Resolve to Lose Weight through Simple Changes

11 11 2014

Wild Turkeys in California on Rural Walk

So your New Year’s resolution is to improve your fitness levels.  What will your fitness goals look like and how will you achieve them?

The most common and desired fitness goals by clients are:  weight loss, reduced body fat, muscle strength, increased cardiovascular and muscular endurance and flexibility.

One must also recognize the will power necessary to change habits and behaviors and is an essential mind set attribute if long-term fitness goals are to stick.  So what will be your fit-healthy strategy to succeed in your New Year’s resolution?  First you must know how to develop and apply a fitness plan that’s relative and right for you.

What fitness goal will you be working on?  The most typical New Year’s Resolution after the Holidays is weight loss.  Since I’m targeting weight loss as a fitness goal you will have to have a little will power and motivation to do this on your own?

First of all, “you know yourself better than anyone.”  Am I right?  Of course I am.  If you’ve been telling yourself for the last 2-3 years your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and you’ve still had no success, hopefully this insight will help increase your will power and motivation to achieve a desired weight loss result.

I know many of you are conflicted with life events that seem to sabotage your fitness plan each year.  Like you, I can easily relate to these things.  For example, job stress, kid and adult care, relationships, feeling tired, addicted to bad habits that take away motivation-energy-will power (bad food & drink habits, smoking, drugs, etc.), lack of sleep, stressful and/or toxic environment, etc.  I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here.

You get the picture.

If any of these life events and issues are preventing you from achieving a fitness goal(s), you must find a workable solution to change a bad situation/ or stressful environment if you expect an opposite result.  If you cannot make the positive lifestyle changes needed that motivate you to achieve personal goals, you’ll forever struggle to enjoy life to the fullest while fitness levels, mindset and health continue to suffer.

And if you fail repeatedly and continue to feel bad about yourself and situation, you’ll eventually give up on other life ambitions and goals.  Repeated fitness failure and feeling miserable for too long is a recipe for “depression,” which is also a common cause of physical illness and disease.

Also, if you begin a restrictive and dangerous weight loss program out of desperation as a short cut to lose weight you may cause further harm to your mind and body.  When the body’s metabolism discovers it’s been duked unnaturally, it will eventually retaliate by packing on weight with a vengeance after the fact.  And if you become dependent on  yo-yo dieting abusive tactics, you’ll break your metabolism permanently, gain more weight and in time will cause more pain, depression and other unnecessary illness and disease.

When weight loss failure happens too often, this reinforces a defeated mindset, “I can’t lose weight,” therefore I’ll continue the bad habits and further compromise health and quality of life experiences.  The mind then accepts an unhealthy viewpoint which intern harms the encompassing being throughout time.   I’m here today to tell you, you don’t have to accept unhealthy weight loss short-cut practices to lose weight naturally.

Through years of personal client experience, I explain the healthy and unhealthy lifestyle habits and resulting effects and how to eventually change a poor dietary and/or bad activity habits.  But it ultimately is the individual, armed with useful and relatable information; and if medical help is needed seek it out; and where they must chose, decide and truly want to make change.  The key elements in achieving a desired fitness goal, if you’ve not been successful at it for years is to admit you need help in understanding the following concepts and applying the necessary lifestyle changes.

1)    If you have “repeated” failures at losing weight or your health is at risk, you must change the habits, or behaviors that are causing your weight problems.   If you are grossly obese and/or your health is at risk seek medical attention immediately!  See your primary care physician and seek a referral to a behavioral therapist, nutritional, life coach or fitness trainer-consulting service to help target your weight gain nemesis, or bad behavioral habits.  Then build an action plan and resolve to change to healthier lifestyle habits and/or healthier environmental conditions.

2)   It is my belief you must exercise to have effective long-lasting weight loss and sustaining results.  However, for those that have not participated in a fitness exercise activity and now find themselves overweight, a walking program will be your best course to aerobically burn body fat and lose weight with minimum risk of weight bearing joints.

Exercise activity can be performed in many different ways, e.g., resistive weight training, walking, hiking, biking, jogging, etc.   Basically anything that moves the body consistently for a period of time provides an aerobic fitness benefit.  Walking at a brisk pace (3-5 days/wk for 15-60mins) is the best metabolic fat burning, low-stress exercise activity which results in weight loss and cardiovascular benefits.  However, if you are just starting a walk program, “do not start out walking at a fast pace,” you may work your way to higher intensity, or brisk walking pace over an extended period of time if you’ve been sedentary for awhile.

When you incorporate exercise into a weight loss program you reap other benefits, such as:  Increased metabolism, muscle development, fat loss, body toning, mood enhancement, strength, flexibility.  And decreased cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood swings, depression, stress and other illness and disease risk.

3)   There are certain habits that will sabotage any weight loss goal:  Uncontrollable and bad eating habits and smoking, drinking and legal/illegal drug addictions need to be addressed.  Behavior therapy or in combination with cessation treatment and group therapy may be ideal in order for you to be successful in your weight loss and healthy lifestyle objectives.

4)   As we age our bodies require anti-oxidant and whole food quality nutrients to boost metabolism, increase energy, mood; maintain weight and overall health.  So balanced diet in the form of healthy macro and micronutrients become more important especially if one expects to optimize weight loss results.  If you can’t get fresh whole foods in your diet, I highly recommend you supplement your food source with a high-quality vitamin-mineral product.  Food is energy and certain foods have more or less high nutrient concentrates that don’t always find their way into the daily diets for whatever reason.

5)   It is also true, in the short-term a weight loss program which incorporates exercise may add weight.  You say what?  That’s right, depending on body type and exercise activity it can increase muscle mass (muscle cells are more dense and heavier than fat cells).  When you exercise the muscle fiber can increase in mass and weight.  So as you lose body fat “at first,” muscle mass increase will keep your weight consistent and may even show a slight increase on the scale.  The trick here is to understand this is normal and eventually, the more muscle developed means greater fat burn.  This equates to greater fat weight loss in time.  Eventually, the weight on the scale begins to drop after the bodies muscles become better conditioned.

