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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.

Summer Family Fun

on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Summertime is a great time to be active with your family, but we can easily get bored with the same activities over and over again. Make this summer even more fun by trying some exciting new adventures.

Reach new heights by learning to rock climb. Interesting landscapes across the country challenge climbers to develop their skills and their strength. Experienced guides keep you safe and teach the correct methods. If you can’t stand the heat, look for an indoor climbing gym. There you can tackle climbing walls from beginner to expert without setting foot outdoors.

While ice skating might bring to mind thoughts of Christmastime instead of a hot July summer, indoor ice skating rinks can offer a cool break during the summer months. Look for open skating days to spend just a few hours, or you can sign up for a summer camp. This is a great way to get some exercise, have fun with the family and stay cool at the same time.

Looking for a different water sport to try? Experiment with paddle boarding. Kids and grown-ups alike can learn to paddle board. The paddler stands on a small boat, shaped similar to a surf board, and uses a long paddle to steer the craft across the water. You can paddle on lakes or at beaches. This activity increases both strength and balance.

Summertime might be hot, but you don’t have to just sit inside. Wherever this summer takes you, go out and have fun as a family. Keep fitness and safety in mind and you are sure to have a magnificent summer season.

Fun on the Fourth

on Tuesday, 02 July 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The Fourth of July is Independence Day. This federal holiday is often associated with fireworks, picnics, parades and family get-togethers. Here are some fun red, white, and blue activities to help you celebrate this year.

Gather your neighbors and friends to start a new neighborhood tradition; the Fourth of July parade. Kids can decorate their bikes or a wagon with items from around the house. Costumes are a fun addition too. Designate the time and location for participants to gather, and off marches the parade.

Small fireworks can add sizzle to your celebration for just a few dollars. Use sparklers to draw designs and write your name against the night sky. Tiny snappers get thrown on the ground for a big bang. Although small, these items are still fireworks. Be sure to use sparklers and snappers with care in a large, open area to prevent accidents.

A package of food colors can turn everyday sweets into patriotic masterpieces. Add color to ordinary white frosting, cake batter, or cookie dough. Be careful to add just a few drops at a time to reach just the right shade. You’ll have fun baking, decorating, and eating these holiday treats.

Get creative while making Independence Day decorations. Glittery fabric paints make beautiful firework designs on a solid t-shirt. You can build a flag windsock using blue construction paper with red and white crepe paper. For tiny tots, find printable coloring pages online featuring holiday themes.

The Fourth of July should be a time to come together with family and friends to celebrate the history of the United States of America. These ideas will give everyone an unforgettable Independence Day without breaking the bank.

Beat the Heat

on Tuesday, 25 June 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Last Friday was the first day of summer, and we all know with summer comes the heat! It's so important to be aware of the dangers of heat and how to keep safe.

Elderly people (that is, people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons:

  • Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
  • They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.
  • They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

Help Protect Elderly Relatives and Neighbors

If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, you can help them protect themselves from heat-related stress:

  • Visit older adults at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Encourage them to increase their fluid intake by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages regardless of their activity level.
  • Warning: If their doctor generally limits the amount of fluid they drink or they are on water pills, they will need to ask their doctor how much they should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Take them to air-conditioned locations if they have transportation problems.

Know how to Protect Yourself

You can follow these prevention tips to protect yourself from heat-related stress:

  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages. (If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink when the weather is hot. Also, avoid extremely cold liquids because they can cause cramps.)
  • Rest.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • If possible, seek an air-conditioned environment. (If you don't have air conditioning, consider visiting an air-conditioned shopping mall or public library to cool off.)
  • Wear lightweight clothing.
  • If possible, remain indoors in the heat of the day.
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities.

Whatever your outside summer plans are, remember to consider the temperatures and plan accordingly. Be smart and stay safe.

Stay Hydrated

on Tuesday, 18 June 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Summer Sports Training

Summer is here and with it comes heat and more heat. That means it’s really essential that we pay attention to staying hydrated.

Dehydration is a serious matter and nothing to mess around with. Seniors, children, and anyone with an acute or chronic medical condition are especially at risk.

What can you do?

If you have a medical condition, you will want to consult your doctor to see if there are any special considerations about the types and amounts of fluid you should drink.

All the rest of us have a little more flexibility. We just need to be certain we are drinking enough fluid to keep our bodies well hydrated so they can function the way they should.

Here are some fun ways to stay hydrated and keep the glass of _____ interesting!

  • Freeze 100% fruit juice in ice cube trays and add a couple to your ice cold water or seltzer.
  • Make fruit juice popsicles for the kids (and the kid in you!).
  • Stash some washed, stemmed whole strawberries in the freezer to use as ‘ice cubes’ in your water bottle.
  • Make a thin fruit smoothie using water, ice cubes, and a few pieces of frozen fruit such as strawberries, peaches, mango, pineapple, or melon.
  • Squeeze a wedge of lemon and lime into your water bottle for a thirst-quenching pick-you-up.
  • Sip, sip, sip!

Two words of caution --

  • limit the caffeine as it works against you when you are trying to stay hydrated in the summer heat.
  • limit high sugar drinks as they will actually make you more thirsty.

Enjoy your summer and stay hydrated!

Thanks Dad!

on Thursday, 13 June 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

What are the 5 most important things you learned from your father?

Father’s Day is right around the corner on this Sunday, June 16, 2013. This is a good time to give some thought to what the ‘old man’ taught you and show him appreciation for it. Even if your dad is no longer around, it can be beneficial for you to take a few minutes and remember the tips and life wisdom he gave you as you were growing up.

Maybe he taught you how to swing a hammer (without hitting your thumb!), or how to grill a juicy burger.

Maybe he taught you how to show respect for your mother, or how to get the most value from your education.

Maybe he taught you how to protect yourself, or how to change the oil in your car (without getting covered with it!).

Maybe he taught you how to enjoy the quiet, or how to be the rowdiest hockey fan in the room.

Maybe he taught you how to frost a cake (and cover all the crumbs!), or how to grow the best vegetables on the block.

Whatever your dad taught you, however small and seemingly insignificant or important and profound, he did the best he could with raising you and now is your opportunity to pay back and show appreciation for it.

Take a few minutes and sit down and write out those 5 most important things you got from dear old dad, then say... “Thanks!”

Graduation Gifts

on Tuesday, 04 June 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s that time of year! Time to celebrate the high school or college graduate in your life. Graduation is a big stepping stone to the next exciting, sometimes scary chapter in a young adult’s life. They are smart, they are educated, and in some ways they think they are invincible while at the same time, they are shaking in their shoes!

Your gift to them is a demonstration of how proud you are of their achievements, and how confident you are that they will succeed in the coming years.

But coming up with the perfect gift can be a real challenge, especially if cost is a factor in your decision. That’s when you need to get creative!

Here are 5 health and fitness ideas under $100 to get you started:

• Bluetooth Earbuds

• Spa Gift Card - Any fitness buff will appreciate a gift certificate to the spa, where she can wind down any way she chooses.

• Research the grad’s college campus to see what stores and restaurants are nearby. If the graduate bicycles to school or work, give a gift card to a nearby bike shop.

• Where Chefs Eat - New city? New restaurants to try. Give the grad some help finding tasty food to eat with this unique book or a book just about their new city or region. 

• Kettlebells - For resistance training right in the dorm room or new apartment.

If you have a bit more money to spend for your graduate’s gift, you can go high-tech with an iPad, bicycle, or noise-canceling headphones.

Whatever gift you give, give it with best wishes for the future, and congratulations for a job well done!

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