being respectful and encouraging at all times. That goes for parents too!

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