6)   There are simple weight loss measurements to measure success.  If this is not done you may lose focus on your goal.  The simplest and quickest form of weight loss measurement is a scale and the way clothes fit around the waste.  If my weight increases and waist band feels loose, I equate this to muscle mass weight increase.  If my weight decreases and waist band feels tight, I equate this to body fat increase and muscle mass loss.  If my weight decreases and waist band feels loose while aerobics walking activity continues; I equate this to lean muscle mass toning and body fat loss.  “For me,” this represents an easy way to measure my weight loss success.

Is this the best way to measure fitness and body fat weight loss success?  No it’s not, but it serves as an inexpensive base line reference that provides some positive feedback results for your efforts.

So what is the perfect weight loss program for you?  The answer lies within developing a relative daily exercise and balanced nutrition program relative to your lifestyle needs and wants, and a plan in place that can sustain healthier habits long term.

When exercise is included into the day then will power also increases to stay the healthy lifestyle course.  Why?  because the mind and body craves the addictive body chemicals released by exercise!”   Read article (Get Skinny by Activating Addictive Body Chemicals, November 2014, Woodard).

In understanding these concepts and principles you’ll experience more daily productivity, feel happier, healthier, have more energy, feel and look better and enjoy more quality living experiences.  You will also boost your MirrorAthlete image “the way you see yourself in the mirror” which will definitely boost your ego and motivate you to accomplish other life goals you thought impossible.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2014 Copyright, All rights reserved.  MirrorAthlete Corp., Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.

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Relative Fitness Programming Sustains Active Lifestyles

23 02 2014
Get your aerobics in over the weekend on your bikes in new and exciting places.  Exploration on foot or bike is one of our families favorite activities.

Get your aerobics in over the weekend on your bikes in new and exciting places. Exploration on foot or bike is one of our families favorite activities.

I’m often asked, what’s the best way to get in shape and lose weight?  The first thing that comes to mind, you must find an exercise activity program that’s “relative for you.”  Through client consults it is not surprising to learn if you’re not passionate about “your” exercise activity, you’ll not stick with it, thereby compromising your health and overall lifestyle. 

    Fitness levels can be increased simply by identifying a duration activity that motivates you to move your body with purpose.  Most aerobic and anaerobic exercise routines center on a 3 to 5 day program, 30-60 minutes in duration.  Typical fitness goal requests from clients look to achieve weight loss, muscular endurance, tone, increased strength and increased range of motion. 

    Anaerobic activity is defined, where strength, power and high muscular intensity effort is applied during exercise.  Whereas aerobic activity is exercise of low-medium and high cardio intensities that rarely exceed 85% of our max heart rate for a majority of us.  Target Heart Rate (THR) is often used to monitor heart beat rate at the carotid (neck) or radial (wrist) artery.  Heart rate tells us when to increase or decrease exercise intensity to stay within the fat burning zone to achieve the best results. 

    Science shows us that aerobic exercise intensity at ~60-70% THR zone is the fat burning “sweet spot range” to burn fat and reduce body weight.  Look up “THR zone” within any search engine to calculate your THR relative to age and current fitness levels to burn more body fat. 

    How does one determine and build a relative fitness program?  Many individuals have learned through time to build a program that works for them.  However, many others need the services of a professional fitness trainer.

    What do I consider a professional fitness trainer?  An undergraduate [physical and health sciences] that is certified, experienced in fitness profiling and obtaining client profile data points including fitness assessments meeting specific protocol criteria and standards.  Then analyzing the data to build a customized fitness program relative to the client’s fitness and health needs. 

    The data points necessary to build a relative fitness program may include the following: medical history analysis, fitness objectives and activities goals analysis, nutritional analysis and fitness level assessments [strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, cardio endurance, postural analysis and body fat%], etc.  A customized fitness program designed around fitness objectives with subjective client criteria in mind has the best chance of optimizing fitness results.  And for many American’s the number one fitness goal is weight loss. 

    All too often relative fitness programming is disregarded where some jump on others band wagons in hopes of receiving the same results.  It is often thought if one follows another’s exercise routine, they’ll receive the same fitness benefits.  Sometimes this strategy works, but all too often it fails because it’s relative to another’s unique mind, body and spirit and environment(s) in which they live.   

    Whatever it is others are doing won’t necessarily work for you in the same way.  Why?  Maybe it’s not relative to your current state of mind or health, or conducive to the environments in which you live, work and play.  Also, what is your body type and state of health?  For example, what exercise activities would best optimize your current physical abilities relative to your current body shape, health and fitness levels? 

    I’ve seen people buy a year’s gym membership, purchase home equipment, work out with a buddy that pushes too hard, or buy non-certified professional 1:1 trainer serves, etc., then get too sore or hurt themselves.  Since this is a bad experience they drop out of the program because they weren’t profiled and programmed relative to their lifestyle, fitness and health needs. 

    Exercise intensity is important for increased fitness levels and performance.  But one must be eased into intensities if absent from exercise beyond a typical walk pace or daily routine for some time.  Once you become conditioned to increase movement and exercise activity daily there is an effort of intensity “sweet spot” relative to your fitness goals.  This effort of intensity is not too low and not too high, somewhere in the middle and just right for a majority of us to achieve our fitness goals. 

    Those involved in intermural or professional sports activities who condition themselves at higher intensity levels must be programmed at higher levels of exercise intensity to keep a competitive advantage.  If you are not trained or conditioned to exercise yourself above 70-85% THR, you’ll likely have a bad physical experience and you’re New Year’s resolution will go right out the window.  Professional athletes often train above 85% THR intensities conditioning themselves for a muscular endurance and/or strength event. 

    For the novice, it is recommended a 1:1 session and orientation to exercise programming.  I highly recommend purchasing professional and certified fitness trainer services that includes fitness profiling and assessments to develop a customized fitness program that’s relative for you.  Especially if you’ve failed previously in the gym environment, or have been out of the exercise circuit for a long period of time, or have not been able to stick with any other form of exercise no matter how hard you try.  The cost of these professional services is usually reasonable for the time spent in consultation, fitness programming and 1:1 exercise training. 

    A good trainer will balance a variety of aerobic and anaerobic exercise activities inside/outside of the gym environment to keep boredom at bay with environmental lifestyle in mind.   For example two or three days a week your focus could be strength training exercises and/or Circuit weight training where you use 8-12 stationary pieces of equipment providing aerobic and anaerobic benefits completed within 20-30minutes. 

