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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.

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. 

Exercise Series: Should Your Kids Play Sports?

on Tuesday, 21 April 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Welcome to our series on exercise. In the first part, we’ll take a look at whether you should get the kiddos involved in sports. It’s a question every parent will consider at some point in time. With organized group sporting events all being cancelled right now, we have plenty of time to think about it. There are many reasons to look into it, even if you don’t think your child will turn into the next NBA superstar. 

The first reason is also the most obvious. Exercise is good for us. Getting out and getting active can lead to a lifetime of good health. Regular exercise is also a habit, and the best time to learn a habit is when we’re young. Think about how you can get your kids to be active now, even when we are all staying home. 

Playing sports also teaches us how to cooperate with others. Humans are social creatures, and how well we work with others will go a long way in determining how successful we are in life. Among other things, playing sports teaches us teamwork, communication and empathy for others. Many of the same skills that make us a successful member of a project team as adults are learned on the athletic fields we run around on as kids.

There are other valuable lessons we can learn from participating in sports, such as working towards a common goal and how to handle setbacks. No matter how good we are, we won’t always win. We’ll suffer disappointment and defeat along the way, just as we do in life. Sports can teach us positive ways to overcome these challenges.

Whether you allow your child to participate in organized sports will depend on both you and your child. Sports aren’t for everyone, and you’ll have to consider you own time commitment as well. However, for many kids the benefits far exceed the drawbacks, and there’s no substitute for good health.

April 15th is Tax Day – Not this Year!

on Tuesday, 14 April 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The one certainty in life is that things don’t always go as smoothly as planned. For many of us, April 15th, known either famously or infamously as Tax Day, is the perfect example. But even with the three-month extension, if things aren’t going your way on this return, there are always lessons to be learned for next time. 

Watch your withholdings. If you work for someone else, your tax withholdings from your paycheck will go a long way in determining whether you receive a refund or owe a balance. Keep careful watch throughout the year, and don’t be afraid to make changes if you don’t like what you see.

Carefully track your expenses. If you’re in business for yourself, make sure to keep tabs on your expenses. Know what expenses you can and can’t deduct and keep good records. If the IRS takes an unhealthy interest in your business, those records are your best defense.

Plan for your retirement. Even if you’re young, there’s no time like the present to get started. Most retirement plans rely on the multiplicative effect, meaning the earlier you invest in a good plan, the more time your money has to grow. There are also tax benefits. The money you put into most retirement plans is tax deferred. So, the more you put in (up to certain limits), the less tax you’ll pay next year. It really is a win-win.

Even if the results on this tax return leave us with a bad case of the spring blues, there’s no reason we have to put up with the same thing next year. Keep these tips in mind, so you can celebrate Tax Day with a song in your heart.

Easter Fun for Families

on Tuesday, 07 April 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Easter may be a little bit different this year. But, the grass is beginning to turn green again. Trees and flowers are budding. Those songbirds have something to sing about—Spring! And there’s no better time to celebrate the warmer weather than having a good old-fashioned Easter egg hunt with your family this holiday. Of course, with our social distancing orders in full force, this means immediate family!

A traditional egg hunt—hiding plastic candy-filled eggs for the children to find—is still great entertainment, even if it is just you and your kids. Now let’s give it a healthier twist by hiding strips of paper with “eggs-ercises” printed on them! The links at Eats Amazing and Alice & Lois have printable activities to get you started.  

If the idea of plastic eggs turns you off, ParentMap has some ideas that could easily be done without the polymers. Pirate-themed scavenger hunts, dinosaur digs, or a top-secret mission hunt could become new annual traditions at Easter.

Leave it to Martha Stewart to come up with an indoor alternative for small children using homemade candy cups

Easter is the perfect occasion to get the family moving about, to inspire new traditions, and to get those memorable videos and photos.  

Happy Easter!

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