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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.

5 Fun Holiday Crafts

on Tuesday, 28 November 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s holiday time! If you’re not convinced, take a walk through any store. Whether its pumpkins for fall, scary monsters for Halloween or red and green tinsel for Christmas, if you haven’t seen it yet, rest assured you will.

If you want to get in on the holiday fun, you don’t need to shell out your hard-earned money to buy something off the shelves. Instead you can make it yourself. Here are some ideas to get started:

For everyone who’s had an ugly holiday sweater gathering dust in their closet and wondered what to do with it, wonder no more. Now put that sweater to use in these holiday ornaments

You could spend a fortune on an exquisite wreath for the holidays… or you could just make it yourself. Some glue, a few supplies from your local store, an hour’s work and you’re there.

Try a touch of rustic decor to add to your holiday spirit. Check out this light-up Christmas sign made with unfinished wood slats.

Those dollar store candles can do more than just light up your holiday. With a little effort, you can create your own snowman candles.

Whether you’re looking for a cheap contribution to the office Christmas party, or just want to spread a little holiday cheer, these reindeer candy bars are sure to be a hit.

With these holiday crafts you can brighten up any occasion, so why buy it when you can make it? Here's to a happy and creative holiday!

Give Thanks by Giving Back

on Tuesday, 21 November 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Thanksgiving is a time for fun and family and maybe a little turkey and football. It’s also a time to count your blessings and to give thanks, and there’s no better way to do it than by passing on some blessings to others.

Everyone has some talent or skill, and chances are you have one that might benefit others. Why not share it by teaching a class in your local community center? You’re not just giving others a one-time gift, you are imparting knowledge and experience that will last someone a lifetime.

Pick an organization to support. Whether it’s a well known charity like the Girl Scouts or the Make-a-Wish Foundation, or a small place like your local food bank, take the opportunity to make a contribution, however small, to someone else’s life. 

Because we make such a big deal about holidays in our society, we tend to remember them. A good holiday memory can last a lifetime, so why not make sure others have the chance to experience one? Give some toys, food or decorations to the less fortunate, and make someone’s Thanksgiving or Christmas a little brighter.

People aren’t the only ones who could use a little holiday cheer. Bring some blankets, dog food or pet toys to the animal shelter. In many cases you’re not just giving a holiday memory; you’re giving life.

There are countless other ways to give back, many of them small. Donate blood or give an extra generous tip. Bring treats to the office or write a thank you note to someone who has helped you. Sometimes the best way to give thanks is to give back.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Don’t Follow the Unhappy Path

on Tuesday, 14 November 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

‘Negative Nelly.’

‘Eeyore.’

Have you met someone who might fit this description? Everyone has an off-day now and again, but some people just seem glued to an unhappy path. They seem hell bent on self-destruction, and have plenty of bad habits to help them along.

To avoid going along this path, here are a few things to watch out for:

Worrying about things you can’t change. Let’s face it: there are plenty of things out there that you can control, but there are also plenty of things you can’t. Make sure you know the difference between the two. Need a visual reminder? Check out the Serenity Prayer on Pinterest.

Setting unattainable goals. Everyone should have goals, but we also have to be smart about what goals we set. Picking a goal we know we will never accomplish is just setting ourselves up for failure.

Not exercising or eating an unhealthy diet. If you’re feeling bad, it’s hard to start the day with a smile, and an unhealthy lifestyle often means a lot of feeling bad.

Becoming your own self-fulfilling prophecy. One old saying is: ‘hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.’ While being prepared is a good thing, make sure you’re not just greenlighting future failure. If you expect things to go badly all the time, they most likely will.

If you’re already traveling along an unhealthy path, it can be difficult to turn around. It’s not impossible though. Take a realistic look at your life and you’ll often see things are not as bad as they seem. Even Eeyore has been known to smile once in a while.