     On the same days or alternate days you may also make a commitment to participate in a low-to-high impact aerobics activity dependent on activity interests.  Such as, instructor lead classes, or home exercises:  Spinning (stationary bike), Zumba [dance moves of salsa, reggaeton, mambo, flamenco, rumba and hip-hop], or boot camp exercise classes. 

    Or instead of organized fitness instruction classes, you may be more comfortable, or practical dependent on activity goals analysis to engage in self-pace exercise activity in the home or outdoor walking, jogging, biking, rowing, swimming, ballroom dance, or competitive intermural sports (indoor racquetball, basketball, squash, etc.).  

    There is also stationary aerobic exercise equipment that is found in most gyms, or can be purchased for home use:  stair-stepping, treadmill, or recombinant bike-steppers, cross trainer elliptical, Nortrac Ellipticals. 

    What is elliptical?  These are aerobic stationary exercise machines that simulate stair climbing, rowing, walking and running that also increase range of motion without causing extreme stress on weight bearing joints. Thereby reducing the likelihood of injuries and optimizing the fat burning benefits while toning core muscle groups. 

    People recovering from injury often rehabilitate themselves at a low intensity pace on these types of machines.  But don’t underestimate their usefulness.  Resistance can be set to provide an intense workout to lose more body fat while toning muscles and optimizing cardiovascular and muscular endurance performance. 

    For intermediate and advanced exercise enthusiasts if you’ve been working out for years and feel like you’re physical performance, or competitive advantage is stagnant you may need the services of a fitness trainer that specializes in competitive task specific/sports activity profiling.  A professional sports trainer can help design and develop a program that’s relative to achieving the desired competitive advantage and overall fitness sports goal.  These sports trainer specialists can design a relative task specific sports program to get you to the next competitive level. 

    Regardless of experience, fitness level or goals, once you become exercise and activities conditioned, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.  Do increase intensities, duration and frequency of activities to modify your fitness program (mix it up) once your conditioned to do so.   

    Continuous improvement through variety using a relative plan that’s right for you is a sure fire method to ensure you achieve and sustain your fitness goal(s).  This will ensure your fitness results and performance don’t plateau and you stay excited about the next day’s work out.  If you want to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle for the long haul, professional fitness programming provides a relative road map to get you there and keep you on target.

Also Read, How to Exercise Safely and Increase Fitness Levels

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2014 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Learn How to Advocate Your Loved Ones Medical Needs

21 08 2011
Family Support at the Hospital is a Huge Plus

    If you have a loved one in urgent care, or are now experiencing serious ill-health issues yourself, it would be wise to ensure a family member or significant other advocates on your behalf should health further deteriorate. Why?  Because a well educated, informed and/or concerned family or significant other “often” can provide valuable medical information to the treating physician.

     This becomes truer if your loved one is no longer able to make decisions and provide accurate medical information to medical staff.  And in knowing ones medical history and current health profile “is” enough to save, or prolong life with the right advocacy skill sets!  Don’t think so, you will want to reassess how you view the medical services applied within the disabled and senior citizen ranks.  Why is that?  Our medical service industry is built upon quick patient turnaround.  This has mostly to do with the ever increasing costs and finite medical services-specialties, drugs and diagnosis technology resources.  So as push comes to shove, making room for another patient becomes the status quo.  It would be prudent to ensure your loved one receives the best treatment possible by advocating on their behalf.  Senior citizens don’t have the luxury of time on their side when it comes to accurate diagnosis and treatment.

    There are limits to finite human resources and what can be provided, or expected under emergency circumstances in the ER scenario.  And this is especially true if a patient intake area is under heavy demand.  Tempers often run short and emotions are less than tempered. And the patient and family member expectation for immediate medical services is high.

     This then requires the skill sets of a “cool head” and “experienced” family medical advocate to understand the situation and communicate accurate medical information on a loved one’s behalf.  I know, the typical patient expectation is that the medical staff knows best.  But even under the best case scenarios, vitals will not tell staff the entire medical history of a complex ill-health condition(s).  And this becomes even truer if the patient’s primary care physician is not available for an immediate consultation with medical emergency staff. 

     At a minimum, if you are designated as the families medical advocate for a loved one:  Ensure you have medical insurance information, a contacts list of patient doctors and specialists and a list of current medications on hand.  It would also be good to carry a current medical history transcript for the patient.  Or if you have power of attorney, simply go to the hospital’s medical records, request patient documents for the current year and ensure you highlight (yellow marker) the recent diagnosis, treatment and drug prescription listed on the medical transcripts.  Also arrange if you’re going to be out of town, or on vacation to provide an envelope with the patient’s medical transcripts and other information to an alternate family advocate as a backup plan.                       

    Contact listing and medical transcripts are good.  But it would be better if the family advocate could obtain some level of knowledge on how their loved one’s chosen HMO is organized at the emergency triage, patient holding and in-patient intake services.  Without this understanding, you’re missing pieces of the puzzle in advocating for the best possible care.  It also helps to have some customer service skill sets in talking to the doctors assessing the situation as they are now making decisions on treatment to stabilize.  In other words, if you have a choice of a family member advocate, ensure they are customer service oriented.  A bull in a china shop mentality will not help matters.

     So I put this question in front of you…  How could the emergency intake personnel know about a complex medical history simply based on the current vitals and symptoms that got the patient admitted?  The answer is simple, they can’t.  They read the vitals, treat the symptoms to stabilize and then depend on information the patient or family advocate, or primary care physician provides.  The goal of ER medical personnel is to stabilize the patient.  Until other information on the patient is received; lab work and other referred medical services are initiated while the patient waits further results processing in patient holding.

     If the seriousness of your hidden medical condition is an underlying unknown to the medical staff and treating physician, you’re “now” stable vitals will move you to a lower triage priority category while waiting on various lab results in patient holding.  A good example I know almost everyone can relate if you’ve gone through urgent care:  If you are stable, you’ve experienced hours before you are passed through the next phase of treatment.  And this delay in medical treatment for many disabled, or our senior citizens is not good for their overall health outcome!

