Doctor Lee's Blog

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.

School’s Out— Now What?

on Tuesday, 21 June 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s about time for those annual cries from the kids: “I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!” Yes, as soon as school is out and the kids’ days are no longer full of structured activities, the boredom sets in. Did you know that boredom is actually good for kids? It helps stimulate their imagination and creativity. Of course, that knowledge does very little to help a busy adult when the children are complaining. 

Here are some ideas to help fight the boredom bug:

  • Plan themed days. Cartoon Day, for example, could be all about cartoons. Watching them or drawing them. Pancakes in the shape of cartoon characters. Wearing cartoon-themed clothing.
  • Have a talent show. Depending on the children’s ages, planning and rehearsing could take a few hours or a week or more. 
  • Make a movie. Here again, this is a project that could potentially last the whole summer. But even a small child can create a video—maybe one for every day this summer. 
  • Challenge them to learn new things. There are videos on many subjects and often there are classes for children at local museums or parks and rec centers.
  • Build and run an obstacle course in the backyard. It’s exercise for all ages!
  • Teach the kids a skill from your childhood. Remember jacks? Pick up sticks? If those are skills before YOUR time, you can learn together!

Your suggestions should guide the kids. Don’t try to do everything for them. Ensure that they are staying safe, and you’ll all have a summer full of fun memories.

Fun Things for Dad

on Tuesday, 14 June 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Sunday is Father’s Day, and when it comes to shopping for Dad, one thing is clear: all fathers are not the same. Not every dad wears a tie, yet sometimes that’s the only gift stores seem to recommend for Dad’s big day. So how can we find the perfect present?

What does your father like to do? Most dads have some sort of hobby or interest, and that’s a great place to start. If your dad is into sports, be it bowling or darts, there’s inevitably a sports channel that features shows about it. Does your dad subscribe to it? The same thing applies with other interests like opera, poker, automobiles or cooking. See if there are channels or courses you could purchase for Dad. 

What does Dad NOT like to do? Look at Dad’s chore list and see if there’s something you could make more enjoyable. Cleaning the floors can be done by robot vacuum cleaners now, and there are some very affordable choices out there. Power washers can accomplish many outdoor jobs, such as washing the car. Even washing the dishes can be fun with the right gadgets.

What about the gift of YOUR time? Sometimes all your dad really wants is to spend time with you. Help your father with a chore while you have a playlist from “back in his day” blasting in the background. Drag out the photo albums and ask Dad about his memories after dinner. 

Finding the perfect gift is really the result of a little thoughtfulness. Doesn’t Dad deserve that?

Budgeting for Summer Vacation

on Tuesday, 07 June 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Is it too late to schedule and take an affordable summer vacation this year? Not if you do a little planning! Here are a few tips to help you take a dream (or close enough) vacation this year:

  • Decide where you want to go and what you want to do, then see if a cheaper substitute will do. Paris might be wonderful, but what about Montreal? Think about the features you’re looking for—a beach maybe, or a foreign culture. Determine if there is a more affordable alternative. 
  • Explore discount websites like Scott’s Cheap Flights. Just be sure to check recent reviews of any similar websites to verify that they are reputable.
  • Estimate all potential costs before you ever leave home; flights, rental car costs, event tickets, gas, parking, ALL food (snack calories may not count when you’re on vacation, but the cost of those snacks count!), tips, etc. Look for events happening during your travel dates. You may find free festivals that could take the place of a more expensive event.
  • Explore ways to budget and “find” extra money. Compare your insurance costs. Can you save significantly? Do you have any subscriptions you could cancel? Look for ways to trim your monthly bills and put that money aside for your vacation fund.

A fun and affordable summer vacation can be in your near future. All it takes is a little time and a little planning.

Graduation Gifts

on Tuesday, 31 May 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Does it seem like the younger generation is harder to shop for than we were? It’s an age-old problem— how do we find the "perfect" gift for today's graduates?

Whether they’re graduating from high school or college, Generation Z, as they're called, is the first generation to have grown up online. They tend to be on social media and spend a lot of time on their cell phones. They would probably appreciate gaming gifts and wearable technologies.

Every graduate would be amenable to memorabilia from their alma mater— and luckily many schools have online stores where you can purchase shirts, gym bags, travel mugs, or even pennants. If your graduate attended an online university, look into creating a personalized sweatshirt online.

The best gifts are those that are personal, so try to find out about your graduate's hobbies or plans for the future. Maybe they would like a present related to their job search, like a new interview outfit or some things for their new apartment. Cookbooks and kitchen equipment are great gifts for those who are just starting out.

Try to personalize your gift by sending a video message to your recipient, congratulating them on their accomplishment or perhaps passing along a little advice. Think about how much you would have appreciated something similar from one of your family members.

Times change and so do our youth, but we all like it when someone is thoughtful and remembers us when we've reached a major milestone. It’s a gift that never goes out of style.

Flowers and Memorial Day

on Tuesday, 24 May 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Have you ever wondered why Memorial Day is in May? There’s actually a very practical reason for it. Originally called Decoration Day, this day was chosen to honor those who had died in the Civil War. Flowers or small flags were placed on graves. Since flowers would be in bloom all over the country by the end of May, this day made the most sense.

Red poppies became the official national emblem of remembrance in 1920. While technically classified as weeds, these flowers are resilient and make a wonderful addition to a cemetery if you’re allowed to plant there.

You'll notice that many flower arrangements and floral wreathes feature red, white and blue flowers. Roses, lilies and gladioli come in red and white, and irises, hydrangea and forget-me-nots come in blue. There are also many flowers that can be dyed any color, such as chrysanthemums and carnations. 

If you’re into choosing your flowers according to the meaning, peonies represent healing, and are usually looking their best at this time of the year. Pink carnations symbolize remembrance. Bright yellow tulips and daffodils are a symbol of renewal and fresh starts. The humble daisy signifies hope.

If you’re paying tribute to a family member who died while serving in the military, take a few minutes to research the meaning of the flowers you are choosing. You might find that your choice says a lot.

How Much Exercise Is Enough?

on Tuesday, 17 May 2022. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

One of the first things you need to figure out before beginning an exercise regimen is WHY you’re exercising. Do you have a weight loss goal? Are you striving to lower your stress? Do you just want to be in better overall health? Once you know why you're exercising, not only will you be able to build a personal program for yourself, but you'll have a good idea how often you will need to exercise to achieve your goals.

A daily 30-minute walk is recommended by most experts to improve your overall health. If you’re just starting out, it may take some time to work up to a half hour walk, but once you do, you'll find that you will start burning calories, lower your blood sugar levels and improve your mood and energy levels.

Exercising for weight loss is all about burning more calories than you consume. This means that in order to lose 1 1/2 pounds a week, you’ll need to reduce your daily calories by 500-750. While it's possible to lose weight by diet alone, you'll also lose muscle mass and bone density, so it's important to add aerobic and strength training to your weight loss program. Strength training exercises should be done at least twice per week, making sure you’re working all the major muscle groups. 

Is your physical health and well-being worth 30 minutes a day? Absolutely! Start slow, remember to warm up and stretch. As you get stronger and more fit, you'll be surprised to find you’re looking forward to your workout.

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