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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.

Getting Your Child’s Education Back on Track

on Tuesday, 02 June 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It goes without saying that this school year has been unlike any other in recent memory. The scholastic calendar was abruptly taken for a ride by the coronavirus and dumped off in uncharted territory. Depending on where you lived, your kids were left to carry on with online learning or even left to their own devices entirely. As a parent, how do you pick up the pieces and get your child’s education back on track?

You’ll likely want to supervise your child’s learning more than you may have in the past, and the first thing you need to do is to know your kid. How do they learn? Visually? Hands on? Do they do better with independent study or in groups where they can learn from other kids? Many schools, even some of the better private ones, have to resort to a sort of one-size-fits-all method in the best of times. One of the few advantages you have in this unfortunate situation is a unique opportunity to customize your child’s education. 

Without the more rigid structure of a regular school year, you have more time for passion projects, i.e. stuff your kid is interested in learning anyway. Allowing your child to explore interests, whether it’s making managerial decisions on a farm game or satisfying their inner artistic calling is a great way to keep their minds engaged. As a bonus, it’s a lot easier to get them to do it.

Although encouraging free expression is great, it’s also a good idea to set aside a specific time and place for learning. Kids of all stripes do better with an established routine. Try for quality over quantity. Like most of us, kids have a limited attention span, so try to be flexible.

Most of all, remember it’s a stressful time for everybody and you won’t get everything back to normal in a day or even a week. A positive attitude will go a long way to help the situation. Relax, have fun and try to make the best of things. You might be surprised what creative solutions you come up with.

Exercise Series: Exercise for Busy Families

on Tuesday, 26 May 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

In our series on exercise, we’ve talked about how various people can become more active. Whether you’re a senior, a kid or a busy working adult there are plenty of ways to get active. When it comes to getting the whole family involved, things get a little more challenging. Everyone has their own schedule and their own interests. What’s great for one family member might be a miserable chore for another. Some prefer indoors, some outdoors. Some prefer… well, you get the idea. 

If you want to get everyone in the family involved, the first thing you have to do is make it a priority. That may mean giving up some other activities, such as binge watching your favorite show on a day off or catching up on work. It definitely means setting aside time to make it happen. 

The second major thing you need to do is get everyone in the family involved. Hold a family meeting. Take input. Consider suggestions. Keep everyone’s needs in mind and consider what objections will be raised and why. The idea is to have a workable plan that everyone can buy into. Without that, you’re facing a nearly impossible battle.

Once you’ve gotten everyone to agree, the next step is to make it a routine. Creating great habits takes work. Pick an activity and a time for it and then stick to it. The longer you’re able to do it, the easier it will become. 

So, what activity should you pick? The answer is as different as the families who participate. To help get you started, here are a few ideas

Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and enjoy life. It’s even better when you have someone to share it with. Get the whole family involved in a healthy lifestyle. Make it a regular habit and make it fun. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll have some great family memories to share as well. 

Memorial Day: Remembering in Your Town

on Tuesday, 19 May 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. If you’re lucky enough to get a few days off, it’s time to crack open a cold one and enjoy a little well-earned rest. Memorial Day wasn’t always a three-day party. It was originally intended as a quiet, solemn day, a time to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. With that spirit in mind, and in consideration of the current state of affairs across the planet, here are some ways you can observe the holiday

Of course, attending a big blowout or even a large family gathering may be a bit challenging during these days of social distancing. So why not celebrate Memorial Day by remembering in your town? Do you know the history of your town? The people and events that made it what it is today? Every town has someone who served in the armed forces or someone who made a contribution to their country. Take the time to find out. It might mean an extensive internet search or visiting a forgotten cemetery half-choked in ivy. Maybe there’s a park dedicated to a local hero or a veteran who remembers. You won’t know unless you find out.

Everyone knows the big events in history, but most people forget the smaller ones that help shape the character of a place. You don’t have to spend time and money traveling to a big Memorial Day event—not when there’s an interesting adventure waiting for you in the hamlet you call home. Give it a try this holiday. You might be surprised by what you find.

