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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.

Get Back On Track with Post-Holiday Fitness

on Tuesday, 03 January 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The holidays are over, and you may have over-indulged. May have??!!! Who can resist Grandma's apple pie? And you just had to try your brother's Flamin' Hot Cheetos Marshmallow Treats (yes, these do exist!), so it's no wonder you may notice a little post-holiday bloating and weight gain.

But we've got you covered with these ideas to get your workout back on track!

  • Try bouncing your way back into those tight britches with a trampoline workout. Mini tramps are available in most sporting goods departments or online. Whether you watch videos, jog in place or dance to your favorite tunes, this low-impact exercise will put you in the mood to get back in shape.
  • Holidays and anxiety just seem to go hand in hand, so something to ease the holiday tension might fit the bill perfectly. Yoga can help you quiet your mind, and classes are available practically everywhere these days. If you want to get started at home though, there are plenty of videos on Youtube, or you can begin with this yoga workout program.
  • If you're going to be heading back to the gym after the holidays, be sure to put more emphasis on weights than cardio for a few weeks. Lift heavy weights targeting the legs, back, and chest—the major metabolic muscles—which will get your weight back on track faster.

Be sure to get plenty of sleep while you're recovering from the holidays, too. Sure you’d like to fit back into those skinny jeans as quickly as possible, but your overall health is ultimately more important than quickly losing a few pounds.

Ringing in the New Year: New York Style

on Tuesday, 27 December 2016. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Happy New Year!

For as long as any of us can remember, the dropping of the ball in Times Square has been synonymous with ringing in the new year. The celebration is always bright and colorful and everywhere you look, there are tens of thousands of people out, all deliriously happy even though it’s freezing outside.

It’s just how they roll in New York, and they’ve been doing it for a long time. The first Times Square celebration goes all the way back to 1904 when Adolph Ochs, the owner of the New York Times, decided to throw a party to kick off the opening of his new headquarters. Not one to do things small, the celebration featured a fireworks show from the top of the building, and an estimated 200,000 people attended.

The world-famous ball didn’t actually ‘drop’ that night. For the event, Ochs constructed a sphere built from wood and iron and electrically lit with a hundred incandescent bulbs. A team of six men hoisted the 700 pound construction up to the top of the building, where on the stroke of midnight, it lit a giant sign welcoming in 1905.

The ball changed many times over the years until it reached its current incarnation, a 12 foot orb lit by over 32,000 LED lamps and weighing nearly six tons.  Designed to be weatherproof, the ball is permanently displayed at the original building located at One Times Square.

Whether you’re planning a big gala or just want to ring in 2017 with a few friends, have a great and safe New Year.

Christmas Trivia

on Tuesday, 20 December 2016. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s that time of year again. No, not presents (though everybody likes those, too.) It’s the time of year to find out some more interesting facts about everyone’s favorite holiday.

Ready?  We thought so.

  • Thor has nothing on Santa. Two of the reindeer are actually named after weather phenomenon: Donner, which means thunder in German, and Blitzen, which means lightning.
  • Bah, humbug indeed! While Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday in 1836, Oklahoma put off the declaration until 1907.
  • Eggnog originated from the early medieval Britain “posset,” a hot, milky, ale-like drink. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that the drink became associated with the holidays.
  • George Washington penned his own recipe for eggnog. In addition to the usual eggs and cream, George’s mixture called for one pint brandy, 1/2 pint rye whiskey, 1/2 pint Jamaica rum and 1/4 pint sherry and came with the instructions: “taste frequently.”
  • Before turkey, the traditional English Christmas dinner included a pig’s head smothered in mustard. Yum!
  • he first mall Santa was James Edgar, a department store owner in Brockton, Massachusetts. Edgar put on the suit in 1890, and the rest is history.
  • The Canadian Post Office receives so many letter for Santa that they created a special zip code for ol’ Kris Kringle: H0H 0H.

And on that note: may visions of sugar plums dance through your head this yuletide season.