     If you depend solely on the subjective judgment of an examining doctor, including your primary care physician, you’ll be treated by their understanding of the current symptomatic, physical examination, lab results, x-Rays, etc.  And this may not be in the patient’s or your family’s best interest.  It would behoove the family advocate, or patient learn as much about the ill-health condition(s), HMO policy’s and medical organization services; and armed with past and current medical information to become a part of the treating physicians decision making process.  Without this advocacy resource plan a loved one and/or family members may experience more pain and suffering that need not be. 

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Why a Physiatrist Offers the Best Rehabilitative Course

23 06 2011
Korean War Memorial Honors Korean Veterans

The practice of physiatry is approximately 50 years old.  So how is it many pain and immobility challenged patients have never heard of this medical specialty?

    Good question, I guess it’s possible this specialty could be considered the gold standard of rehabilitative medical treatment.  And available to pain and immobility suffers once other medical treatment has been exhausted.

    If you don’t already know about the discipline of physiatry, I will now fill you in on what this specialization can offer a chronic pain and immobility challenged patient that requires rehabilitative services.

   A physiatrist is a medical doctor that deals with muscular-skeletal, neurological, acute and chronic pain and rehabilitative therapy.  They are also referred to as a doctor of osteopathy who specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R); using noninvasive diagnosis, treatment and management of disease through “physical” means (Physical therapy and medications).

    They can perform all types of specialized tests that range from nerve and spine imaging to determine severity of nerve damage (e.g. electromyography, nerve conduction) to evaluate various nerve disease/disorders, etc.  They also specialize and work with patients that have a history in degenerative back and neck disease problems.  To include, but not limited to:  Rehabilitative treatment with sports and work injuries; and those diagnosed with arthritis, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, myofascial pain and spinal cord injuries.

    There are approximately 6000 physiatrists to date that specialize and focus on bad backs and the relationship to other parts of the body that also become affected.  For many patients that suffer from back pain and distal radiating pain to other body parts a direct connection to the pain origin can be substantiated and treated.  Radiating or distal pain from the origin pain source can take years to diagnose correctly and can be very challenging for many physicians.  In other words, so challenging primary physicians may take a subjective “shot in the dark” in referring a patient to a medical specialist that may, or may not be of immediate help.

    Sometimes these “shot in the dark” referrals may not pan out.  For me this was the case.  And I suspect there are many of you like me that had the same experience of visiting a lot of specialists and the end result was temporary physical therapy sessions, shots and more pills.  And only until a significant amount of time passed while working through a medical “status quo” policy driven health maintenance organization, did I finally get the treatment I needed.  And this occurred after I learned how to properly advocate and self refer to specialists that could treat me relative to my unique pain issues.

    It is my personal experience many of my medical referrals throughout the years to determine my pain origins were a waste of resources and time that lacked relative treatment.  I believe in my case, I should have been first referred to a physiatrist to determine the best rehabilitative course.  And it is also my belief that if this would have been the case, much of my pain and suffering would have been alleviated five years ago.  And to be honest, I’m not sure what the long-term impact will be on my health as a result of untimely and irrelevant treatment.

    Let’s now take a look at what the physiatrist’s educational requirements are so you can better understand their specialty background and how they as a “direct” referral source to other specialists may help you.

    Physiatrists go through 4 years of medical school and 4 years of residency training (1st year – internal medicine/general practice; next 3 years emphasize specialty training; fellowships for additional specialization in sports medicine, brain injury (stroke), spinal cord, pain management and pediatric medicine.

    Their patient goal is also to treat the whole person’s physical, emotional, psychosocial and vocational goals.  This discipline also falls in line with Mirror Athlete’s principled fit-healthy concepts.  Mirror Athlete is about “ill-health prevention for the encompassing being (mind, body and “soul-spirit”) and is our principled fitness life philosophy.

    For many pain sufferers with chronic pain that have not responded to previous pain management and rehabilitative treatments, access to highly trained physiatrist resources can make a significant difference in increasing mobility and/or alleviating pain. 

    It is true; most of us have access to highly trained medical specialists through our referring physicians.  And it is also true a primary care physician will “usually” not refer you first to a physiatrist “for pain and mobility challenges. 

    You ask why this is.  My answer to you, I honestly don’t know.  The only thing I can think… Maybe it has to do with higher costs of services.  And maybe if you are stabilized and appear to be tolerating your disability, and/or don’t understand, or know you can self refer to see a physiatrist, the HMO policy advices primary physicians to follow a cost effective services protocol otherwise.

    However, I can share with you, if you can get a referral to a neurologist; you’re really in line to get a referral to see a physiatrist from that point if your pain is substantiated and will help with your disability rehabilitative objectives.

    It is surprising to me in the last 7 years; I’ve been referred to at least a half dozen neurologists, none of which led me to a physiatrist for my chronic back/leg pain until recent.  And what is most perplexing, my pain-medical story had not changed significantly through the years.  If I had known about physiatry resources 5 years ago, I would have known to self-refer from a neurologist to a physiatrist knowing what I now know.  Why not 7 years ago?  In my case, I understand now it took two years to determine and substantiate my pain origins.  And I now realize I could have self referred to a physiatrist after I had my second neurologist visit.

    My lesson learned and now passed onto you:  The medical policy and practice “status quo” when dealing with “substantiated” pain and/or immobility, coupled with depression will include pharmaceuticals and other treatment until (a) you reach a certain age.  (b) The pills are now creating other medical health issues.  (c) The risk of other complications is high if continuing the same pain and/or depression management course.  (d) Something substantiated and significant has changed, or has been found through CAT, MRI, x-Ray results and/or lab work and is complicating your pain, or mobility story.  (e) You self refer to see a neurologist from your physician, and then ask for a referral to see a physiatrist from your neurologist.   The later sequence is the best course toward rehabilitative pain alleviation of chronic pain, including range-of-motion and rehabilitative, limited mobility challenges [My experience].

    To treat a patient without considering the entire being is to allow a part of the component being to become ill.  When relative and timely treatment is not balanced, part of our “being” becomes depressed.  And it is also a fact as one will age; without relative and timely treatment, quality living experiences are negatively impacted.

    With the assistance of a physiatrist the patient has access to a team of specialists to assist in customizing a rehabilitative treatment program that incorporates healing for the encompassing being.

