Partner With Your Health Care Provider

In today’s world of changing health care you can’t afford to be a passive participant in your own health. You must be pro-active and partner with your health care providers. Approach your doctors and other health care providers as if they were hand selected members of your optimal health team. Here are some tips on how to start doing this now.

Schedule regular visits and make sure you get a clear picture of your present health and risk factors. Don’t blindly accept everything your health care providers tell you. They see a steady stream of patients all day long and use “normal” guidelines because they are safe and convenient. However these normal guidelines may not reflect your concerns and optimal health goals. You must educate your doctors about your health goals and health concerns. When they give you a prescription, be sure you understand the full impact of the course of action they outline. If you have questions or don’t understand, question you doctor until you do understand.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

After undergoing every heart test available for my A Fib, my doctor told me “your heart is fine it’s your heart’s electrical system that isn’t working properly”. Since I exercise regularly and fairly intensely I discussed limitations, if any, I should use while working out. I was also concerned because one of the symptoms I experienced was having my max heart rate fluctuates day-to-day while exercising at the same intensity. I do interval training where I run hard for 90 seconds and then walk for two minutes. On some days my max heart rate would hit 140 and on others 160-170 even when I run at the same pace or slower. On the days when I maxed at 160+ I felt drained after the work out. On the 140 days I felt refreshed. I shared this information with my doctor and we discussed how the A Fib can impact my exercise performance and the related risks involved. We then agreed that I would where a heart rate monitor and limit my max heart rate to 140. This number allowed me to do my normal workout yet avoid pushing myself to hard. Without this discussion of the numbers I used to keep score the normal thing for my doctor to say would have been, “don’t do any strenuous exercise… next patient” Instead we agreed on an approach that was optimal for my health condition and my lifestyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *