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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.

A Summer Vacation on the 4th of July?

on Tuesday, 25 June 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Summer doesn’t have a lot of holidays. With great weather, every day is a holiday of sorts. The one big event during the summer is the 4th of July. When you’re planning a vacation, that should be the last weekend in the world you’d pick, right?

Well, yes and no. In the second of our series on summer vacations, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of venturing out on America’s birthday.

The downside is readily apparent. That’s right! Crowds, crowds and more crowds! The 4th of July holiday is going to be jam-packed with people out to celebrate America’s Independence. Hotels will be full to bursting or even booked up. Roads will be congested and afterwards you might feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. There’s also the fact that by traveling on the holiday you’ll miss out on some quiet family moments you could have had at home.

On the plus side, some vacation destinations actually do have special 4th of July rates. More importantly though, the 4th of July is when many places go all out to celebrate and those celebrations only happen during the holiday. It’s a great time to visit some historic sites such as battlefields, national monuments or the nation’s capital. And for some real fun, why not check out Williamsburg, Virginia to see how Independence Day was celebrated in early America?

Ultimately, whether you venture out on the 4th of July is up to you and what kind of vacation you’re looking for. If you prefer a quiet time with friends and family, then kick back, relax and let someone else duel for the last parking spot in the lot. If you want excitement and new experiences, as well as great entertainment that you won’t get any other time during the summer, then the 4th of July is a great time to get out there.

Whatever option you choose, have a great and fun 4th of July.

Summer Vacation Series: Ideas for Singles, Couples and Families

on Tuesday, 18 June 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Rough day at the office? Hectic day at home? We’ve all had them, and it’s in those times that a vacation sure sounds like a good idea. Besides, it’s summer. What better time to get away? In the first of our new series on summer vacations, we’ll take a look at some general tips that will help you make that time away from home go smoothly.

For singles. Traveling alone may not sound like an ideal vacation for many people, but it does have one major advantage. You can take your trip without any need to take someone else’s preferences into account. Want to spend the day browsing exotic boutiques? No problem. Want to get up crazy early to watch the sun rise over majestic mountain peaks? No sweat. It’s a vacation tailor-made just for you.

For couples. For you and that special someone, the best place to go may be a place where neither of you has been before. While revisiting your old ‘stomping grounds’ may be fun and nostalgic, your partner won’t have the same associations and may not be as enthusiastic about helping you relive a memory you had with someone else. Going to new places can build shared memories and more importantly, you’ll be able to fully join your partner in the sense of discovery.

For families. The most important thing to take into account when you’re planning a vacation for the whole family is to pick a place that has something for everyone. What may be thrilling for young children may leave parents exhausted and their older siblings bored. Picking a place that has multiple activities means everybody gets something they want.

There you have it. Use these tips before you start booking and make the most of your summer!

Honor Thy Father

on Tuesday, 11 June 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Pop. Dad. Pappy. There are all sorts of names for dear old Dad. You might even call him ‘Papa’ if that’s your thing.  Whatever name you use, it’s time to give him some props, and what better day to do it than Father’s Day?

Wondering what to do to properly honor thy father? Well here are a few tips.

Take some time to think about who your father actually is. This time of year, the stores are full of stereotypical ‘Dad’ stuff like grill accessories, tools and fishing poles. Don’t be like the other shoppers and just grab the first thing you see. Not every dad fits the ‘Dad’ stereotype. Maybe he prefers a good book or even a romantic comedy.

Let Dad pick the kind of day he wants to have. Sure, some dads love to see the kids and the grandkids and spend the whole day with the family. Others would just prefer a little peace and quiet and a short phone call from the people most important to them.

Share his hobby for a day. Whether he’s perfecting his golf swing, expanding his stamp collection or destroying digital baddies on his game console, chances are Dad has a hobby and would love nothing better than to have someone to share it with. Even if stamp collection isn’t for you, take a little time to step into his world. It’s a chance to build some bonds and who knows? The old man might just have a few useful tips to share.

