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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.


on Tuesday, 26 June 2012. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Healthy Nutrition

With so much conflicting information out there on “good” and “bad” foods, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re supposed to be eating to stay healthy and keep your weight under control.  Are carbohydrates good or bad?  Is fat the enemy, or is sugar the real problem?  And what the heck is a “superfood?”

Luckily, there is hope.  Fads come and go, but real nutrition is still primarily a matter of common sense.  If you eat a wide variety of foods, concentrating on whole foods closer to their natural form (an orange) as opposed to processed foods (an orange-flavored snack), there’s no need to beat yourself up over the occasional slice of pizza or bowl of ice cream.  There’s actually a place for everything in a balanced diet, provided you focus on the word “balance.”

According to the most recent U.S. Government standards, a healthy diet starts with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products that are either reduced in fat or fat free.  For protein, it includes beans and nuts – a great choice for vegetarians -- as well as lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs.  In other words, it includes a variety of foods to suit just about every taste. 

When it comes to foods you should consume in lower quantities, the list is a lot shorter.  It basically consists of saturated fats and trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.  These nutritional no-no’s tend to be found most frequently in processed foods like chips, snack foods and frozen or fast-food dinners.  And beware – those “light” and “fat free” options typically pack a lot of sodium and/or sugar, so avoiding so-called convenience foods in favor of cooking your own meals – or at least eating simpler foods – is usually much healthier. 

A little awareness is key.  Read labels, think about what you’re eating, plan your meals in advance.  That way, when you get the occasional craving for a fast-food cheeseburger, you can indulge without worrying. 

At least some of the time.

Summer 2012

on Tuesday, 19 June 2012. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Summer Sports Training

On June 20th at 7:09 PM EDT, summer will officially be here. 
Or was it already here?
For those of you who thought all the seasons’ beginning and end dates were set in stone, you might be surprised to learn that’s far from the case. 
Countries such as Austria, Denmark, New Zealand and Russia, as well as parts of the UK, use the meteorological beginning of the season – going by temperature patterns - rather than using the astronomical beginning of the season, as we do in America, which views the summer solstice (the longest day of the year) as the summer starting point.
According to meteorologists, summer really occupies the entire month of June, as well as July and August – with autumn starting with the 1st of September. 
And then there’s Chinese Astronomy to deal with.  According to their reckoning, summer starts on or around the 5th of May and ends around August 6th.   In Southeast Asia, the monsoon season makes the call – to them, summer begins in March and lasts until May or early June, ending with the onset of the torrential rains.
Ireland, quite frankly, can’t quite make up its mind when summer happens.  The national meteorological service says summer encompasses June, July and August.  But the Irish Calendar says summer begins May 1st and ends August 1st. 
Is there any definitive way to decide when summer actually does begin for everyone?  Of course.  As all of us in the good ol’ USA know…summer starts on Memorial Day weekend!

Father's Day

on Tuesday, 12 June 2012. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Giving Back

Giving Thanks To Dad

Father’s Day is this Sunday...and we hope you’ve found a way to honor the dear old Dad in your life.

The interesting fact is that, even though this is a long established holiday in America, it almost didn’t make it onto the national calendar.  Why?  Frankly…no offense, guys…people thought it was a joke!

Mother’s Day had already become an established event when attempts to promote Father’s Day faltered left and right in the 1910’s and 20’s.  Newspaper editorials made fun of the proposed day for Dad and public proposals for it were greeted with outright laughter.

Why?  Many saw it as the first step to a slew of other artificial and commercialized calendar events, such as Maiden Aunty’s Day and Household Pet Day (which, in light of such other modern observances as Grandparent’s Day and Secretary’s Day, held a ring of truth).  

There was also, in the media of the time, a tradition of portraying pop as an irresponsible loafer.  One popular song was entitled “Everybody Works But Father.” 

And finally, there was the problem of dispensing the sentimentality common to Mother’s Day to…a guy.  Heaping loving presents and flowery sappiness to big, burly Dad seemed comical to most.  And also a practical problem; “Mannish-looking cards are hard to design,” said one greeting card manufacturer of the time.

Even though the first bill to make Father’s Day a national holiday was introduced in 1913, it took until 1972 for it to become the law of the land when President Nixon signed a proclamation finally making it official. 

Mother’s Day, in contrast, became legal in 1914. 

Dads, like the late Rodney Dangerfield, get no respect.

Doctor of Fitness Charity For June

on Tuesday, 12 June 2012. Posted in Giving Back

Supporting Local Athletic Program

From now until July 4th Doctor of Fitness will donate $0.50 to the Shrewsbury High School Booster's Association for every person that likes the Doctor of Fitness Facebook page -
Up to a maximum donation of $1000!
So if you are a parent, a coach, or an athlete in the Shrewsbury school system this is your chance to help out Shrewsbury Athletics!  
Simply go to the Doctor of Fitness Facebook page and click LIKE - it's as simple as that!

