I get a lot of questions from people asking me why someone would want to participate in a conditioning program of any kind. I often ask these individuals to take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture. Once you do that you can see how participating in a workout program can benefit so much more than just your body. It will also benefit your wallet.My hope is that this article will show you how the benefits of a golf performance enhancement program can extend far beyond the golf course.Money Is A Terrific MotivatorMoney is a very strong motivator for most people. As such, I tend to use a financial perspective to motivate people. It is a perspective everyone understands and it works so well. I’ll use that same perspective here.The health care industry in America continues to be a constant source of concern for the 50+ population. With advances in modern science, individuals are now living longer than any other time in history. While this can be seen as a positive, many individuals are worried about outliving their retirement funds (a very legitimate concern), having their standard of living being reduced due to lack of financial support and losing their personal mobility due to age.One of the major issues that this country (USA) has on its hands is how we are going to care for the Baby Boomer population once they begin to get older. The overall financial strain it will put on our national health care and financial systems is projected to be very significant.Strain On The Health Care SystemThere is already a terrible overall strain on the medical system we have. Many of today’s nurses are nearing retirement age. There is a recognized medical staffing crisis on the horizon as a result of this mass retirement.Tomorrow’s health experts are not getting the clinical experience they need during school due to the incredible demand for new nurses, so much of the training is happening on the job. In short, they are not really ready for the hospital floor (this is a general, high level statement).While this is not necessarily bad, it is a nightmare for hospitals, since there seems to be a significant drop in overall productivity and profitability from a veteran nurse to a new, “untrained” nurse. This is not good for their bottom lines.Don’t forget that hospitals, insurance and pharmaceutical companies are for-profit organizations. As such, they are going to do everything in their power to make sure that they make money, and lots of it.Health Care Costs Continue To IncreaseAll of these factors (insurance, hospitals, medical treatments, drugs, etc) continue to increase exponentially in cost due to increased usage and demand for their services. Health care costs are expected to grow because scientists are continually discovering medicines to treat diseases of aging and people are living longer. The elderly population, now 36 million, is expected to reach 70 million by 2030.The positive part of all this is that individuals are beginning to realize that they can control, to some extent, the chance that they will need significant health care in the future. Taking care of yourself now can “save” you millions of dollars in health care costs not today, not tomorrow but many years down the road. Conditions that affect us while we continue to live (diabetes as an example) can be especially expensive, as you can live for decades with diabetes.There are a number of other issues that will affect the future cost of health care. The point is, health care costs are not going to be getting any cheaper. You are by no means guaranteed to avoid all health problems by taking care of yourself, but you will stack the deck in your favor, and minimize your chance of realizing significant health care bills, by being proactive in the maintenance of your health.Conditioning Benefits Will Transcend Improved Physical HealthThe whole idea is to develop a better overall you. The core goal of a conditioning program should be about so much more than just fitness and conditioning. It should be about healthcare cost avoidance, quality of life, reduced pain, treating root causes of pain, etc.I can think of only three investments that have very minimal, if any, risks but can yield huge returns: Education, health and family/personal relationships.Think of taking care of yourself as a long term cost management strategy for your life. You can also look at it as a no-risk investment in yourself that will pay dividends far above and beyond any other investment you can make while also improving your body and energy levels. That is an investment I like to think most people would be willing to make.Still Enjoy The Things You LoveDon’t forget that you can take care of yourself and still eat the foods and do the things you like in life. I workout a lot, but I also drink beer, love hamburgers and steak, eat McDonalds (occasionally) and enjoy Mtn Dew. I just don’t make them a staple of my diet.Hopefully this article has shown you that once you take a step back and look at the bigger, long term picture that you can develop a much more compelling argument for general wellness, which is a natural byproduct of a properly designed fitness program.
Increasingly, families are making the decision to have health care provided in their own homes. With 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day in 2011, the need for quality, affordable health care becomes an increased concern across the U.S. The aging baby-boomers – it’s anticipated that by 2030 the number of people over 65 will exceed 70 million – are now in a position where they need extra help with chronic conditions and daily activities, but don’t want to lose the independence and comfort of their homes. In addition, the high costs of hospital and facility stays can cause a frightening financial burden. While not everyone who needs health care assistance is a senior citizen – like new mothers and singles living without family nearby – the focus is often on the baby-boom generation.There is scientific evidence that supports the belief that people heal faster and feel better when allowed to be at home. Certainly the amount of germs and sources of infection are less when in a home environment over an institution. The psychological benefits are undeniable; when asked, most people who are hospitalized with an illness “just want to go home.” This also allows family to stay with the person in need, providing them with the knowledge that they are still in the loop of their loved-one’s health issues.Routine can be essential for physical and emotional well-being. A home health care provider will help maintain the discipline of scheduled medications and therapies within a framework of personal routine. Allowing a patient the comfort of keeping their normal, daily routine in their own home adds to the quality of life and sense of safety. In addition, the health care provider can watch for changes in habits, attitudes, and demeanor that can be indicators of larger problems. The emotional well-being extends to those who live with the patient, as it can be difficult to care for a family member with so many other demands – like work or children – that divide their time. Lack of health care knowledge can put a strain on relationships between family members. With the help of a trained home caregiver, family can enjoy being with each other while still getting the best attention to health issues.Sometimes, it is the simple things that can mean a huge difference in the health of someone in need of care. Having a health care provider come in a few times a week to fix a meal, assist with personal hygiene, and make sure that items are picked up for easy movement about the house can prevent illness or injury from poor nutrition, infection, or accidents. This type of service is also very beneficial to new mothers or those recovering from surgeries, etc. that are without the luxury of nearby family or friends to help during the first few weeks home.An additional advantage to the comfort and health benefits is that it makes more economic sense to have a provider in your home. Lengthy stays in a hospital or institution can add up to thousands of dollars very quickly, compounding the stress in your life. By comparison, home health care is significantly cheaper, giving you more options with your health care dollar.A home health agency is strictly regulated, meeting federal requirements and regulations to assure you that your home care provider is highly trained. While they are not a substitute for a doctor’s care, they can be an essential supplement to daily routine; keeping you healthier, and happier for years to come.