These suggestions aside, the most important thing is just to be there. Show him you care. He’ll appreciate it, even if he does give you a strange look and wonders why you got him yet another tie clip.

It’s Summer!

on Tuesday, 04 June 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Finally! The snowdrifts are a cold, distant memory. There are actual leaves on the trees and in most of the country you can go to the store in a pair of shorts without other shoppers staring at you like you’re crazy. Yes, summer has a lot of perks, both large and small. Before it gets into full swing, here are a few things you can still take advantage of.

Cool mornings and evenings. Summer heat might be great after the long winter chill, but it can turn simple yard chores into a sweaty slog. Mornings, especially in early summer, are a great time to get some serious yard work done.

Vacations. You won’t get the great rates you would in the off season, but there are still plenty of deals to be had if you book early. More importantly, it will be less crowded and… cooler! Let’s face it— some of those popular summer vacation sites aren’t just pleasantly warm in July and August. They’re downright scorching.

Stay inside and not feel bad about it. Even in June, the weather can still be temperamental and sometimes chilly. Take advantage of those few remaining cool days to catch up on your favorite shows without the guilt associated with spending a nice day indoors.

It’s your summer. Take it fast or take it slow. Just don’t let it pass you by.

Eating Out at Home

on Tuesday, 28 May 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

One of the most common phrases heard ‘round the world is “what’s for dinner?” It’s an age-old question that doesn’t always have an easy answer, especially when you’re dragging yourself home after a tough day at work. Takeout would be great, but your budget only goes so far. What if you could make a great takeout meal at home?

Guess what? You can.

Pizza is as basic as it gets. The beauty of pizza is that it’s so versatile. If it’s time for a family pizza night, start with this go-to pizza recipe. It’s geared for pepperoni and cheese in a red sauce, but that doesn’t keep you from experimenting until you’ve created the perfect pie.

Not all pizzas are the same. For an alternative to the traditional New York style pizza, try creating Chicago’s deep-dish version.

Along with pizza, Chinese food is about as takeout as it gets. And of course, no Chinese meal would be complete without the eggrolls. Rather than buying the prepackaged version in the frozen food section of your local supermarket, try these tasty (and healthy) spring rolls instead.

Golden Corral offers a wide variety of menu-items, but one of its most famous is its Bourbon Street chicken. Bring that sweet-spicy flavor home with you with this Bourbon Street sauce. You don’t have to stop with chicken either. It works great with beef and pork too.

If your spicy tastes run more toward Buffalo than New Orleans, try some buffalo-inspired firecracker chicken on wings or whatever meat suits your fancy. For a healthier option that’s kind to your waistline, try it on roasted cauliflower!

Making take-out at home doesn’t have to mean skimping on great food. With a little experimenting, you soon find the only thing you’re missing out on is the crowds and the traffic.

Oh, wait… were you actually missing those?

Memorial Day: Solemn or Party Time?

on Tuesday, 21 May 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s nearly Memorial Day, and if you’re like many Americans you’ve already got plans for that precious three-day weekend. You’re not sure of the exact details, but you know it will involve some quality grilling, cold drinks and a lot of relaxing.

You also know that Memorial Day is really a time to honor those who gave their lives to make all that fun and relaxation possible. Should you feel guilty about using Memorial Day to enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures?

Not at all. In fact, it’s part of the holiday’s history.

Memorial Day was created in the aftermath of the Civil War as a way to honor the fallen. It didn’t take long for it to turn into a party, however. By the late 1800’s, it was already a time to celebrate the spring by going out for a picnic, attending a sporting event or even visiting Coney Island. In 1972, Time Magazine remarked that the holiday had become “a three-day nationwide hootenanny that seems to have lost much of its original purpose.”

There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun though. Even back then, the New York Times noted that Memorial Day’s real function “to stimulate patriotism,” did not necessarily mean there couldn’t be “patriotic joy” as well.

So, yes you can have your cake and eat it too. You can enjoy your holiday outing guilt-free as many Americans have since the beginning, but while you’re at it, do take a moment to reflect on the original meaning of the day and those who made it possible.

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