Personal Health Management in Today’s Health Care Environment

Personal health management or self-management has been a basic tenet of chronic disease management for a long time. However, often the patient’s attitude towards healthcare has been to go to the doctor and say, “Fix me”. This approach is no longer viable because it provides only satisfactory responses to short-term problems and stretches medical professional resources thin. Add to this the basic fact that 75% of all adults over 65 have a chronic illness – half of this group has multiple illnesses– and it is easy to see how medical provider’s resources are struggling to provide cost-effective, quality care to their chronic disease patients. The end result is that self-management has to mean more than the patient following doctor’s orders. Self-management in today’s world needs to promote a more active role for the patient in their own healthcare solutions.What does this mean, though? It means acknowledging that the patient should play a lead role in managing their care. This does not mean that the patient should go it alone, but a collaborative approach needs to be employed where medical professional and patient work together to define problems, set goals and create plans. Think of it as a team sport where the patient is the team captain and all of the medical professionals that the patient sees play specialized roles on the team. The patient is the leader and the coordinator, but each professional contributes important pieces to make the team successful.Another difficulty in providing effective management of chronic disease is that often patients go several months between medical appointments. More frequent visits are simply too costly for patients and too time consuming for care givers. This is especially true in cases where appointments often include no actual medical treatment, but are used to exchange information between patient and medical professional. This strongly suggests that an effective self-management strategy must improve communication between medical visits.Several different strategies have been looked at over the years to improve self-management, and according to the National Health Institute one thing is clear – any program adopted should be readily applicable to more than one condition. This is because multiple strategies make it difficult for the whole health care team to be on the same page. There are also six core strategies that should be included in any effective self-management routine:

Patient self-education about their condition

Routine monitoring and management of symptoms

Patient/Professional partnership in deciding when medical help is needed

Communication between patient and professional via means other than just face-to-face

Developing and maintaining appropriate exercise and nutritional programs

Finding ways to do the above with minimal impact on the patient’s life
There are several Internet-based personal health management solutions designed with many of these six strategies in mind. However, when looking at these solutions it is important to look for one that allows you to work with more than one aspect of your health at a time. This is important since most chronic diseases lead to complications that must also be tracked. Thus, having a system that can work with multiple conditions is cost-effective over time since it eliminates the need to learn and keep tabs on multiple software applications.Most of these online tools do help patients achieve two primary goals of modern self-management healthcare: Empowering the patient and improving patient-doctor communication. Patient self-management is quickly becoming a key part of the solution to the growing health care crisis. These new online personal health management solutions help make simple, comprehensive, cost-effective self-management a reality.To learn more about personal health management o visit the MedKeep website’s section on self management [http://www.medkeep.com/selfmanagement/default.aspx].

The 10 Principles You Need To Follow To Achieve Your Fitness Goals!