    The team of specialist the physiatrist may access to assist your ill-health conditions are: Speech-language pathologists, social workers, nurses, and psychologists, neurologic (brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injury), physical therapy, occupational and recreation therapists etc.  Other disabling conditions include amputations, complicated multiple trauma and pain, including burns rehabilitative therapy.

    Physiatrists also work with a whole team of specialists to restore independence in mobility, eating, dressing, and hygiene. The physiatrist also provides long-term continuity of care for functional problems that often persist after stroke.  Note: This is not simply a physical therapy program.

     In my opinion, a physiatrist is an encompassing-being, rehabilitative care provider.  And if you have not seen a physiatrist and if you’ve been suffering from chronic pain and/or are mobility challenged, also you have reached the end of your referral solutions; be sure to ask your primary care physician, or neurologist to see a physiatrist.

     A physiatrist referral sooner than later will provide most chronic pain and immobility sufferers pain relief and better quality care and living activity experiences.

 Internet Reference

http://www.spine-health.com/glossary/p/physiatrist

http://www.physiatry.org/Field_Section.cfm

http://www.umassmemorial.org/medicalcenterIP.cfm?id=3081

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Why a Physiatrist Offers the Best Rehabilitative Course

23 06 2011
Korean Memorial, Washington DC

The practice of physiatry is approximately 50 years old.  So how is it many pain and immobility challenged patients have never heard of this medical specialty?

    Good question, I guess it’s possible this specialty could be considered the gold standard of rehabilitative medical treatment.  And available to pain and immobility suffers once other medical treatment has been exhausted.

    If you don’t already know about the discipline of physiatry, I will now fill you in on what this specialization can offer a chronic pain and immobility challenged patient that requires rehabilitative services.

   A physiatrist is a medical doctor that deals with muscular-skeletal, neurological, acute and chronic pain and rehabilitative therapy.  They are also referred to as a doctor of osteopathy who specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R); using noninvasive diagnosis, treatment and management of disease through “physical” means (Physical therapy and medications).

    They can perform all types of specialized tests that range from nerve and spine imaging to determine severity of nerve damage (e.g. electromyography, nerve conduction) to evaluate various nerve disease/disorders, etc.  They also specialize and work with patients that have a history in degenerative back and neck disease problems.  To include, but not limited to:  Rehabilitative treatment with sports and work injuries; and those diagnosed with arthritis, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, myofascial pain and spinal cord injuries.

    There are approximately 6000 physiatrists to date that specialize and focus on bad backs and the relationship to other parts of the body that also become affected.  For many patients that suffer from back pain and distal radiating pain to other body parts a direct connection to the pain origin can be substantiated and treated.  Radiating or distal pain from the origin pain source can take years to diagnose correctly and can be very challenging for many physicians.  In other words, so challenging primary physicians may take a subjective “shot in the dark” in referring a patient to a medical specialist that may, or may not be of immediate help.

    Sometimes these “shot in the dark” referrals may not pan out.  For me this was the case.  And I suspect there are many of you like me that had the same experience of visiting a lot of specialists and the end result was temporary physical therapy sessions, shots and more pills.  And only until a significant amount of time passed while working through a medical “status quo” policy driven health maintenance organization, did I finally get the treatment I needed.  And this occurred after I learned how to properly advocate and self refer to specialists that could treat me relative to my unique pain issues.

    It is my personal experience many of my medical referrals throughout the years to determine my pain origins were a waste of resources and time that lacked relative treatment.  I believe in my case, I should have been first referred to a physiatrist to determine the best rehabilitative course.  And it is also my belief that if this would have been the case, much of my pain and suffering would have been alleviated five years ago.  And to be honest, I’m not sure what the long-term impact will be on my health as a result of untimely and irrelevant treatment.

    Let’s now take a look at what the physiatrist’s educational requirements are so you can better understand their specialty background and how they as a “direct” referral source to other specialists may help you.

    Physiatrists go through 4 years of medical school and 4 years of residency training (1st year – internal medicine/general practice; next 3 years emphasize specialty training; fellowships for additional specialization in sports medicine, brain injury (stroke), spinal cord, pain management and pediatric medicine.

    Their patient goal is also to treat the whole person’s physical, emotional, psychosocial and vocational goals.  This discipline also falls in line with Mirror Athlete’s principled fit-healthy concepts.  Mirror Athlete is about “ill-health prevention for the encompassing being (mind, body and “soul-spirit”) and is our principled fitness life philosophy.

    For many pain sufferers with chronic pain that have not responded to previous pain management and rehabilitative treatments, access to highly trained physiatrist resources can make a significant difference in increasing mobility and/or alleviating pain. 

    It is true; most of us have access to highly trained medical specialists through our referring physicians.  And it is also true a primary care physician will “usually” not refer you first to a physiatrist “for pain and mobility challenges. 

    You ask why this is.  My answer to you, I honestly don’t know.  The only thing I can think… Maybe it has to do with higher costs of services.  And maybe if you are stabilized and appear to be tolerating your disability, and/or don’t understand, or know you can self refer to see a physiatrist, the HMO policy advices primary physicians to follow a cost effective services protocol otherwise.

    However, I can share with you, if you can get a referral to a neurologist; you’re really in line to get a referral to see a physiatrist from that point if your pain is substantiated and will help with your disability rehabilitative objectives.

    It is surprising to me in the last 7 years; I’ve been referred to at least a half dozen neurologists, none of which led me to a physiatrist for my chronic back/leg pain until recent.  And what is most perplexing, my pain-medical story had not changed significantly through the years.  If I had known about physiatry resources 5 years ago, I would have known to self-refer from a neurologist to a physiatrist knowing what I now know.  Why not 7 years ago?  In my case, I understand now it took two years to determine and substantiate my pain origins.  And I now realize I could have self referred to a physiatrist after I had my second neurologist visit.

    My lesson learned and now passed onto you:  The medical policy and practice “status quo” when dealing with “substantiated” pain and/or immobility, coupled with depression will include pharmaceuticals and other treatment until (a) you reach a certain age.  (b) The pills are now creating other medical health issues.  (c) The risk of other complications is high if continuing the same pain and/or depression management course.  (d) Something substantiated and significant has changed, or has been found through CAT, MRI, x-Ray results and/or lab work and is complicating your pain, or mobility story.  (e) You self refer to see a neurologist from your physician, and then ask for a referral to see a physiatrist from your neurologist.   The later sequence is the best course toward rehabilitative pain alleviation of chronic pain, including range-of-motion and rehabilitative, limited mobility challenges [My experience].