Medical science has made some shocking developments in the past twenty years. For the first time, our technology is reaching the point where we have to question our moral right to “play God”. It could even turn out that medical science will revolutionize the 21st century to the same degree that computer science revolutionized the 20th century. At the same time, present factors of society lay new challenges on the health care industry. The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the frontiers being explored in the health care field as well as some new economic and political developments that affect the industry, and perhaps even forecast what kind of impact they will have on the health care careers of tomorrow.Stem cells. Boy, does this topic raise some debate! Embryonic stem cells are looked to at least as a potential cure for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and possibly other neurological disorders as well. But if we were to routinely start using stem cells as treatment, the moral implications would be that we are essentially aborting a fetus, taking one life to save another. Of course, stem cells aren’t quite a fetus yet, and that’s where the debate is raging in this gray area between what we know, what we think we know, and what we have yet to find out.The scientific research of stem cells is currently hogtied by the political debate. The science is way ahead of the money, with research labs having a difficult time getting funding for such a controversial field. One thing many have pointed out is that no matter what laws the United States passes, some country, somewhere, will eventually start exploring the uses of stem cells anyway. That kind of forces our hand, reducing our choice to either leading the way in the field where we can at least establish oversight to apply standards to the research that we can all agree are fair, or be left out of the game and have to deal with developments in other countries that might be even less comfortable for us to deal with.Stem cells can help sufferers of neurological disease by producing dopamine, a neurotransmitter whose deficiency in the brain is a symptom of diseases like Parkinson’s. For that matter, stem cells can be encouraged to grow into fresh replacement brain cells altogether. That’s just scratching the surface of what we can do with stem cells, and it’s that potential power that makes some people nervous.Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Vietnam veterans returned with their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the effects of Agent Orange. The first Iraq war gave us Gulf War Syndrome. Now with the war in Afghanistan and Iraq war number two, the health care field is holding it’s collective breath waiting to see what impact the war will have on health care resources in the future. It is not a question of “if”, but a question of “how much” and “how long”.Soldiers who have been exposed to depleted uranium in Iraq have already been diagnosed with cancer. Busloads of returning veterans are showing up at hospitals with psychological problems severe enough to pose a suicide risk. A comprehensive study done in 2004 estimates the likelihood of soldiers to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to be 18% in the Iraq war and 11% in the Afghanistan war. In addition, PTSD is more likely to develop in repeated heavy combat exposure, and with the number of times soldiers have been sent home and called back we would be fooling ourselves if we expected them to survive without some stress damage.Add to this a factor that munitions technology is constantly pushing forward, and Governments don’t always have time to analyze the affects on soldier’s health when they are exposed to chemicals and residue on the battle field. We may have just handed out health care system a bigger burden that it can handle, by the time the wars are over.Microbubbles. Take any oily solution, froth it into a frappe with a high concentration of tiny bubbles, and inject those into your bloodstream. Now you hit them with ultrasound and a nearly perfect image of your internal organs will bounce back. Cleared by the FDA in the late 1990’s for use in imaging applications, microbubbles are starting to be an attractive alternative to traditional methods of internal imaging, being both cheaper and faster than an MRI.But wait, there’s more. Researchers have discovered another use for microbubbles, as tiny little carriers for targeted doses of medicine. For instance, drugs can be delivered directly to a tumor using microbubbles; once at the target location, the microbubbles can be induced to pop, releasing their medicine payload and reducing the need to bombard the entire body with radioactive material, for instance. Sometimes it’s the simple things that change our methods the most!Medical marijuana. Separating ourselves from the image of hippies toking a bong-load, the active ingredient in marijuana is cannabinoids, which is a unique group of secondary metabolites found in the cannabis plant – which just happens to be where the plant’s peculiar pharmacological effects come from. Cannabinoids have been explored here and there over the years, but recent research has produced a staggering array of applications.Cannabinoids have potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, dystonia, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, gliomas, hepatitis C, hypertension, incontinence, osteoporosis, pruritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, and Tourette’s syndrome. More than the past meek suggestion by the scientific community that cannabis has some uses, it is rapidly becoming apparent that we may have been turning our backs on a miracle drug the entire time.The autism epidemic. One of the most mysterious neurological disorders of recent times may have finally gotten a break. Research into the causes of autism has revealed some intriguing clues – if anything, autism may yet be a path to increasing our understanding of how the brain works. We already know that children with autism have characteristic abnormalities in the cerebellum, the brain structure responsible for coordinating complex voluntary muscle movements.New research points to a possible culprit: a newly discovered class of nerve cells in the brain called mirror neurons. These neurons appear to be involved in mental functions such as empathy and the perception of another individual’s intentions. It has been suggested that a dysfunction of the mirror neuron system could result in some of the symptoms of autism.Autism has seen a sharp rise in the past two decades, but there exists the possibility that previous cases were simply undiagnosed. Moreover, there may be present misdiagnoses of autism where in fact there are other related disorders that only share some of the symptoms. Progress in this field is slow and tedious, but small amounts of progress are now at least providing some hope that we will eventually be better equipped to treat this disorder. Dare we even hope for an eventual cure?