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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 Outside and Enjoy Winter

on Tuesday, 26 December 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Once the weather turns cold, many people’s idea of winter sports is going inside, breaking out the hot chocolate (or the beer and nachos, depending on the sport) and comfortably watching the whole affair slouched in their favorite recliner. You don’t have to hibernate for the winter though.  Here are some fun ways to enjoy the chilly season:

What’s the point of snow if you can’t have fun with it? Take advantage of that powdery goodness by making snow angels and snowmen. You don’t have to stick to a generic looking ‘Frosty the Snowman’ either. Be creative and wow the neighborhood.

It might be a winter wonderland out there, but it doesn’t have to be all white. Add food coloring to some water and then freeze it into blocks and other shapes, using ice cube trays, muffin tins, Jell-O molds, or anything else you can lay your hands on. You now have a brilliant pallet of colors to work with. It’s instant ice art.

You’ve probably built snow forts at some point in time, so why not take it a step further and build your own igloo? Think of it as a winter tree house, your little home away from home. For instructions on how to get started, check out this handy guide.

If the options above seem a little tame, you can always try something more extreme like ice golf, shovel racing and or Yukigassen, a Japanese-inspired cross between a paintball and snowball fighting. Regardless of whether you choose to be creative, extreme or both, get outside this winter and enjoy the season.

Behind the Scenes of Our Favorite Christmas Classics

on Tuesday, 19 December 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Have you ever watched a great movie or television show and been so wrapped up in it that you went to the Internet to find out more? Maybe you watched ‘Behind the Scenes’ videos or read about the personal lives of the cast. With that in mind, let’s take a behind the scenes look at some of Hollywood’s greatest holiday stories.

It’s a Wonderful Life might be a classic film, but it started out as an overgrown Christmas card. After trying unsuccessfully to sell his short story, The Greatest Gift, author Philip Van Doren Stern printed up copies of the story and sent them out as 21-page Christmas cards.

Coca-Cola originally sponsored A Charlie Brown Christmas, so the original broadcast included several product placement scenes that had to be cut out of subsequent televised versions. Deleted scenes included Linus crashing into a Coca-Cola sign after being thrown by Snoopy.

Is the Grinch too scary? When horror icon Boris Karloff was cast to voice the title character in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss initially disputed it, fearing that Karloff’s Grinch would be too terrifying for children.

A Christmas Story is supposed to take place in Cleveland, Ohio during the cold and snowy days leading up to Christmas. It was a warm winter in Cleveland that year so much of the ‘snow’ is actually a mixture of potato flakes, shredded vinyl and firefighters' foam.

May your holidays have the same sense of wonder as these timeless stories. We wish you a blessed season and many happy endings to your own holiday stories.

Eating Healthy During the Holidays

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

We know the holiday food line-up. There are the usual suspects, of course. From Aunt Edna’s famous double chocolate cake, to neighbor Bob’s extra rich holiday fudge, we know them well. That low-calorie hummus dip might do just fine during any other part of the year, but it pales in comparison to the mouth-watering avalanche of cookies, cakes, pies and other holiday treats that dance before our eyes. 

Eating healthy during the holiday season can be challenging to say the least, so here are some tips to help you make it through the holidays without busting your waistline:

  • Those holiday parties aren’t for just for food; there are actual people there. Go talk to them and enjoy their company, because when you’re talking, you’re not eating. 
  • Calories aren’t just found in food. That holiday punch can pack a wallop when it comes to calories, so watch what you drink and try to limit your alcohol consumption. As an alternative, opt for sparkling water.
  • When all else fails, you can always bring your own food. That way you know there’s at least something you can eat.
  • After a tough day’s shopping at the local mall, just about anything at the food court looks good. Avoid this fate by bringing healthy snacks to tide you over or better yet, make sure you eat a quality meal before you hit the stores.

While holiday food is great, it’s not the only reason for the season. Take advantage of everything the holidays have to offer - fun, family and joy - and you can still enjoy a slim and trim you when the new year rolls around.

The Bigger Picture

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

 It’s human nature to ponder the meaning of our existence. We question why we’re here or if we’re alone in the universe. We’re a very curious species. In ancient Greece, the great philosopher Socrates would gather like-minded thinkers in the marketplace to search for answers. But these days who has the time to stand around and debate the meaning of life?

Enter these humble podcasts: 

Onbeing. This Peabody award-winning podcast is about life and living. Featuring journalist Krista Tippett, and numerous guests, the show gathers wisdom on what it means to be human. The topics covered are as broad and varied as people are, from philosophy to current events to everything in between.

The One You Feed. This podcast, with hosts Eric Zimmer and Chris Forbes, is based around a parable of two wolves. One of them is good and represents things like kindness, bravery and love. Its counterpart, the bad wolf, represents darker emotions like greed, hatred and fear. The duo explores the human condition to show listeners how to move in a positive direction - in other words, how to feed their good wolf.

Note to Self.  We live surrounded by technology, but do we really think about it beyond how to use it? How does it change how we interact with each other and how we think about the world? Host Manoush Zomorodi examines these questions and more.

If understanding yourself and others interests you, exploring these podcasts may help you find the answers you’re looking for. 

Good luck and happy listening.

5 Fun Holiday Crafts

on Tuesday, 28 November 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s holiday time! If you’re not convinced, take a walk through any store. Whether its pumpkins for fall, scary monsters for Halloween or red and green tinsel for Christmas, if you haven’t seen it yet, rest assured you will.

If you want to get in on the holiday fun, you don’t need to shell out your hard-earned money to buy something off the shelves. Instead you can make it yourself. Here are some ideas to get started:

For everyone who’s had an ugly holiday sweater gathering dust in their closet and wondered what to do with it, wonder no more. Now put that sweater to use in these holiday ornaments

You could spend a fortune on an exquisite wreath for the holidays… or you could just make it yourself. Some glue, a few supplies from your local store, an hour’s work and you’re there.

Try a touch of rustic decor to add to your holiday spirit. Check out this light-up Christmas sign made with unfinished wood slats.

Those dollar store candles can do more than just light up your holiday. With a little effort, you can create your own snowman candles.

Whether you’re looking for a cheap contribution to the office Christmas party, or just want to spread a little holiday cheer, these reindeer candy bars are sure to be a hit.

With these holiday crafts you can brighten up any occasion, so why buy it when you can make it? Here's to a happy and creative holiday!

Give Thanks by Giving Back

on Tuesday, 21 November 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Thanksgiving is a time for fun and family and maybe a little turkey and football. It’s also a time to count your blessings and to give thanks, and there’s no better way to do it than by passing on some blessings to others.

Everyone has some talent or skill, and chances are you have one that might benefit others. Why not share it by teaching a class in your local community center? You’re not just giving others a one-time gift, you are imparting knowledge and experience that will last someone a lifetime.

Pick an organization to support. Whether it’s a well known charity like the Girl Scouts or the Make-a-Wish Foundation, or a small place like your local food bank, take the opportunity to make a contribution, however small, to someone else’s life. 

Because we make such a big deal about holidays in our society, we tend to remember them. A good holiday memory can last a lifetime, so why not make sure others have the chance to experience one? Give some toys, food or decorations to the less fortunate, and make someone’s Thanksgiving or Christmas a little brighter.

People aren’t the only ones who could use a little holiday cheer. Bring some blankets, dog food or pet toys to the animal shelter. In many cases you’re not just giving a holiday memory; you’re giving life.

There are countless other ways to give back, many of them small. Donate blood or give an extra generous tip. Bring treats to the office or write a thank you note to someone who has helped you. Sometimes the best way to give thanks is to give back.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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