    To treat a patient without considering the entire being is to allow a part of the component being to become ill.  When relative and timely treatment is not balanced, part of our “being” becomes depressed.  And it is also a fact as one will age; without relative and timely treatment, quality living experiences are negatively impacted.

    With the assistance of a physiatrist the patient has access to a team of specialists to assist in customizing a rehabilitative treatment program that incorporates healing for the encompassing being.

    The team of specialist the physiatrist may access to assist your ill-health conditions are: Speech-language pathologists, social workers, nurses, and psychologists, neurologic (brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injury), physical therapy, occupational and recreation therapists etc.  Other disabling conditions include amputations, complicated multiple trauma and pain, including burns rehabilitative therapy.

    Physiatrists also work with a whole team of specialists to restore independence in mobility, eating, dressing, and hygiene. The physiatrist also provides long-term continuity of care for functional problems that often persist after stroke.  Note: This is not simply a physical therapy program.

     In my opinion, a physiatrist is an encompassing-being, rehabilitative care provider.  And if you have not seen a physiatrist and if you’ve been suffering from chronic pain and/or are mobility challenged, also you have reached the end of your referral solutions; be sure to ask your primary care physician, or neurologist to see a physiatrist.

     A physiatrist referral sooner than later will provide most chronic pain and immobility sufferers pain relief and better quality care and living activity experiences.

 Internet Reference

http://www.spine-health.com/glossary/p/physiatrist

http://www.physiatry.org/Field_Section.cfm

http://www.umassmemorial.org/medicalcenterIP.cfm?id=3081

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Oxygen Uptake Breathing for Ill-Health Prevention

17 04 2011
Get Out and Breathe Nature’s Air

    Science shows us that those that don’t breathe correctly experience mood swings, depression, anxiety and other stress-related illnesses.  And the primary reason these disorders occur is because many of us live inactive lifestyles that promote shallow breathing.  What do I mean by this?  Think about it.  As you sit there and read this article, you’ll note that your intake of air expands your diaphragm one quarter to half a chest expansion.  Now that you’re thinking about it, take a deep breath in and exhale.  You see, you weren’t breathing fully.  Why do I bring you this example?

     If you understand what shallow breathing is than you can understand that half of your lung capacity is not being exercised, nor is your cardiopulmonary system.  What does this mean?  It means that a portion of your lungs are constantly living in a carbon dioxide environment, partially void of oxygen.  And why is this bad for prolonged periods of time?  The most obvious symptoms you should be aware are fatigue, lack of mental focus-energy and decreased metabolic function, which for many equates to weight gain.

     Through time and without adequate activity shallow breathing promotes decreases in the lungs capacity to expand maximally and eventually lack of oxygen delivery to tissues creates other ill-health conditions. 

    How does shallow breathing impact blood pressure?  Since the hearts action is involuntary it can only respond to demand on the heart.  If the heart senses a drop in oxygen to the body, it will pump more blood, even during sedentary activity.  Also, these increases in blood pressure and heart rate occur during exercise activity.  However, active exercise that is a cause and effect on increased blood pressure and heart rate has a relaxing and healthy effect on the mind and body after the task.  Whereas, and throughout time, shallow breathing, lacking activity has a detriment on the body and mind by decreasing lung capacity, blood pressure and carbon dioxide exchange within all cellular structure. 

    It is also true that the body requires an oxygenated environment to burn fat more effectively which occurs during aerobic activity.  Walking and jogging are the best forms of aerobic activity.  Deep breathing exercises practiced through yoga classes for example, or at home frequently will increase the fat burning metabolism process.

     When exercising the lungs adequately, the body is more oxygenated and metabolizes fat as a fuel source preference instead of breaking down mostly glycogen during anerobic activity (without oxygen).  Simply by learning to breathe correctly, you can burn more fat and better remove toxins from your body.  If you are limited to breathing exercises, you will benefit your body’s metabolism, lymph node, cardiopulmonary systems to include expedite the healing process.

     Many of you also understand during exercise we experience aerobic vs. anaerobic metabolic and muscular benefits.  And through exercise, for example, like walking, our bodies burn more body fat because our task has shifted to an aerobic metabolism.  But if we go from a walk to a sprint, our body cannot get enough oxygen for long periods of time at this intensity and lactic acid buildup limits us in our exercise activity.  Anaerobic activity is good for those that need to push the body to build short burst and power/strength capacity.  Whereas aerobic activity is necessary to build upon muscular endurance, fat burning and body toning goals.

     Below I provide deep breathing exercises that one can practice and apply to improve upon any fitness goal or ill-health, or rehabilitative challenge.  Simply apply the daily breathing technique below for improved health benefits.  You will experience anxiety-stress relief, reduced aches and pains, have more energy, cardiopulmonary capacity improvements.  At a minimum, you’ll improve your circulatory properties (blood pressure and heart rate), improve posture, mood, and sleep, also feel better about yourself and maybe notice some weight loss.

     Regardless of your breathing technique, you’ll note it is work, because breathing correctly is exercise.  This is because during exercise you have to consciously and willfully exercise the lungs and chest cavity muscles to capacity.  And breathing exercises should be preformed many times daily to break the habit of shallow breathing.

     An easy breathing exercise that is relaxing to practice whether sitting, or just before sleep, or walking:  While sitting up straight without arching your back, inhale deeply [imagine filling your lungs from the bottom up].  Hold for a count of six and then release slowly for the same count.  During the exhalation, forcibly remove the excess residual air volume from your lungs.  This is easily accomplished by tightening the abdominal area through the exhalation activity.  During the inhalation phase don’t rush it [otherwise you’ll feel like your hyperventilating].  Simply inhale through the nose with the mouth closed.  Hold the inflated lungs for 6 counts and then release for 6 counts through mouth.

     Also, through simple breathing techniques posture is important.  Insure you don’t lean forward and reduce the chest cavity area during this exercise.  If you do this, you’re not exercising your circulatory-lung systems to its full capacity.  Remember to repeat this as many times throughout the day as possible.  Eventually, your involuntary system will maintain a deeper breathing pattern during sleep and during the day.  Your body will then begin to become more oxygenated throughout a 24 hour window.

