Stay in touch Facebook

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.

Intentional Wellness

on Tuesday, 27 February 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

This time of year, coming down with some illness seems inevitable, doesn’t it? It just seems a matter of time until it finds you. Well, there’s nothing inevitable about it, and staying healthy doesn’t have to be a matter of luck. It’s called ‘Intentional Wellness.’ Here are some ways to practice it:

Get a flu-shot. It may seem obvious, but too many people pass on this first line of defense. A flu shot can significantly reduce your chances of getting sick. It becomes even more critical if you frequently come into contact with young children, the elderly or other vulnerable groups.

Wash your hands. Again, it’s another obvious one, but one that gets overlooked in the rush of the day. Hand washing helps prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria, and is particularly important whenever you eat or touch your nose or mouth, or use the restroom.

Bundle Up. Yes, bulky sweaters and coats may be unfashionable, but so is sitting home in bed with a half-empty box of tissues. Research has shown that warmer body temperatures can prevent the spread of the common cold virus.

Get enough sleep. If you’re tired and groggy, chances are your immune system is too. A few nights of shortened sleep cycles can quickly wear your body down and put a serious damper on your immune system.

Don’t stress out. Prolonged exposure to even low levels of stress can put a strain on your body and, of course, every system in it. Since you can’t always avoid stress, find ways to help combat it like aromatherapy, a brisk workout or meditation.

Good health is a matter of good habits rather than good luck, so practice these habits for a safe and healthy winter.

Increase Your Savings and Decrease Your Debt This Year

on Tuesday, 20 February 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

You hear from ‘financial experts’ all the time about how to save more and spend less, especially this time of year when many of us are about to face a reckoning for all that holiday cheer we bought. Some of the advice may seem silly, but you actually can increase your savings and decrease your debt.

The first step is to analyze where your money is going and why. Make a budget and commit to it. With a budget, you’ll have to choose priorities. While you’re committing to a budget, you’ll also want to establish a savings plan. Savings can quickly evaporate if you’re not dedicated to replenishing and growing them. Figure out how much you can stash away and then stick to your plan.

A great way to save is through your employer. If your company offers matching 401k plans, take advantage of them. It’s hard to beat a plan that doubles your investment.

Remember that everything is negotiable, and that includes the interest rates on any credit cards or loans you might have. See if you can qualify for a lower rate and keep some of that money ‘in-house.’

Try to pay your highest-interest loans off first. As a general rule, if the interest rate is greater than 7 percent, you’ll probably save more in interest than you would by keeping the money and investing it elsewhere.

Just like with a workout plan, the important thing is to keep working at it, even when you don’t see immediate results. With a little time and patience, you can build a strong and healthy financial future.

Set A Hot Date… with your Spouse!

on Tuesday, 13 February 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Dating your spouse? It seems almost strange since you’re already married, but dating is exactly how you became interested in each other in the first place. So this Valentine’s Day, spice things up by setting a hot date with that special someone in your life.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Did you have the time of your life during your honeymoon? Why not try it again. Recreate some of those special moments, even if you don’t leave the house.
     
  • The couple that learns together stays together. Delve into the history of classical composers with an online class at the local college; attend a wallpaper hanging class at the hardware store or spring for a wreath making session. The options are endless.
     
  • You could also try playing a game together. Co-op gaming is all the rage these days, so grab a controller and bring a special friend along. Whether you’re slaying evil monsters, solving cryptic puzzles or building the perfect digital town, you’re certain to find just the right digital getaway.
     
  • For something a little less taxing, try a picnic. Yes, it’s probably cold and snowy outside, so do it indoors… by candlelight… with soft music… well, you get the idea.

Whatever activities you and your spouse find for Valentine’s Day, the important thing is to do something together. Even if it isn’t fancy or other people’s idea of a ‘hot date’, it’s how great memories and great marriages are made.

Adding More Movement to Your Day

on Tuesday, 06 February 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

You wake up, go to the office and sit in front of a computer all day. Your eyeballs are about the only parts of your body that are getting any exercise. You know you should move around more, but who has the time for that?

Well… you’d be surprised what you can squeeze into a busy day. Try these suggestions to get out of that chair and give your eyes a much needed breather.

Take the stairs. You’ll get some exercise, save some time and avoid being crammed into an elevator. What’s not to like?

Park and walk. Instead of circling around like a vulture waiting for that perfect parking space to open near the door, take the opportunity to do a little walking.

Get a sit-to-stand Desk. Standing rather than sitting may not seem like much, but it can help prevent cramping, stiff muscles and back problems that chronic chair-sitters experience. According to one study it may also lower your blood sugar and surprisingly… burn more calories.

Deskercise. You don’t need a full-fledged gym to add some movement to your day. Here are some exercises you can try even if you’re tethered to a phone for hours at a time.

Volunteer. The meeting’s about to start, but someone needs to go down to the printer on the next floor to get the sales reports you’re going to be reviewing. Volunteer to go get them. Within reason, volunteer for anything that gets you up and moving around.

Most of all, commit to move. It only takes a few minutes of your day, and even a few little things each day can add up to a big difference into your health.

What’s New This Tax Season?

on Tuesday, 30 January 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Yes, it’s that happy time of the year when we crunch numbers, dig up old receipts, sweat a little and then send our yearly financial summary off to be graded by the IRS. So what changes are in store this year?

As with every new tax year, there will be incremental increases in the standard deduction and personal exemption amounts. This article from Forbes provides a good summary of the new numbers for 2018.

So what else is happening beyond these annual changes? 

The tuition and fees deduction will disappear. Previously you were able to claim this deduction as a subtraction to income even if you weren’t able to itemize. The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifelong Learning Tax Credit, two other popular deductions, will remain the same.

Another change is to the Earned Income Tax Credit. While this credit hasn’t been eliminated by any means, it may be a little more difficult to claim. In an effort to crack down on fraud, the new PATH Act prevents the IRS from sending out refunds before February 15th to anyone claiming the credit.

Indebtedness related to home foreclosure will also look a little different. Due to the housing crisis about a decade ago, taxpayers were able to discharge up to $2 million dollars of indebtedness. That will no longer be an option starting with your 2017 tax return.

For more information on these changes, as well as for general tax questions, you can visit the IRS website. As always, if you have concerns, please consult a qualified tax professional before filing your return.

Saying Thanks with a Compliment

on Tuesday, 23 January 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Two, four, six, eight… who do you appreciate?

It may be a family member, your best friend, your coworker or that awesome second-grade teacher you still keep in touch with. Have you stopped to thank these wonderful souls and let them know how much you appreciate everything they do? If not, there’s no time like the present. If you still need a little encouragement though, there’s always National Compliment Day. 

This January 24th holiday, created in 1998 by New Hampshire residents Kathy Chamberlin and Debby Hoffman, was designed to showcase the power of compliments. Compliments can instill confidence in children and adults alike. They can improve the mood around our offices, the efficiency in our homes and the productivity in our schools. If that weren’t enough, they can lead to less stress and healthier lives.

Sounds pretty complimentary, right?

If you’d like to give someone that long overdue thank you, here are some things to remember:

Try to be original. Take some time to reflect on what it is about the other person that you admire and build your compliment from there.

Try to be sincere. Nothing is worse than fake compliments. Give a compliment because you mean it, not because you’re expected to.

Try not to manipulate. The point of giving compliments is to show appreciation, not to maneuver someone into doing what you want. 

So don’t let National Compliment Day pass you by. Better yet, make any day a compliment day and let others know how much you appreciate what they do.

<<  1 2 3 4 [56 7 8 9  >>