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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.

Healthy Halloween Treats

on Tuesday, 16 October 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Halloween is spooky, scary fun that the whole family can enjoy. It does come with a few down sides though. One look inside the average trick-or-treat bag will tell you there’s enough sugar in there for ten lifetimes and plenty of strange ingredients you can’t even begin to pronounce. To avoid the belly-aches and trips to the dentists that sometimes follow a successful evening of trick-or-treating, how about some healthy alternatives?

Scary spiders and Halloween go hand-in-hand, so why not make it a healthier combination with these spider bites?

Carve your way into a different kind of pumpkin with some pumpkin caramels made with toasted pumpkin seeds, maple syrup and, of course, caramel.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, maybe not, but apple mummies are a great way to try and see.

With raisins, almonds, and a few strategically placed white chocolate chips, gobbling down creepy crawlies never tasted so good.

Jazz up your holiday fun with some sweet and spicy pepitas, made with popcorn, pumpkin seeds and a little ghoulish glee.

As a healthy change of pace from the sugar-laden goodies that are normally passed out to the would-be ghosts and goblins that knock at your door, you can also offer healthier choices like pre-packaged mini-pretzels, yogurt-covered raisins, chewy granola or fruit chews.

Have a fun (and healthy) Halloween.

Allowances for Kids

on Tuesday, 09 October 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Allowances have always been a big part of being a kid. If you were lucky, you got an allowance without any strings attached. But more often you had to do some chores around the house, whether it was taking out the trash or cleaning out the garage. It might seem a little old-fashioned these days, but providing your child with an allowance still has a lot of advantages.

An allowance shows the value of work. If you want something, you’ll have to work for it. It’s a lesson we have to learn as adults, so the sooner we get started, the easier it’ll be.

An allowance helps kids learn how to manage money. Should they spend all the allowance on one big-ticket item or save it for a rainy day? Making these decisions early on can help kids understand financial decision making and budgeting.

An allowance teaches responsibility. Will your kid leave that skateboard out in the rain if they worked hard to get it? Maybe, but if they have to sweat to get it, they’re more likely to value it and take better care of it.

It’s really hard to be good at something if you’ve never had a chance to practice, so it makes sense that the best way to learn how to manage money is to actually have some to manage. An allowance is a great place for kids to start.

Budgeting for the Upcoming Holidays

on Tuesday, 02 October 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Holidays often fall into a familiar pattern. Every year you celebrate them, you indulge yourself a little and you try to make sure your friends and family have a great time as well. Invariably, you end up spending a little more than you wanted to, and, invariably, every year you dread January and February because you have to pay for all that holiday extravagance.

Break the cycle this holiday season by making a plan.

Make a budget and stick with it. It’s easier said than done, but you can’t win if you don’t play. At the very least, starting with a budget gives you something to work from and lets you plan out expenses in advance.

Don’t forget the little things. The holidays are more than just gifts, so don’t forget to include small items like gift cards, gift wrap and holiday decorations in your budget. They’re small, but they can add up fast.

Make a list (and check it twice). Try to find one or two ideas within your price range for every person on your list. A list means order, and you’ll want all the order you can get during the chaotic holiday rush.

The early bird gets the sales. The sooner you start your holiday planning, the more sales you can take advantage of. After all, that Columbus Day deal might just be better than anything you’ll find on Black Friday.

This year, instead of treading through the same holiday rut all over again, change things up with some preemptive holiday budgeting. The work you put in now will save you plenty of work (and money) down the road.

Exercising in the Fall Splendor

on Tuesday, 25 September 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The withering summer heat has finally relented and there is the first stirring of a cool, dry breeze in the air. Already the leaves, once a pristine green, have now started to don their fall coats. If you’ve been sheltering in the safety of your air conditioning all summer, fall is the perfect time to start your outdoor exercise regimen back up.

Return to a routine. Exercise is about routine and the more of a routine you have, the better. With summer, you have vacations to work around, summer camps to plan and more. If you have kids out of school for the summer it can be even more hectic. Fall is a return to a settled routine, making it much easier to settle into yours.

Competitive events and sports leagues. It’s called the ‘lazy days of summer’ for a reason. Who wants to go out and play anything when the mercury is pushing through the roof? Fall brings with it plenty of events like marathons and the opportunity to sign up for sports leagues. It’s the perfect time for you to add a little competitive spice to your workouts.

The weather. It almost goes without saying, but we will anyway. The weather is crisp and clear and the foliage is beautiful. Why wouldn’t you want to be outside?

There may not be a better time of year to get out and get fit. Fall is fleeting, so don’t let the great weather and beautiful color pass you by!

5 Ways to Improve Your Finances

on Tuesday, 18 September 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

If you start asking people about their opinions on money, you’re going to get a lot of different answers. No matter what their position on it, however, the one thing that most people will agree about is that there never seems to be enough of it to go around. If you’re one of these people, here are 5 ways to improve your financial outlook.

Budgets. No one likes them, but creating and sticking to a budget might be your first and best defense against those nagging and unnecessary expenses draining your wallet each month.

Negotiation. Work on perfecting your negotiation skills and see if you can arrange a lower interest rate for many of your monthly payments like your car, house or credit cards.

Saving. It can be tough to save when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, but there are ways it can be done. Saving helps you prepare for that rainy day, potentially saving you from having to go into debt to covered unexpected emergencies.

Avoid Debt. The biggest drains on your finances may not be that nice restaurant you went to or that fancy show. Instead it’s debt. In addition to trying to renegotiate to a lower interest rate, try to eliminate your debt altogether.

Retirement. You don’t want to be working forever, so don’t forget about your retirement. If your company offers to match your 401(k) contributions, take full advantage of it.

No, there is never enough money to go around, but with these strategies you can make the most of what you have and maybe fatten your wallet a little along the way.

Honoring Heroes in Your Community

on Tuesday, 11 September 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Captain America, anyone? Or how about those Avengers? As the summer slowly winds down, we’ve seen our share of superheroes come along to save the day. They’re great, aren’t they? But if you look around, chances are you can find some real heroes. The best part is that many of them are right in your own neighborhood. So this Patriot Day, take a moment to honor them.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They may be the firefighter down the street or the policeman who keeps that street safe. They don’t even need to have a dangerous profession. How about the teacher who taught you how to express yourself through music or the tax preparer who just saved you a bundle during tax time or even the prep cook who took the time to explain which foods on the menu were safe for your particular food allergy?

What makes these people even more special is that they don’t need or want a ticker-tape parade down Main Street to honor their service. They’re proud to do what they do because it makes the world a better, brighter place. So take the time to recognize these people. Often a simple, sincere ‘thank you’ is all they require or desire. It lets them know that what they do matters, whether it’s large or small.

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