     And just before sleep, as you lay on your bed, remove the pillow; lay flat and go through 8-10 deep breathing 6 counts of full inhalation and exhalation.  This is very relaxing and good for your mind and body which will greatly aid in your ability to fall asleep.

     Deep breathing is also good to practice before a big interview, or public speaking engagement as well.  It wakes the mind, lungs and posture for better focus and vocal capacity while calming the nerves.

     Remember, it’s easy to get lazy at breathing.  When we were younger our bodies were more active during the day and our breathing was more active during sleep.  Our young active metabolisms craved the oxygen enriched environment and the involuntary act of breathing during sleep was increased.

    However, for many of us as we age, our activity levels decrease and we develop poor postural habits.  When these two things occur the act of shallow breathing is the result.   But through daily aerobic activity and/or combined with daily breathing exercises one can reverse shallow breathing and reap many longevity health benefits for the mind, body and spirit.

 Internet References:

http://www.womentowomen.com/fatigueandstress/deepbreathing.aspx

http://www.stress-relief-exercises.com/deep-breathing-exercises.html

Read the rest of this entry »





Rehabilitation Tips to Improve Active Lifestyle

23 02 2011

A Herd of Elk on Oregan Coast Near Seaside

    Anyone that has experienced rehabilitation after physical injury, illness or disease understands nursing oneself back to health presents a huge undertaking.  This is especially true if the disability setback is long enduring.  And, or the disability is permanent and you need to learn how to work around the trigger pain(s) to get work done.

     It is also most certain that when you become injured, or disabled for long periods of time, a whole new set of emotions you’ve never experienced impact the psychosomatic (mind-body) connective wire ways.  This occurs first through physical limitation and pain.  Then if an injury converts to long-term chronic care conditions that include significant pain challenges, then depression can further affect the body’s ability to resist susceptibility to other illness and disease.

     And then the third component of being (soul-spirit) can further be challenged which also can impact one significantly.  Without a well developed understanding of how a 3-part being (mind, body, soul-spirit) perceives a traumatic and painful event; understand “any” long-term rehabilitation process can create other illness and disease challenges through depressed feelings of being.  The goal during any rehabilitation phase is to stabilize a chronic condition and learn to live with limitation challenges the best you can [if this is the case], “without dwelling on what you can no longer do.”  With this understanding and from this point forward, your quality of living experiences can and will improve!

     Pain does not discriminate with only one part of being [physical]; it also challenges our mental and spiritual health.   It stands to reason, if you have a fit-healthy encompassing being (mind, body, soul-spirit) before “any” stress, or disability event occurs; a much better processing of the pain adversity that follows will be much easier to deal with.

     Now, let me get back to rehabilitating self after a stressful life event has occurred; or after injury-surgery, or you now experience illness and/or disease pain.

      After talking to many people that had similar rehabilitative physical and mental pain challenges, I find we had commonalities that put us on the fast track mend while learning to manage our pain.  And I’m here today to share these commonalities through tips that appear to make a significant difference in lifting ones spirit to get up and active with life after adversity strikes.

     First of all, be realistic about the extent of your illness, disease, or injury; in doing so you can then begin to heal yourself.   I’ve found by understanding my limitations and working around pain triggers, I have improved upon my daily productivity and quality of life experiences while alleviating pain.  Listed below are lessons learned that helped me to work around my daily pain challenges.  In realizing and accepting these personal experiences as truths, I’ve been able to move forward with my life “productively” in a way I could never have thought otherwise.

1.   First, realize you have a physical/or mental limitation that may/may not be permanent.  And may be further aggravated into insidious illness or disease. If you don’t understand what activity will exasperate, aggravate and excel the pain condition(s); you must also know, by not changing activity habits per pain threshold (pain intolerance) and mental acceptance of change, you may likely cause further decline in overall health.

2.   To allow a physical limitation(s) to control your mental ability in living a productive fit-healthy lifestyle relative to pain challenges, will put further ill-health stress on being.

3.   Understand mental limitation also impacts physical activity.  When mental road blocks tell you, you can’t participate in activities; it also begins to tell you, you can’t participate in “any” activity.  This is absolutely an untruth conjured within the conscious mind.  You are capable of other forms of activities.  Soul search to find a new activity you can participate in.

4.   You can rehabilitate yourself around pain triggers.  Trigger pains can occur throughout the mind and body.  Your medical provider, pain specialist, physical therapist can work with you to provide many tools you’ll need to alleviate pain for better quality living experiences. 

5.  Humans are social creatures by nature and have need of social contact.  Without social contact the mind can become depressed leading one to become recluse from society.  And through a depressed mindset often follows physical-mental illness and disease.  You must find social interactivity with friends and family in order to maintain a healthy mind-spirit.  This in turn provides the physical-mental being more tolerance to “pain intolerance.”

6.   Humans desire and crave activity.  From the beginnings of time, man was designed to walk and accomplish work.  Our bodies and minds require exercise activity.  And walking is the best form of aerobic, fat burning exercise to accomplish all we need in life.  Walking is the best metabolic enhancer and centurion secret to long healthy living experiences.  If you cannot walk, there are other interactive physical activities to participate in.  Work with your physical therapists and rehabilitation personnel to tap local medical resources, educational workshops, therapeutic sessions, etc., to develop lifelong activity programs appropriate for your rehabilitative and fit-healthy needs.

7.   You must learn to advocate for timely and applicable medical care.  When you feel ill, or pain for too long, you must seek medical advisement.  To push off long-term illness can eclipse into acute and chronic pain disease.

8.   You must not become addicted to pharmaceuticals.  Take medications as prescribed by your physician.  If you become addicted to medications seek help from your primary care physician, or pain management specialist.  Addiction to pain killers for example has the potential to create many more secondary problems that can only complicate your particular mind, body and spirit-soul pain.

9.   Understand how important daily activity is to your overall rehabilitation success.  Without structured daily physical therapy and/or activity exercise the body will take longer to heal.  Inactivity will have an adverse effect on your mental thought processes and hamper will power to effectively change your physical and pain situation.  To compromise “will power” for lack of an active exercise plan will depress your entire being.  And when you become depressed in mind, body and spirit “being” is susceptible to further pain aggravation, illness and disease.