What Makes A Great Strength And Conditioning Program?

on Tuesday, 12 June 2012. Posted in Summer Sports Training

Just who Is Training Your Son or Daughter

It seems that everyday there are more personal trainers and training facilities.  How is a parent supposed to evaluate who is best qualified to train his or her child?  Many personal trainer certifications simply have you show up, pay some money, and then you are certified.  Many trainers only use whatever fad piece of equipment of is in vogue at the time.  Some trainers have been using the same methods or techniques for the past 20 years and have stopped reading and studying the research.

The Big Three

#1 - Injury Prevention and Reduction

Bad strength and conditioning programs get their athlete's injured during the workout.  The first goal of any good strength program is to make sure your programs reduce your athletes' risk of injury on the field.  If does not matter how strong or how fast your programs make your athletes, if they are always getting hurt they can't help their team.

#2 Performance Improvements

Strength coaches should be able to prove that their programs make their athletes better.  Objective data helps validate a strength and conditioning program.  If as a strength coach you are not testing your athletes, then it becomes more difficult to show parents, coaches, and athletes that you can get an athlete faster and stronger.

#3 On Field Results

And of course the ultimate reason why an athlete spends time in the weight room is to achieve greater success on the field.  A great strength program should take the improvements in the weight room and translate them into accomplishments on the field for both the individual and a team.  

Doctor of Fitness Strength & Conditioning Programs

Proven Injury reduction

As a Sports Medicine Physician who has taken care of numerous athletes other the years, I am always looking at ways to reduce or prevent athlete's injuries.  As the Shrewsbury high school team doctor for the past ten years I have worked with the school's athletic trainers to track injury rates for all the sports.  Five years ago we implemented Doctor Of Fitness in-season strength programs in addition to the Doctor of Fitness Summer Strength and Conditioning Program.  The results have been an over 60% reduction in injuries to athletes - including ACL, MCL, hamsting, hip flexor, and ankle injuries.

Proven Weight Room Results 

Athletes who have participated in the seven week Summer Doctor of Fitness program have shown the following improvements:

  • Average increase of 55 lbs on the 1 Rep Max (1RM) Trap Bar Deadlift
  • Average increase of 25 lbs on the 1RM Bench Press
  • Average increase of 5 inches on the Vertical Jump
  • Average increase of 6 inches on the Single Broad Jump
  • Average increase of 12 inches on the Triple Broad Jump
  • Cut 0.12 seconds off 20 yard sprint time
  • Cut 0.33 seconds off 20 yard shuttle run time
Athletes consistently got faster and stronger!  These are concrete results that have been reproduced with hundreds of athletes over the years.
Team and Individual Success

The athletes who have participated in the Doctor of Fitness programs have won numerous League and District Championships.  Individual athletes have set records and have gone on to make the transition from high school to collegiate athlete.  The hard work in the weight room has translated into on field success.
Check out how Doctor of Fitness programs can help you make that same leap in performance!


on Tuesday, 05 June 2012. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Toning & Shaping, Fitness for Women, Fitness

It may seem hard to believe in an age when celebrity “baby bumps” are on the cover of just about every magazine.  But back in the old days, being pregnant was looked upon as a “condition” that was spoken about in hushed whispers.  In fact, the very idea of pregnancy was so “out there” that when Lucy Ricardo on “I Love Lucy” was expecting, censors wouldn’t allow the word “pregnant” to be spoken on the show for the entire season!
Three decades later, a very pregnant actress Demi Moore posed naked on the cover of Vanity Fair in the ‘90s, and suddenly pregnancy was viewed as beautiful, and even sexy.  Today, pregnant women are even prouder of their “bumps,” showing them off in revealing maternity wear instead of hiding them under layers of drapey fabric and cutesy prints.  And while celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Reese Whitherspoon are certainly leading this trend, they’re not alone.  All kinds of mothers-to-be are showing off their curves in clingy tops and dresses, and the sight of a pregnant woman in a bikini is no longer regarded as shocking. 
The fact is, pregnancy really does make a woman more beautiful -- and not just because of the miracle of life growing inside of her.  That tiny life actually does certain, specific things to the body that enhance a woman’s beauty.  Increased hormones and blood flow give pregnant skin that “glowing” look you might have heard about.  Many pregnant women notice that their hair is thicker and more lustrous than in their pre-pregnancy days, and their fingernails grow longer and stronger. 
Commonly, pregnancy carries with it back pain or hip pain. Dealing with aches and pains can really cut into enjoying this exciting time in your life. Staying fit and healthy during your pregnancy helps decrease or prevent the pain now, and makes your postpartum recovery faster and easier. There are certain exercises a pregnant woman shouldn't do but there are plenty you can do that will make you feel better. Our pregnancy and postpartum programs are designed with you and your health and comfort in mind.
If you’re pregnant, don’t forget to enjoy this very special time in your life to the fullest.  Whether you flaunt it in a bikini or prefer a more modest style, now is your time to rock that bump – and celebrate the beautiful woman you are and the mother you’re about to become.
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