I’ve tried almost everything the market has to offer in terms of dieting. And yes, the offer is huge! Not only there are plenty of products and ‘solutions’; some of them give you conflicting information! ‘Low carb is good’. ‘No, low carb is not good’. ‘Try eating cero carbs and you’ll be fine’. ‘No, sorry, carbs is everything when it comes to performing at the gym or at a sport’. ‘Eat a lot of carbs’. And it keeps going!And what about the loads of money I’ve spent on worthless pills and powders? If you’ve tried to lose weight, you’ll know what I’m talking about.The marketing behind those companies is very clever. They try to trick you into thinking that they are selling the magic pill, the one that will make you lose 10kg in a month, or the super-powder that’s going to make you lose weight while gaining muscle with a few minutes of exercise 3 times a week.It’s intolerable. It really is, because none of those claims have any truth behind them. There’s no magic pill, nor super powder. PLEASE, don’t waste your money on that stuff. I’ve tried it, and it didn’t work. You may lose a few kilos at the start, but you’ll end up damaging your metabolism, losing lean muscle. You’ll end up gaining back all the weight you lost, plus more, in the long term.Don’t get into that vicious cycle of trying the new thing, losing some weight, gaining it back again, getting discouraged, and starting all over again, but this time with less confidence in yourself.What’s happened in the last 15, 20 years? The fat loss market has been flooded with diet pills and supplements, hasn’t it? Yet, the population has gotten fatter and fatter. Obesity is at an all time high. Obviously, the pills and supplements have not solved the problem!So what’s does work?? And where do you start?Well, I’m hoping the following 10 points will clarify the picture for you. Because, in the end, losing body fat permanently comes always back to the same old, common sense principles you’ve heard before. They guarantee your success. They are long-term focused. They have to do with LIFESTYLE.What I mean by that is that you have to make a habit of them. They have to be part of your daily routine, as normal as brushing your teeth in the morning. Once you repeat them for a period of time – 21 days to a month – they’ll become automatic.You can start implementing these principles straight away, and they will make a huge difference in your wellbeing.They are the basis of the Think and Be Your Best approach which will ultimately take you to achieve any fitness goals you set for yourself.So let’s get started!1. Start by trying to eat 5 or 6 meals a day.If you are eating only three times, try to spread it over 5 to 6 times. Your body is a complex organism which requires energy it draws from the nutrients from the food you eat. If you skip a meal, your body quickly reads that as a starvation signal. Your metabolism slows down, and you stop burning as many calories. You’re not working at 100%. Your body tries to hold on to its energy stores – your fat! – as much as it can. That’s not good when you’re trying to lose weight.So your goal should be to eat around every 3 hours. Establish scheduled times for meals and stick to them. It’s a habit you’ll need to develop, and it might be difficult at the start, but once you get used to it, you’ll feel the difference in your energy levels, and you will crave the next meal.2. Never, ever skip breakfast!Connected to the previous point, the word breakfast says it all. Breaking the fast in the morning is extremely important. Not only does it give your body the fuel it needs early in the day; it also sends the signal to your brain that it’s time to start burning calories. It’s going on holidays in your car; the first thing you do is to fill up the tank.If you can’t get used to the idea of eating early in the morning, start with something liquid, and gradually build up to a more nutritional meal.Put simply, it’d be your biggest, most capital mistake not to have breakfast every day.3. Make an effort to improve the quality of your foods.Read the labels of the food you buy at the shop or supermarket. Pay attention to fat content AND sugar content. It is important that you make an effort to balance what you’re eating, and incorporate foods from the five nutritional groups so that you get enough carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins you need for the day.4. Ask yourself if the food you’re about to eat is as natural as possible, meaning it came off the ground or off from a tree that way. If the answer is yes, then it’s all-natural and it’s an A-GRADE Food.Most of today’s easy-to-get, nice-and-quick foods are highly processed. The consequences of this are twofold: first, a processed food has lost most of its nutritive value already. Second, even though they might appear to be low in fat, they are high in sugar which simply means ‘empty’ calories. You’ll be eating a cero value meal and you’ll be storing it as fat.There are plenty of delicious natural foods that can satisfy your cravings and give you great nutritional value at the same time.5. Pay attention to how much you eat.This is extremely important. Portions at restaurants are getting bigger and bigger. It seems we are happy to overeat almost every time we eat out. Our bodies have evolved as very efficient fat storing machines, so the ‘full’ signal doesn’t seem to come on time. We keep eating and we end up having much more of what the body actually needs, so you can guess what happens with the rest. Yes, it gets stored as fat.Make the habit of consciously thinking how much you are eating on a daily basis – not only when you eat out but also when you eat at home.Try a nutritional journal – it works wonders! I know, you may be thinking it’s too much work. Let me be frank with you: there’s no way you can actually know how much you’re eating unless you write everything down.I’m not asking you to keep it all your life. Just make the effort for one or two weeks. Get the feel for portion sizes. Get the feel for calories. It will keep you accountable.6. Exercise!Of course, there’s no other way around it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s possible to improve your health and fitness level a great deal by improving your nutritional habits. Everybody can benefit from eating all natural, clean foods.However, it’s at least extremely difficult – if not impossible – to achieve great health and fitness by having a perfect nutrition alone. Even if that what the case, there are countless research showing the benefits of exercise.So try planning ahead, and be as practical as possible. Commit yourself to a number of exercise sessions per week, and don’t fail yourself! Be accountable!Start simple, don’t overwhelm yourself; there’s no need. Just make regular exercise a part of your life. You don’t have to exercise every single day, but try to workout at least 3 to 4 times a week, and try to get moving at least a little more every day.7. Concentrate on small improvements, small steps you can accomplish and which will take you to your ultimate goals.You don’t need to do everything at once. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Do one thing at a time. Remember we are talking about the most precious asset you can have – a healthy body, and that you’ve forgotten about the ‘diet mindset’; you’ve adopted the ‘habit mindset’. You have a long term view now. You know you’ll get there eventually.It’s like climbing up a ladder, step by step. You know you’re making progress even if you cannot measure. You’ll be able to enjoy a healthier, happier life while getting closer to the body of your dreams. That’s worth fighting for.8. Write your goals and read them as often as you can.The mental aspect is at least as important as the physical aspect of fat loss. You have to think yourself lean if you want to become lean. What this means is that you need to see a clear picture of yourself in that perfect body you desire. You have to feel as if you had already achieved it.Put your goals in writing. Visualise them. Put emotion in it. Think about the reasons why you want to achieve them.Don’t underestimate the importance of this point. It is critical. You can have the perfect nutritional program, and the perfect exercise program, and you can have a strong will power, but if you have an old negative mental programming in your subconscious, you’ll end up sabotaging yourself, falling off the wagon. You’ll be left wondering what’s happened, again, that’s made you fail.Write your goals. Literally, think yourself lean, and act as if you were lean already. It is the missing link, the key to your success.9. Consider this to be a life-long plan and not a short term fix. Make these your daily habits. Set your mind properly and you will achieve the results you want.As I said before, you’ve sifted your mindset. You are on a long term plan now. You know you’ll achieve what you want, no matter what. You also know there’s no such thing as something for nothing. You know it requires hard work, and time.There’s nothing worth having that does not require any effort. We live in a reciprocal world. You get what you give. Forget about the pills. Forget about the supplements. The power is within yourself. That only thought is relieving and empowering at the same time.It will not happen in a day. But it will happen. That’s the certainty you must have. Who cares if it takes a month, six months, a year or two? You don’t, because once you get there, you’ll be there forever. Isn’t that motivating?10. Start NOW!Don’t get lost on details. Just get started. Write your goals. Concentrate on small improvements. Keep a strong mindset. Believe in yourself. That is the key! Don’t sell yourself short. Demand what you want and work for it!Get started. That is the key. The results will come over time. But you’ll notice the progress on your health and fitness as soon as you get started.Concluding, I’d say it comes to the one issue that is most critical: making your own health a priority. I’ve always believed that our mind is extremely powerful, and whatever we believe is important; we find the time to do it, no matter how busy we are. We stop seeing it as difficult; we actually enjoy it; we get passionate about it.The key is to understand this: there’s no neutral action; everything you eat, drink, do or don’t do will take a step closer or a step further from your goals. There’s no such thing as maintenance, or staying still. We are either growing, or dying.You have the power to choose. It all depends on you. There’s no magic pill; no magic solution.I find that a relief. Don’t you?If you want to learn more, Believe and Burn Fat is the program that has turned it around for so many people… why not you? Visit:[http://www.BelieveAndBurnFat.com]DREAM. IMAGINE. ACT. ENJOY.THAT’S WHAT I CALL THE CYCLE OF LIFE.