10.  You must not think with a social disability expectation.   In other words, do not allow yourself to believe you are disabled, even if limited mobility is the case.  You must understand, even when you have physical, or mental limitations you can reinvent your lifestyle to accommodate any physical challenge.  If you believe mentally you are disabled physically, your quality of living experiences will become just that, a limitation in your abilities to maintain social and mobile interactivity.  And regardless of disability severity, “believe it or not,” it is possible to enjoy better quality living conditions if your mindset does not limit your belief in what you can and cannot do.  As I’ve experienced, when real physical limitations are placed on mobility it requires one to retool the way you think in an approach to living life to the fullest.

11.   Take control of your life and lead your way through recovery.  I’ve found to lead my way through anything in life is much better than following anyone’s “long-term” advice on how to get through a difficult and personal physical-mental challenge.  This is because it’s easy for people to render a personal opinion based on what they feel is right for you.  Remember, they don’t feel, or think your pain-limitation challenges daily.  The point is, we all know inherently what each of our physical and mental limitations are, however, many of us have been conditioned by others making decisions for us.  It is now time for you to take control of your life, especially if you are now having difficulties through a rehabilitation, illness, disease or chronic pain scenario.  Only in this way can you begin to mend in a way that is fit-healthy for you.

12.  Instill belief in self that quality living experiences are in your future.  You must believe you can change your condition for the better if you stay consistent and work your rehabilitation, or pain management program.  You also must be prepared to partake in a program that could take months, or years before obtaining 50% of your physical abilities back for example.  There must be acceptance that in the end [if this is the case], if 50% is gained in activity ability, this becomes your new 100% physical capability [with limitations].  Activity goal setting is an important tool when programming activity plans through rehabilitation.  In knowing ill-health adversity experiences is not the end of quality living activities; instead, can become a new and exciting life experience.

13.  Don’t accept negative feedback.  I can’t tell you how many times I was told I’d most likely need assistive devices to walk for the rest of my life.  I didn’t accept this consult from my physicians.  Although, I surely thought it was a possibility.  In other words, I accepted the possibility of limited mobility disability but worked my physical therapy and exercise activity faithfully.  After 4 years of self-rehabilitation, I’m now free of assistive walking devices since 2008.  The point here, the mind-body conduit is a powerful electro-neuron stimulator.  If you believe you can physically do something to where you were unable at one point, the mind is capable of rewiring movement around pain.  I’m now capable of walking 10-14miles per day and am now working to get my 1996 upper body bulk fitness build back.  Can I achieve this goal?  I won’t know until I try.  Follow me in future eBook publications and I will share my rehabilitation and fitness stories (See, our home site Books page).

14.  Always present to your medical providers a fitness plan during the rehabilitation portion of your program while working through the rehabilitation process.  This is important why?  Because, all too often after a life changing event we return back to old habits that may have contributed to our inpatient stay.  It is important to realize fit-healthy life changing habits must continue after any rehabilitation treatment picture.  To do any less is to experience more suffering and pain then necessary.  I find it helpful while working with the medical community during the rehabilitation phase of recovery to compare fitness activity notes.  This way one can make the best informed decision for the best daily activity exercise with less risk of aggravation and secondary injury.  To have a physician, or specialists input on your daily activity, or exercise program goals helps you to customize a fit-healthy program that’s safe and right for you.

15.  What should the fitness plan look like?  The plan should look right for you.  In other words you know what your interests are and you also know your capabilities and limitations.  If you are more social, gage your activities around social activities.  If you are more physically active, interact in some form of daily movement activity.  If you are somewhere in-between, inter mix activities that put you into a socially interactive fitness environment.  Either way, you gain body-mind interactivity within the world around you.  This is fit-healthy for your 3-part being (mind, body and soul-spirit).

16.  Sustain healthy activity and habits for life.  Regardless of whether you’ve experienced a significant physical or mental pain challenge is not the point here.  The point is ill-health prevention and preparedness for the challenges that we will all experience is a must to alleviate pain experiences, “especially during the aging process.”  And we all can minimize our life pain experiences by learning to take charge of our own pain, stress, depression, malnutrition, addictions, illness, and disease and rehabilitation predicaments early on in life.  To do otherwise is to create more pain and suffering upon ourselves and our loved ones.

17.  Educate yourself on your condition.  Through education and understanding your illness, disease and rehabilitative life challenges will mitigate the ill-health effect and mobility limitation you may otherwise impose upon yourself [knowingly, or unknowingly].  Through education on your medical condition(s); an effective plan in preparation of what will ensue through the rehabilitation phase for example, will help increase your will power to pull through the physical therapy phase of recovery.  In knowing this you can discuss your life fitness activity ideals with your medical providers.  Allow them to make their recommended safe activity limitation input.  But you get to make the final decision on how you proceed with your life activities from that point forward.

     We all have a purpose in life.  And only our maker knows why we must experience pain adversity.  Also, it is important to note, had I listened to all of the medical opinion with regard to my mobility limitations, I would have limited myself possibly to a wheel chair, or assistive walking devices for life. 

     Don’t allow a social disability expectation and addictions to this expectation prevent you from living a quality of life that could otherwise be.  All too often, we listen to others that don’t understand what’s in our best interest.  They have their interests of not wanting to see us suffer.  You really can’t blame your loved ones for that, but in many cases this doesn’t help the one that is experiencing the pain challenges.  It is good for you to understand caring about a loved one’s comfort is human nature and you should expect this to occur.  But also, in this light you need to understand, you don’t have to proceed to limit yourself from participating in life to the fullest, especially if you are capable!

     What I needed was a good kick in the ass to get myself out of a rut.  We’ll nobody could do this for me; I kicked my own butt mentally by telling myself I was capable.  And you know what, I was!  Besides, I was getting pretty tired of feeling sorry for myself and others feeling bad for me.  This was enough for me… I had enough pity.  Regardless of my life long limitation outcome, I was determined to work towards becoming the best I could be physically and mentally and interactive with life.

     Once I decided to accept my physical limitations everything got better.  The depression left, I learned to work around pain thresh holds that would keep most down and got my life back.

     You can do it to if you want it bad enough.  Never give up on yourself, or your family!

 Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.