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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.

Senior Health Series: Alcohol and Drug Addiction

on Tuesday, 01 October 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Most people don’t see anything wrong with going out once in a while and having a few drinks. If they did, thousands of bars, pubs and other establishments would be out of business. Seniors are no exception here. However, millions of people also suffer from alcohol related problems, and unfortunately seniors are no exception there either.

Alcoholism doesn’t stop once you reach a certain age. Statistics show that more than one in ten hospital admissions of elderly patients are because of alcohol related problems. That’s a lot, and with seniors making up an increasing percentage of the population, those raw numbers are likely to climb.

When they drink heavily, seniors are especially at risk. They typically have less muscle mass to absorb alcohol, meaning it stays in their bloodstream longer and takes longer to get rid of. It also makes them more prone to falling, which in a senior’s case can cause serious injury. Drinking alcohol in excess can dramatically increase blood pressure and lead to heart attack, stroke and blurred vision. Add in the fact that many of the medications a senior might take don’t react well with alcohol and you literally have a prescription for disaster.

Like Alzheimer’s, gluten sensitivity or even the common cold, alcoholism is a disease and should be treated. The treatments options may include out-patient therapy, in-patient rehab or outside organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous.

It may be tempting to regard a senior and say: “they’ve earned the right to make their own decisions.” However intervention may be necessary. Remember you’re never too old to fall into bad habits, just as you’re never too old to start living a healthy lifestyle.

Senior Health Series: Nutrition and Hydration

on Tuesday, 24 September 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s no secret that the needs of your body change as you get older. Let's take a look at some of those changes, starting with the most basic requirements: food and water.

We all need to eat and drink, of course. Those needs don’t change. What changes are the amounts we need to eat and drink.

Fewer Calories. With less physical activity, less overall muscle mass and a slower metabolism, senior adults require fewer raw calories. If they keep the same diet as they’ve always had, they may experience an unhealthy weight gain.

The same amount of nutrients. While they may require fewer calories, seniors still need the same amount of nutrients. Therefore they should seek out nutrient-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish, and lean meat for protein and iron. Don’t forget ‘brain’ foods either. Research had shown that a diet rich in fatty omega-3 acids, such as those found in salmon, and folic acid, as contained in spinach, can help stave off the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Plenty of water. When it comes to staying hydrated, many seniors report not feeling as thirsty as they used to. Age doesn’t change the body’s need for water, so it’s important for these seniors to set reminders so they remember to keep their fluid intake up. For example, they may need to keep a bottle of water near their favorite chair or take one with them when they go out. Foods such as watermelon and cucumbers also have high water content and make an excellent addition to any senior’s diet.

A healthy diet can help seniors stay active and productive throughout their lives. For more information you can visit the National Council on Aging or check other online resources like Healthline.

Senior Health Series: Look In On Your Neighbor

on Tuesday, 17 September 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

As people grow older they often lose touch with family and friends, and find themselves more and more isolated. In fact, they may have little contact with anyone beyond the occasional conversation with a store clerk. This type of isolation is not only sad, it’s also dangerous.

If you have elderly neighbors, make it a point to look in on them on a regular basis. It’s often when we’re the most isolated that we need the greatest amount of help. Older people often have an established routine. They may go to the local McDonald’s every morning at 9am or check their mail every day at noon. When you check in on your neighbor, you learn to recognize those routines and you’ll get a good sense of when something’s amiss. That’s a great time to do a simple wellness check.

This check-in need not be anything fancy. You don’t have to spend your entire day with them and swap life stories. Simply go and knock on their door to see if all is well, or if they need anything. Find out if they have anyone they can call on if they need help. If you need to follow-up, you can check with your local county agency on aging. Another great resource is the National Council on Aging.

Take a moment to check in on your neighbor. It only takes a few minutes of your time, but it can make a big difference in an elderly person’s life.

Patriot Day — Heroes Abound

on Tuesday, 10 September 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

By summer’s end we’ve seen plenty of heroes on the silver screen. Some were animated and others wore capes. They’ve saved the world from all manner of evil-doers. Labor Day might mark the end of the summer blockbuster season, but it doesn’t mark the end of heroes.

There are still plenty of real-life heroes— many of them right here in your community. They work to make their communities and their nation stronger. What could be more patriotic than that and what better time to honor them than Patriot Day on September 11th?

When you think of heroes, the first people that may come to mind are policemen, firefighters and other first responders. They certainly did hero’s work on September 11th, and many of them continue to do great things in their communities every day. However heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They may be the teachers who stay after school to help troubled students or a janitor who helps restore a local park. They may even be a random passerby who stopped to help when no one else would. These types of heroes don’t wear capes, and often the small contributions they make go unsung. However, without them the world would be a much poorer place.

There are many ways to celebrate Patriot Day. You can visit a memorial or observe a moment of silence for those who fell. Another great way is to take a moment to recognize the heroes in your community, both large and small.

The Value of Community Service

on Tuesday, 03 September 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Look around you. Unless you live in a cave at the base of a mountain, you’ll probably see your community. It’s a vibrant place, full of different people and unique landmarks. It’s also a place that could use your special touch. There are plenty of reasons to get involved in your community.

Community service is a great way to get out and get some exercise. Whether you’re helping restore a waterway, planting trees or just getting out and delivering some hot meals, you’re going to be walking, talking and maybe even breaking a sweat.

Helping your community also helps you develop new skills. Consider pulling people together for new playground construction, organizing a luncheon for seniors or just helping out with a charity auction. You’re going to be utilizing skills you may not have needed in a while or even developing skills you never knew you had.

Community service ultimately involves people, so it’s a wonderful way to meet the people actually living in your neighborhood. You may be surprised to discover how many new friendships you’ll create. Each person has his or her own unique story and has a bit of special wisdom that can be shared with you.

We often complain about how the world isn’t the way we want it. Why not start working to change it? See what you can do today to make your community a better place to live. In the end, nothing beats the feeling of making a difference in someone else’s life.

Labor Day - Get Your Grill On!

on Tuesday, 27 August 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

If you’re one of those fortunate souls who gets the pleasure of a three-day Labor Day weekend, then you know summer’s last holiday wouldn’t be the same without one last big cookout. You may have experienced culinary fatigue and not gone near your grill in a while. Now’s your last chance to end the summer with a bang, and here are some recipes to do it.

An end-of-summer cookout wouldn’t be complete without a great burger, and this grilled herb burger certainly does the job. If you prefer your grilled entree on the spicier side, get a taste of New Orleans with this Cajun burger favorite.

Why get fries separate when you can just include them on your hotdog? Any Jersey resident will quickly recognize this boardwalk classic.

A kabob may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of a classic Labor Day cookout food, but that’s okay. These teriyaki pork kabobs may not be traditional, but they sure are tasty.

If you’re burned out on traditional hot dogs and burgers, take your grilling to international heights with some Caribbean inspired chicken.

Who doesn’t love a good rack of baby back ribs for Labor Day? The only problem (excuse the pun) is the labor involved. Reduce your worry with this easy path to the perfect rib.

The end of summer might mean you have to give up wearing white, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up on great food. These recipes are a great way to make your summer grilling a thing to remember.

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