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Thoughts & Tips from The Doctor of Fitness: Fitness Trainer, Nutrition Expert, & Sports Medicine Physician

We write informally on topics we're passionate at Doctor Of Fitness - fitness, strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, sports medicine, and edge fitness and nutrition news. If you'd like to reach us directly, you can contact us here. For more information, you're invited to read Dr. Mancini's C.V. and informal bio.

Games to Play on a Road Trip

on Tuesday, 20 September 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

One hour before hitting the road: Is there anything more delightful and exhilarating than a road trip?

After one hour on the road: Is there anything more long and boring than a road trip?

That’s why car games were invented, to save the road trip!

We know the usual ones—I Spy, the Alphabet Game, Spotting License Plates. And while they’re easy to play, these tried and true heroes of the open road, they can also get a little dull, too. 

So let’s try something different!

Would You Rather…? is a game for all ages. Everyone takes turns questioning other passengers, and the answers can often spark some entertaining follow-up questions. It’s also a game that can be altered for additional silliness, like giving the choice between completely dissimilar things. For example: “Would you rather eat chocolate or dance?”

Guess Who I Am, also known as 20 questions, is an oldie but goodie. One person picks someone everyone should know, and the other players ask yes or no questions until someone guesses the correct answer. 

Movie games are popular to play in the car. One game involves describing the plot to a famous movie in a way that, while factual, is not the way most people would describe it. For example, “Little girl gets lost and makes new friends” for The Wizard of Oz.

Road trips don’t have to be boring if you have a game or two up your sleeve. Be prepared and have fun!

Educational (but Fun) Fall Road Trips

on Tuesday, 13 September 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Is there anything more enticing than the call of the open road? A journey where each exit may lead to abundant adventures? Where even getting lost in the middle of nowhere can become an epic escapade you and your fellow travelers can talk about for years?

Road trips come in all shapes and sizes from short jaunts to long excursions. You might bring the whole family or just one certain special someone. Regardless of your companions, any road trip can be both educational and fun.

Planning your journey is crucial, particularly the parts where you don’t actually have a plan. Things always seem to happen to upset the itinerary. These are the little things that can make the trip more memorable. Be sure to have some way to document these “side quests” with photos, video or just journaling.  

It’s natural to worry whether your passengers will enjoy the ride. Make sure to provide a way for everyone to charge their electronic devices and make sure they have earbuds/headphones. Plenty of snacks and ample bathroom breaks should be part of your plan. There are loads of ideas online for games to play in the car as well as apps available for your devices. Perhaps the group would enjoy listening to an audio book or song playlist that pertains to your destination. Use the opportunity for everyone to use their imaginations and create fun traditions.

Regardless of where you go, education can be built into every journey. Marvel at architecture and art. Pose questions like “why?” and “how?” and investigate. Genealogy and history are perfect topics to cover if visiting relatives. Check out roadside attractions, college campuses, historic landmarks, and nature centers. 

Traveling is one of the best ways to create long-lasting memories. Seize the day! Make your adventures extraordinary!

Patriot Day

on Tuesday, 06 September 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The events of September 11, 2001, are embedded in our memories, to such an extent that whenever we see the numbers together—whether it’s a reminder to call 911 in an emergency, or simply seeing 9:11 pop up on our phones or microwaves—we may momentarily revisit the events of that day. 

There are other numbers associated with that date that don’t immediately leap into our subconscious. For example, 343 firefighters and paramedics lost their lives because of the events of 9/11. Also, an estimated 3,051 children lost a parent. 

It’s not unusual for us to want to transform this anniversary from a day of tragedy into something positive. Today, over 30 million Americans observe 9/11, or Patriot Day, by engaging in various forms of charitable service. It’s an excellent opportunity to remember the casualties in those attacks by doing good deeds, volunteering or donating to charities—in essence, becoming a hero yourself. 

If you aren’t already involved with a charitable organization, a good place to start is Charity Navigator. This website provides ratings for most charities to help you avoid scams and fraudulent practices. 

You may choose to remember September 11 by learning more about the events that unfolded. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum, located at the World Trade Center in New York, has many resources.   

