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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.

Kids and Summer Reading

on Tuesday, 01 August 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Well, the kids are out of school, and now your thoughts have turned to how they’re going to spend their summer. With a ton of warm days ahead, there are plenty of activities to go around— camps, seminars, vacations and more.

That doesn’t mean the ‘book’ learning has to stop though. Here are some fun summer books that will keep them entertained and maybe even teach them a thing or two.

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. A shy bookworm as a child, the author recalls her days negotiating a slippery slope of friendships, school bullies and an unpredictable older sister.  

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Winner of the 2017 Newbery Award, this book tells the tale of a special girl and the witch who raised her.

The Wolf’s Boy by Susan Williams Beckhorn.  Kai, an outcast from his tribe, joins forces with a young wolf to survive the coming Ice Age winter.

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken.  Sometimes the worst blunders can lead to the most amazing things. Join the author as she takes you on an illustrated look at some the biggest mistakes in history and how they turned out.

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami. It’s 1945, and Maria Singh, the daughter of Indian and Mexican immigrants, dreams of playing softball in the first girls’ team in Yuba City, California. She’ll soon find she has a far greater challenge in front of her. Does she have what it takes to meet it?

So pick up some of these for your kids. There’s still plenty of time to get in some good summer reading!

The Best Lemonade Ever

on Tuesday, 25 July 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

If life gives you lemons… well, you know the rest. People quickly found lemonade was a great way to beat the heat, and from there it went on to become the summer classic we all know and love.

So how do you like your lemonade? If you’re looking for the best lemonade ever, or maybe a new twist, here are a few recipe ideas, all of them made from natural ingredients rather than concentrate.

Classic lemonade is pretty simple: just water, fresh lemons, sugar and some ice. The art comes in getting these ingredients blended together in just the right proportions, and these classic recipes from Taste of Home and Allrecipes do just that.

If you’re trying to cut down on the sugar, why not use a natural substitute? This orange lemonade recipe uses the naturally sweeter orange to do the job.

You don’t have to stop with oranges either. For something a little different, try adding some new flavors to create lavender or peach lemonade.

For a little extra kick, you can try sparkling ginger lemonade.

Want your lemonade to be patriotic as well as refreshing? This red, white and blue lemonade may be just the thing.

You can even get more exotic if you want with just a little bit of extra effort. J. Kenji López-Alt is the managing culinary director of Serious Eats, and has a few new takes on lemonade including spicy strawberry jalapeno lemonade and Brazilian lemonade.

With all these choices, you’re bound to find just the flavor for you. Have a great and refreshing summer!

Care-Giving for the Care-Giver

on Tuesday, 18 July 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Caring for a loved one with a chronic illness can be beautiful and rewarding, but it can also be a grueling, emotional ride. And though your primary focus is on the needs of another, it’s important to take care of your needs as well.

One of the best ways to do that is to accept help.

Review your situation to determine what type of help you need. Make a list and let the potential helper choose. Even something as simple as having another person do some shopping for you can give you a welcome break. Letting other people help isn’t a failure on your part; it’s smart care management.

You should also find out about the available resources in your neighborhood. There may be care-giving services available like medical transportation or classes to teach you more about the disease your loved one is facing.

Chances are you’re not the only one facing this difficult situation. If there’s one available in your area, you may also consider joining a support group. These groups can help you with problem-solving strategies for difficult situations as well as providing encouragement and the chance to create friendships.

Your health matters too. Make sure to eat properly, get the sleep you need and get some exercise. Study after study has shown that healthy people are able to cope with stress better and solve problems more easily.

Caregiving can be a tough road, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. For more information on some of the resources available, you can visit the National Alliance for Caregiving.

Keep Safe in the Water This Summer

on Tuesday, 11 July 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The summer sun is baking everything in sight. You can watch the heat ripple and you wonder how everything doesn’t melt like one of those clocks in a Salvador Dali painting. Sounds like a great time for a swim. But while you’re imagining that cool water washing over you, it’s also a time to remember some basic swimming safety.

  • Never Swim Alone. Swimming is not only more fun with friends, it’s also safer. Even if you’re healthy and are a good swimmer, you’re still at risk of drowning. Swimming alone dramatically increases that risk.
  • Don’t swim while using drugs or alcohol. Safe swimming requires good coordination and good judgment, and drugs and alcohol make those a lot harder.
  • Children are at particular risk of drowning. Never leave a young child unattended near the water and don’t trust a child’s life to another child.
  • Protect your skin. Being in the water not only washes off any sunscreen you may have applied, but actually magnifies the effect of the sun on your skin. Limit your exposure during the hours of 10am to 4pm, and make sure to reapply sunscreen if you’ve been in the water for a while.
  • Drink plenty of water. Playing in the sun and surf can dehydrate you far more quickly than you think.
  • Learn to Swim. It may seem obvious, but a surprising number of Americans can’t swim. It’s your best defense against drowning. Many organizations like the Red Cross offer learn-to-swim courses.

Swimming can be great exercise and a great way to cool off. With these few simple precautions, you can make sure everyone has a great (and safe) time.

Some Explosive Fireworks Facts

on Tuesday, 04 July 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

July 4th is here, and it’s time to help Uncle Sam celebrate another birthday. And what better way to celebrate than with fireworks? Where did these little nighttime wonders come from? Read on to find out some fun facts about this Independence Day staple.

What’s for Dinner?One legend has it that fireworks were accidentally discovered 2,000 years ago by a Chinese cook who mixed charcoal, sulfur and saltpeter together. These were apparently common kitchen ingredients back then.

No Cure for the Firework Blues.Today’s fireworks come in all sorts of colors - except blue that is. Even after thousands of years, there still isn’t a proven chemical combination to make bright blue fireworks.

Better Living through Chemistry.Different colors of fireworks are created with different combinations of metallic powders. Calcium, for example, produces the color orange, while sodium makes yellow, and barium makes green.

The Happiest Place on Earth.If you love fireworks, Walt Disney World may be just that. No other company in the world consumes as many fireworks as the House of Mouse.

Quiet, Please.Not everyone loves fireworks. The Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise campaigned against the use of fireworks and helped create the first fireworks laws in the United States.

The Fabric of Our Lives.That’s one of the slogans for the cotton industry, and it’s doubly true for those who make fireworks. Synthetic clothing like polyester can create sparks from static that could detonate fireworks.

Have a happy 4th of July, and if your celebration does include fireworks, take the appropriate steps to keep it a safe one!

Kids and Summer Freedom

on Tuesday, 27 June 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

As summer gets underway, the question many people have on their minds is which characters will survive the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. For those who have children, some other equally important questions pop up: what will the kids do this summer, and how much freedom should I give them?

Summer is a great time for your kids to learn new skills, make new friends and have experiences they wouldn’t normally get during the school year. The summer schedule is full of opportunities for them to go to camp, hone their basketball or clarinet skills, or learn how to swim. The good part about these camps and classes is that the kids will be supervised and have a structure to their days. 

Not every day needs to be planned, however.  It’s important to give them some down time to learn and grow on their own. You’ll still want to set some guidelines such as curfew times and keeping you informed of their whereabouts. It can be a fine balancing act.

The best of both worlds is to involve your kids. Talk to them and find out what they want to do.  Let them plan some of their activities and adventures. It gives you a chance to be more involved in their lives and helps them take some responsibility for what they do. 

You and your kids have a whole glorious summer in front of you, and with a little planning everyone can make the most of it. For some other ideas about how to spend the summer, check out this link from

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