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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.

Kindness Can Improve Your Day

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

“There’s nothing like an act of kindness to ruin a perfectly good bad mood.”

         ~ Anonymous

In our series of articles this month, we’re going to be concentrating on kindness. You’ll hear plenty of people talk about the importance of a positive attitude, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. It’s easy to get frustrated during your day. Someone cuts you off in traffic. A coworker is late with a critical report. We’re understandably irritable. It’s tempting to lash out, but that only adds to the chain of discontent. Change things up with an act of kindness.

It can be large or small. Maybe you can give someone a smile instead of a snarl or a pass along compliment instead of a growl. It can be contagious because while you’re concentrating on doing something nice for someone else, you’re forgetting about all the tough things that have happened during your day. You’re concentrating on the good instead of the bad. That starts the chain moving in the right direction. Not only do you feel a little better, but that other person will feel better and perhaps pass it along to someone else and maybe even back to you. Kindness is the gift that keeps on giving.

It’s easy to get discouraged with all the bad things that are happening in the world today. Don’t let it get to you. Concentrate on what you can control. Practice a random act of kindness to make your little corner of the world a better place.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

on Tuesday, 31 December 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Well, 2019 is almost in the books. It seems like it took no time at all, but here we are getting ready to leap into 2020. It’s pretty exciting, and you’ll probably want to ring in the new year in style. However before you break out the bubbly and sing another round of Auld Lang Syne, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.

It’s a no-brainer that you shouldn’t drink and drive, but you actually need to think one step beyond that and plan out exactly how you’re going to get home safely. New Year’s Eve is a busy night for cabbies, so you may not be able to find a taxi as easily as you think. If you’re hosting the party, consider how your guests are going to get home.

If you’re planning to go out to an unfamiliar place, take the time to scout your surroundings before you start drinking. Even if you feel comfortable with the people with you, make sure you know where the exits are in case of emergency. If it looks like you’ve come to a flea-ridden fire trap, you probably have. If you’re spending New Years’ with people you don’t know well, make sure to never leave your drink unattended. Ever.

Finally, New Years’ falls in the dead of winter, so make sure to dress appropriately. Sure you’re not planning to spend a lot of time outside, but you never know when a coat may come in handy.

Above all, have fun! Yes, you do need to plan ahead a little and take a few precautions, but there’s no reason you can’t still have a blast.

Happy 2020 everyone!

Merry Christmas… or not

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

It’s been said that there are three stages in life. In the first you believe in Santa Claus, in the second you don’t believe in Santa, and in the third you are Santa. Regardless of what phase you fall into, Christmas is celebrated by millions of people around the world. Of course, Jingle Bells and Santa Claus aren’t for everyone. Whether for personal or religious reasons, plenty of people decide to give Christmas the miss. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean you can’t make December 25th a fun and meaningful day. In fact, if you don’t happen to celebrate Christmas, it opens up a lot of possibilities.

For instance, you can treat yourself or someone you care about to a special day. It doesn’t even have to be a gift. You can go out for a candlelit dinner or go take in that show that you’ve wanted to see for a while.

If the snow and pine trees don’t bring out your holiday spirit, how about sunshine and palm trees? December is cold and icy, so it might be the perfect time to take the money you saved from not celebrating Christmas and use it to get away.

You could even volunteer for your favorite charity. It’s a great way to generate some good karma and make the world a better place. On a practical note, it’s also a way to create some favorable tax write-offs, since tax season is right around the corner.

However you chose to spend the holiday, have a safe and happy December 25th!

Holiday Traditions

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

Do you have a favorite holiday tradition? Maybe you set out your holiday decorations the first Sunday in December like clockwork. Or perhaps you pass on the Christmas ham and instead hit your favorite pizza joint to round out Christmas day. It’s great to be able to create memories year after year with the people most important to you.

Don’t be afraid to change things up though. For a perfect example look no farther than that can-shaped loaf of cranberry sauce that sits on the table for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Why not jazz it up with some of these fresh new takes? Or how about that Christmas wreath you hang on the door every year without fail? Many local craft stores offer a wreath making class during the holidays, so get the family together and create a new showpiece.

Or how about your Christmas tree? Sure you have your favorite ornaments you use year after year, but how about changing it up by making some new ones? Here are some ways to do just that. You might even decide to go totally wild and alter the whole color scheme. How about a pink tree or a blue or purple one? It might sound a little crazy, but with a little creativity you can pull it off with style. Check one of these examples of trees with pizzazz.

Even a great tradition was a new idea at one point in time, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Sure there’s a chance it won’t go the way you planned, but you’ll still have a great holiday story to tell.

Have a safe and Happy Holiday!

How Healthy is Your Holiday Budget?

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

We all know the importance of good health. That’s why we try to eat right, exercise and lead healthy lifestyles. As the holiday season reaches its peak, are our wallets in as good a shape as we are? To make it through we’ll need a budget that can handle the holiday rush.

The best way to make sure things go according to plan is to first make a plan. Take a look at your budget ahead of time and do your best to anticipate what you’ll need and how much you can spend. Make sure to leave enough flex in your budget to handle unexpected emergencies, such as when your brother-in-law and his large family announce they’re going to be in town for the holidays.

Once you have a budget in mind, you’ll want to use your money carefully. One of the best ways to do that is by taking advantage of the multitude of holiday sales. To get the best deal on the sales be sure to read the fine print and don’t forget take the cost of shipping into account.

Speaking of smart shopping, one of the best ways to save some money is to grab up last year’s technological gizmos. Companies often introduce brand new models during the holidays, complete with all the newest bells and whistles. However, if you’re not concerned about being on the cutting edge of technology, you can often get an older model that’s almost as good at a great discount.

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to break your budget the same way it threatens to break your waistline. Make a plan beforehand, shop smartly and take advantage of sales and you’ll come out of the holiday season in tip-top financial shape.

Healthy Holiday Party Eating

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

The holidays have many things going for them, not the least of which is the food. Whether it’s Grandma’s special holiday fudge, coworker Sally’s double chocolate Christmas cake or neighbor Ed’s surf and turf extravaganza, there are some good eats to be had. The only real downside is the damage that holiday goodness may do to the waistline you've worked so hard to maintain all year.. Here are some ways to keep on track during the holiday rush:

It may seem like a great time saver to just eat at the party since you’re going anyway. However, try to eat at least a little something before you arrive. That way you can think with a clear head rather than an empty stomach

Another great way to avoid holiday calories is to bring along a healthy dish. It gives you some degree of control over what you’ll be eating. You may even be able to set a good example for future parties, so don’t be stingy with the recipe.

Take your time when you’re eating. According to research it takes about 20 minutes after we take a bite before our stomach lets us know it’s full. Without a good early warning system in place it’s easy to overeat, especially when we’re gobbling down everything in sight as fast as we can.

Food isn’t the only thing to watch out for. There are usually plenty of options of delicious drinks to wash down all those rich foods with. It might be decadent hot chocolate or Cousin Gerda’s legendary eggnog, but the calories can rack up pretty quickly.

You don’t have to starve yourself, of course. Holiday food is part of the fun. Just keep these tips in mind so you can stop the pounds before they start.

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