We are held together by our history and our shared experiences. When you are honoring the memory of those who died, don’t forget about the courage, sacrifices, and challenges so many faced that day, and in the days since, and honor them appropriately.

Planning Your Labor Day Celebration

on Tuesday, 30 August 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The first Monday in September signals the unofficial end of summer for most of us. Goodbye, fireflies. Goodbye, extra hours of daylight. Goodbye, lazy days by the pool.

It’s no wonder we look forward to having a Labor Day bash of some sort each year. For some of us, it might mean trying to squeeze in every last drop of summer before the season is over. Why not make it a big celebration this year?!

While it’s perfectly acceptable to plan a virtual Labor Day party, spending time outdoors is the traditional idea. If you’ve decided to have a cookout at your place this year, you can get a head start on your preparations now. Themed parties are always fun, and can give you a concept to work around. Perhaps you have leftover 4th of July decorations—use a red, white and blue theme. If you are stuck, check out these theme ideas.     

Food is obviously an important consideration for any get-together. Will you be doing all the cooking, or is a pot-luck your preference? Don’t forget to get your grill in shape for the grueling workout you’re planning. Want to try some new grilling recipes? How does grilled corn and turkey club kebabs sound?

As for activities, there are some great ideas on the internet.

Don’t let the end of summer pass you by without marking the occasion. Happy Labor Day!

Don’t Forget the School Supplies

on Tuesday, 23 August 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”

  • Confucius

According to Wikipedia, Confucius had 3 children. It’s doubtful that he would have had much time to be philosophical about education if he had to endure back-to-school shopping for his kids. Not only does it seem like the teachers request more and more every year, but kids have their own opinions about what they think they’ll need. 

One way to limit your spending, is to start with a shopping list. Check your school’s website to see if your child’s teacher has posted a list. Some local stores may have checklists that the schools have provided. If you are completely in the dark, this list is a good place to start. 

Watch for sales on back-to-school items. Whether you opt for online businesses or traditional retail stores, be sure to have your children’s sizes on hand in case you see price reductions on clothing and shoes. 

While it’s important to let your kids have a say in purchases that affect them, don’t feel pressure to indulge their every whim. Save yourself some time and money by requesting that your children each choose a color rather than a specific superhero/cute animal/pop sensation to grace the covers of their notebooks. 

A few tips for saving money:

  • Team up with other parents to buy in bulk and reduce shipping costs.
  • Many dollar stores accept manufacturer’s coupons. 
  • If your budget won’t allow the basics, here are ways to get free school supplies.
  • College students can sign up for special deals on electronics.
  • Can you reuse leftover supplies from last year? 

Back-to-school shopping is one of those annual traditions that parents must endure, but our kids and their education are important. Confucius would surely agree.

Getting Ready For School… At Any Age

on Tuesday, 16 August 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Before you know it summer will be over and the landscape will be dotted with big yellow buses. Yes, it’s back-to-school time! School days can be an exciting new adventure or they may cause a lot of tension. Let’s nip those worries in the bud with these tips that are helpful for all ages:

  1. Not knowing what to expect can cause anyone to have negative feelings. Visit the school’s website to gain as much information as you can. Attend any meet-the-teacher nights or call the school to arrange a tour. 
  2. Probably the most important skill anyone of us can acquire is paying attention. Increase your ability to focus by getting plenty of sleep, removing distractions (phones!), and developing routines. Practice listening without adding your own input. Instead, listen in order to ask a pertinent question. 
  3. Have a goal in mind. No matter a student’s age, they should get in the habit of choosing objectives. Younger children might want to tackle reading a longer “chapter book.” Older children might be interested in becoming a better artist or learning more about a certain period in history. 
  4. Don’t forget the social aspect of school. Children and adults alike wonder if they’ll be liked or ridiculed for saying the wrong thing or wearing the wrong thing. Talking about these fears with a loved one can reassure us that we are worthy of respect and friendship. 

Don’t forget—a positive attitude goes a long way towards any endeavor. Education empowers us to be better people, so don’t let apprehension stop you or your child from getting the most out of it.

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