Exercise Series: Exercise for Busy Adults

on Tuesday, 12 May 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The problem is fairly straightforward. You heard a thousand times that you need to get out there and get some exercise. You know that it’s a key component of a healthy lifestyle and that by getting regular exercise you’ll feel better, look better and have a healthier outlook on life. The problem comes from the fact that you’re up to your eyebrows in work, homeschooling and entertaining your kids, and a dozen other commitments. You don’t have time to breathe, let alone workout. 

The keys to incorporating exercise into your daily life are first, to do more with less, and second, to multitask. It can be quite simple. Instead of spending 10 minutes waiting in your car for a parking space to open up, why not take a more distant spot and simply walk? There’s at least five minutes of exercise right there. Instead of just sitting at your desk, why not do some exercise? Here’s a sample of a few ‘deskercises’ you can do while waiting for a Zoom call or contemplating the latest sales figures. 

Even if you prefer a more formal workout, you don’t have to wait for the gyms to open back up. In fact, you don’t have to go to a gym at all. You may not even have to get out of bed. Once your feet touch the floor there are still plenty of ways to be healthy in a short amount of time. You can try planks, squats, chair lifts, wall squats and more in just a few minutes. 

Getting your daily exercise isn’t as hard as you might think, even when you have a hectic schedule. Use a little creativity and you may find you have more time than you think. 

Pampering Mom

on Tuesday, 05 May 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Mom. What would we do without her? She’s the one person we can count on, the one indispensable cog in our busy lives. Whether it was a messy room, stacks of unwashed laundry or patching us up after our umpteenth bike accident, we’ve put Mom through a lot. This Mother’s Day return the favor and give Mom the kind of day she deserves. 

If that sounds like a good idea, then the first thing you’ll want to do is consider the social distancing measures currently in place in your area. Is it safe to visit her in person or to take her out somewhere? Will you have to plan further in advance to make sure she receives her gift in time?

The next thing you’ll need to take time to consider is who Mom actually is. Every mom is a little different, which means it’s important to give a little thought to the type of day she’ll want to have. If Mom isn’t big on eating out or shopping, there’s no point in dragging her off to a place she doesn’t want to be. Maybe she would prefer to stay home and play in her garden or kick back on the couch to catch up on her favorite TV show. Whatever her preference, give her what she needs to be happy. 

If you’re in a situation where you can’t spend the day with Mom, don’t worry. Give her a call. Send her a card. Let her know you care. 

It doesn’t even have to be your mom. There are plenty of moms out there who could use a helping hand or just a kind word. If you have the opportunity, consider volunteering for a charity. You could send flowers, chat on Skype, or deliver food to a mom in need. There are plenty of ways you can donate your time and effort to make sure Mother’s Day is great for every mom. 

There’s no substitute for Mom, so take the time to make Mother’s Day a great one for her.

Exercise Series: Exercise for Seniors

on Tuesday, 28 April 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The idea of getting out there and exercising can be somewhat fearful for senior citizens. “What if I break a hip?” they may ask. “What if I fall and can’t get up?”  However, exercise becomes more important as we get older, because by improving strength and balance, a senior can help prevent those kinds of injuries. Also, we all need a little adventure and stimulation now and again. In the next part on our series, let’s look at some fun ways to get different types of exercise.

These days, you can find videos on practically everything, so it should come as no surprise that there are exercise videos on YouTube especially for seniors. The National Institute on Aging recommends the Go4Life exercise series. Incorporate a video or two into your daily routine and you should see results in no time!

Once our social distancing restrictions are lifted, be sure to check out your local parks and recreation centers and senior centers. They can be a treasure trove of things to do. Art lessons, jewelry making, and other crafts can help with those fine-motor skills we may lose as we get older. Ask about other activities, such as exercise classes, gardening clubs, walking clubs, or trips. These are great ways to get active and meet others, which helps with that fear of going it alone.  

Exercise doesn’t have to be formal, so don’t forget the little things. Even staying home, you can dance to your favorite music. Play with the family pet. Play Simon Says if you have small children at home. Confiscate a teenager’s Wii game they no longer play with.  

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone when it comes to improving your health. You might surprise yourself by discovering how easy it can be to just get moving. 

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