Understanding Alzheimer’s

on Tuesday, 07 November 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Few diseases are more terrifying than Alzheimer’s, and few have such a devastating effect on families. Across the U.S., more than 5.5 million suffer from this condition. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that can rob its victims of not only their memories, but knowledge of how to perform basic day-to-day functions such as using the bathroom or getting dressed. 

About 1 in 8 adults over 65 suffer from it, with women slightly more likely to be afflicted than men. And it doesn’t just affect older people either. More than 200,000 people under the age of 65 suffer from early-onset Alzheimer’s.

While Alzheimer’s is sometimes referred to as “Old Timer’s Disease”, it’s not a normal part of aging. Instead, the disease breaks down brain tissue over time. As it progresses, protein deposits called beta-amyloid plaques build up in the brain. Another effect is that nerve cells get tangles, called neurofibrillary tangles. If you can imagine normal nerve functioning as a straight string, Alzheimer’s causes that string to tie itself in knots.

Scientists still aren’t completely sure what causes it, or why it affects some and not others. Despite years of research, there is no known cure. It’s usually a progressive disease, rather than an acute one. Many who suffer from Alzheimer’s have lived with it for years, or even decades. Some risk factors include high cholesterol and high blood pressure, though genetics plays an extremely important part as well.

If someone you know is suffering from Alzheimer’s, there are resources available that might help. The federal government has an information portal with all sorts of links. And if you’re looking for care solutions, the National Association of Aging has some great resources as well.

What to Do With Too Much Candy

on Tuesday, 31 October 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Your Halloween loot has Gobstoppers, Reese’s Pieces, fireballs, candy corn, caramel-apple flavored somethings, and that’s just the beginning. The list goes on and on and…

Well, let’s just say you have a lot of candy on your hands. What in the world are you going to do with it all?

Donate it.Truth be told, kids aren’t the only ones who like candy. Throw it into a communal bowl at the office. Not only do you get it out of your house, but you’ll generate goodwill among your coworkers, a win-win for all.

Combine it.If your haul has a lot of chocolate in it (or even if it doesn’t) throw in some nuts, raisins or dried fruit and you have yourself a great trail mix.

Transform it.Chop it up, grind it up, crush it, melt it or mash it, but above all put it to use. Create your own milkshakes or cookies. Dissolve it in your coffee or use it as an additive in stronger drinks. Use it for ice cream sprinkles or to top a cake. The possibilities are endless.

Craft it. Use your leftover candy to create decorations and tasty concoctions for Christmas. Make a gingerbread house with it. You can even use the sugar and other chemicals found in many candies to do your own science experiments.

If you’re creative about it, there’s no such thing as too much candy. So have some fun with it, and if you want to hoard a little for yourself… well, we won’t tell.

Spooky Halloween Trivia

on Tuesday, 24 October 2017. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Spooks and spirits, ghosts and ghouls, leering pumpkins and enough candy flowing around to fill a dump truck. If you’re seeing any of these things in your neighborhood, it can only mean it’s time for everyone’s favorite scary holiday. Want to find out some unusual facts about this holiday that’s become the biggest commercial sales event this side of Christmas? Read on to find out.

  • You just go to the door and ask for treats, right? Well, it didn’t used to be that easy. Back in the Middle Ages, it was customary to sing and dance for your Halloween goodies.
     
  • Your haunted house might have some super-sized competition. Listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s longest haunted house, the Haunted Cave in Lewisburg, Ohio is 3,564 feet of spooky fun.
     
  • It’s no secret people like candy corn. In fact, nearly 35 million pounds of it are produced each year.
     
  • Writing Halloween poetry can be tricky sometimes, since there aren’t any words in the dictionary that directly rhyme with orange, the color of pumpkins.
     
  • The first city in the U.S. to celebrate Halloween was Anoka, Minnesota in 1921.
     
  • Halloween is about love. Really? Yep, traditions like apple bobbing were an important part of matchmaking in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, and women would often eat sweets before going to bed so they could dream of their future husband.
     
  • Illinois, California, New York, and Ohio produce more than 100 million pounds of pumpkins each year.

So there you go. Have a safe and happy Halloween.

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