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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.

Understanding Alzheimer’s

on Tuesday, 07 November 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Few diseases are more terrifying than Alzheimer’s, and few have such a devastating effect on families. Across the U.S., more than 5.5 million suffer from this condition. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that can rob its victims of not only their memories, but knowledge of how to perform basic day-to-day functions such as using the bathroom or getting dressed. 

About 1 in 8 adults over 65 suffer from it, with women slightly more likely to be afflicted than men. And it doesn’t just affect older people either. More than 200,000 people under the age of 65 suffer from early-onset Alzheimer’s.

While Alzheimer’s is sometimes referred to as “Old Timer’s Disease”, it’s not a normal part of aging. Instead, the disease breaks down brain tissue over time. As it progresses, protein deposits called beta-amyloid plaques build up in the brain. Another effect is that nerve cells get tangles, called neurofibrillary tangles. If you can imagine normal nerve functioning as a straight string, Alzheimer’s causes that string to tie itself in knots.

Scientists still aren’t completely sure what causes it, or why it affects some and not others. Despite years of research, there is no known cure. It’s usually a progressive disease, rather than an acute one. Many who suffer from Alzheimer’s have lived with it for years, or even decades. Some risk factors include high cholesterol and high blood pressure, though genetics plays an extremely important part as well.

If someone you know is suffering from Alzheimer’s, there are resources available that might help. The federal government has an information portal with all sorts of links. And if you’re looking for care solutions, the National Association of Aging has some great resources as well.

What to Do With Too Much Candy

on Tuesday, 31 October 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Your Halloween loot has Gobstoppers, Reese’s Pieces, fireballs, candy corn, caramel-apple flavored somethings, and that’s just the beginning. The list goes on and on and…

Well, let’s just say you have a lot of candy on your hands. What in the world are you going to do with it all?

Donate it.Truth be told, kids aren’t the only ones who like candy. Throw it into a communal bowl at the office. Not only do you get it out of your house, but you’ll generate goodwill among your coworkers, a win-win for all.

Combine it.If your haul has a lot of chocolate in it (or even if it doesn’t) throw in some nuts, raisins or dried fruit and you have yourself a great trail mix.

Transform it.Chop it up, grind it up, crush it, melt it or mash it, but above all put it to use. Create your own milkshakes or cookies. Dissolve it in your coffee or use it as an additive in stronger drinks. Use it for ice cream sprinkles or to top a cake. The possibilities are endless.

Craft it. Use your leftover candy to create decorations and tasty concoctions for Christmas. Make a gingerbread house with it. You can even use the sugar and other chemicals found in many candies to do your own science experiments.

If you’re creative about it, there’s no such thing as too much candy. So have some fun with it, and if you want to hoard a little for yourself… well, we won’t tell.

Spooky Halloween Trivia

on Tuesday, 24 October 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Spooks and spirits, ghosts and ghouls, leering pumpkins and enough candy flowing around to fill a dump truck. If you’re seeing any of these things in your neighborhood, it can only mean it’s time for everyone’s favorite scary holiday. Want to find out some unusual facts about this holiday that’s become the biggest commercial sales event this side of Christmas? Read on to find out.

  • You just go to the door and ask for treats, right? Well, it didn’t used to be that easy. Back in the Middle Ages, it was customary to sing and dance for your Halloween goodies.
     
  • Your haunted house might have some super-sized competition. Listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s longest haunted house, the Haunted Cave in Lewisburg, Ohio is 3,564 feet of spooky fun.
     
  • It’s no secret people like candy corn. In fact, nearly 35 million pounds of it are produced each year.
     
  • Writing Halloween poetry can be tricky sometimes, since there aren’t any words in the dictionary that directly rhyme with orange, the color of pumpkins.
     
  • The first city in the U.S. to celebrate Halloween was Anoka, Minnesota in 1921.
     
  • Halloween is about love. Really? Yep, traditions like apple bobbing were an important part of matchmaking in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, and women would often eat sweets before going to bed so they could dream of their future husband.
     
  • Illinois, California, New York, and Ohio produce more than 100 million pounds of pumpkins each year.

So there you go. Have a safe and happy Halloween.

Reinventing Yourself

on Tuesday, 17 October 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” 
                  ~ Anonymous

Chances are you may have heard a variation of this quote at some point. It speaks to the power we have to reinvent ourselves on a daily basis. In effect, it’s a 24-hour ‘reset’ button we can use to get things back on track. Here’s how to put that reset to use:

  • The first thing to do is start with a vision of the future you want. Although you don’t know exactly how you’ll get there, you’ll need to have an idea of what the destination looks like. It’s not unlike writing down your goals or creating a five-year plan.
     
  • Examine your relationships with other people. Like it or not, the company you keep is a reflection of you, and they will play a large role in how you see yourself. If you surround yourself with upbeat people, it will rub off on you.
     
  • Break the bad habits you’ve acquired. Chances are they play a role in bringing you to the point where you’re looking to reinvent yourself.
     
  • Update your environment by surrounding yourself with positive imagery. Brighten up a dreary work space. Change a cluttered workspace into a clean and efficient one, and you’ll notice a cleaner, more efficient you.

It might all sound daunting, but not if you break it into smaller, more manageable pieces. Select smaller goals and work on them, all the while moving towards completing the overall task.

Change isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely possible. Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it a great one.

Leaf Art

on Tuesday, 10 October 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

If you take a look outside in the fall, you can’t help but be dazzled by the gorgeous array of colors on display. If you’re an artist, you may even want to capture some of that beauty on canvas. Why not take it a step further and use the genuine colors themselves? That’s right. We’re talking about leaf art.

The beauty of this type of art is that you don’t even have to be an actual artist. Nature already has everything you need to create stunning masterpieces of your very own. Here are just a few of the many ways leaves can be used to make gorgeous art:

If you’re looking for decorating ideas for your next fall party, why not turn the colors of fall into equally colorful confetti?

Canvases can be expensive, so save some money by using leaves. A little paint and you’re all set to create.

 If you prefer to work with the natural beauty of leaves, you can preserve them using this handy wax technique from Martha Stewart.

With a color photocopier and some imagination, you can also turn some of those beautiful leaves into great looking wall art.

You don’t have to stop with traditional art either. You can use leaves to make all sorts of things from picture frames to headbands to holiday decorations. There are limitless possibilities.

There is no sense in letting nature’s bounty go to waste, so get out there and start creating. For more inspiration, check out these great projects on Pinterest.

Walking for Stress Relief

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

Has your day got you tied up in knots? Do you feel a frustrated scream building up inside you to the point you’re ready to burst? Does every little thing in your environment set your teeth on edge? If so, it’s a good indication you might be under a bit of stress.

The good news is that you’re not alone, and there are tons of great ways to help relieve stress. In fact, one of the best ways might also be the easiest. Take a good old-fashioned walk.

Spending time in the great outdoors is not only a way to blow off a little steam, but it’s proven to help reduce stress. A study by the University of Edinburgh found that people's stress levels are directly related to the amount of green space around them. A brisk walk can also boost feel-good endorphins in your body that help ward off stress and can alleviate mild depression.

Taking a walk also gets you away from the factors that are causing your stress. Whether it’s a noisy house or a busy office, stepping away gives your mind a chance to wander. You may be able to see the situation in a new light.

You can even take it a step further and choose a fun walking companion. It can not only give you the chance to have a little fun and share and joke or two, but it gives you a chance to talk out your problems.

So if you’ve already squeezed your stress ball into unrecognizable goo, take a walk and enjoy the world around you.

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