In other words, Happy Holidays.

Just-In-Time Christmas Shopping

on Tuesday, 13 December 2016. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It happens to the best of us at some point in time. Like Santa, you made your list and checked it twice. The Christmas shopping was done early and under budget. You’re all set, right? Well, no.  Aunt Edna and her family are coming to visit, along with your brother and his kids. You need gifts, and you need them fast.

Don’t worry, we have you covered...

Gift Cards: the all-purpose cheat.  These plastic life-savers are easy to find and offered by almost all of the major retailers. Who wouldn’t want some money to buy just what they want at their favorite store?

Food Never Fails.  If you have any cooking talent, now is the time to use it. Brownies, cookies or your special apple fritters - whip them up fast and then find some pretty ribbons and bows for that personal touch.

Basket Toss.  When the sands of time are running low, specialty baskets can be a great solution.  They come in many varieties (cheese lovers, chocolate lovers, etc.) and during the holidays, the stores are stuffed with them.

That’s the Ticket.  While you’re chatting with your brother and Aunt Edna on the phone, throw in some subtle questions about what type of shows they like. Armed with that information, make an online dash to Ticketmaster or StubHub. Gift problem solved.

Regifting.  The ultimate cheat, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Just make sure you remember where the gift came from.  Nothing is worse than gifting back to the person who originally gave it to you!

With these handy tips, you’ll be prepared no matter what (or who) shows up at your door.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

on Tuesday, 06 December 2016. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

December 6, 1941 was a Saturday, and Americans were doing their usual activities. Some were listening to the radio - game shows, children's programs, farm reports. Others had been at the movies - Barbara Stanwyck's new film Ball of Fire was playing, as were numerous westerns. This was an innocent era, when songs like “You Are My Sunshine” or the soundtrack from Disney's Dumbo were the big hits of the day. The events of the next morning changed the country and that innocence.

The bombing of the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii by Japan resulted in more than 2,400 American deaths and left more than 1,100 wounded. The day after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II. Not only were soldiers sent overseas, but every American at home was called upon to join the war effort - and join they did!

Housewives were asked to save their bacon grease and other fats - which Girl Scouts collected from each home - to create explosives. Besides grease drives, there were rubber drives, scrap drives, paper drives and metal drives. Americans were urged to “Do with less - so they'll have enough”, meaning U.S. troops. Meat, sugar, fat, butter, vegetables, fruit, gas, tires, clothing and fuel oil were all rationed. Americans also purchased approximately $185 billion in war bonds to support the fighting effort.

December 7 is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Take a moment to remember the fallen from that day, and the sacrifices so many ordinary Americans made to help win the war.

Surviving Holiday Parties

on Tuesday, 29 November 2016. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Getting together with your family over the holidays can be very stressful. Just about everyone has certain relatives who always know which buttons to push, and seem particularly fond of doing it this time of year. These are the people we love, so how about some tips on how to make family holiday parties bearable?

  • Assume a role at your get-togethers. Be the photographer or the dish washer, take charge of entertaining the kids, offer to be the one that takes care of an elderly relative for the event - whatever the task, it gives you the opportunity to retreat if one more person asks you “why aren't you married yet?”
  • Turn awkward conversations around by asking questions. If an older relative is showing disapproval over your current job situation, ask them about the jobs they had during their life - which was their most or least favorite, what their dream job would have been, etc. You may gain some new insight.
  • Invite a friend. Sometimes they can help you put things in perspective and see the humor in the situation.
  • Take breaks if you need to. A few moments in the bathroom or getting fresh air on the porch could help you feel less stressed. It may also be just the amount of time needed for Aunt Ethel to forget she wants you to teach her how to email you the pictures of her cats again.
  • Go out of your way to say something positive to each of your loved ones. Compliments are gifts everyone loves.

Holiday parties with the people who've known you all your life should be a time of love and happiness. Have a positive attitude, and have a good time!

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