Health Coaches Needed For Health Care Reform

Most of the Congressional debate for health care reform revolves around ways to extend reimbursement for sick care. However, paying for more of the same fragmented, costly care isn’t reform, it’s madness.The $2.2 trillion health care system, the costliest in the world, requires a new top-to-bottom vision, and although the 600 doctors and health professionals gathered at the Institute of Medicine’s Summit on Integrative Medicine last month didn’t agree on everything, they reached a resounding consensus about the need for Americans to change their health habits. Yet how can that best be accomplished?With a primary shift toward health promotion, disease prevention and wellness, a revamped health care system could put the brakes on the disastrous trajectory predicted for 2012, in which total health care costs would equal 20% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Providers, employers, and even insurance companies finally concede that the US would fall behind the world’s nations in every imaginable sector if one out of every dollar of our productivity went toward health care costs.For over 30 years, the National Wellness Institute has been reporting that 8 out of 10 Americans suffer from chronic ailments derived from unhealthy lifestyles: poor diet, inadequate physical activity and unmanaged stress. Yet the difficult task of behavior change has always fallen on individuals, without much support from the medical system or their doctors.In addition, cultural support has been lacking for the most at-risk populations, often minorities with higher rates of diabetes and obesity. At present, there are more obese Americans than overweight ones-an almost unthinkable statistic.Cultural support for healthy lifestyles starts with community activists demanding bike paths, public parks, safe streets, farmers’ markets, fresh food options and more from their local governments. Together with cooperation from industry, government, health care, and public health officials, pressure can be placed on developers to build environments that provide opportunities for physical activity. Teachers, parents and consumers can demand that Big Food stop advertising cheap, non-nutritious, calorie-dense, processed foods to kids and young adults. Schools can offer nutrition and PE classes again, and lunch programs can teach kids about healthy choices-and provide them!Should Your MD Get Paid to Teach Wellness?”Lose weight, stop smoking, start exercising, and cut down on your stress-and I’ll see you next year for your physical.” Everybody knows that the once-a-year admonition from your doctor rarely translates into new health habits.A new tier of health coaches can supply the support and encouragement needed for Americans to begin their journey towards maximizing personal health. Health coaches should be part of every public clinic, medical office and hospital wellness center. They should be reimbursed by insurance companies, or be part of the first-access tier of Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance companies and corporate wellness programs. Even Dr. Mehmet Oz suggested that health coaches should be considered a central part of health care reform to CNN’s medical reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta.Instead of medical doctors expecting to be reimbursed for providing health promotion and wellness services (at rates exceeding $200/ hour), health coaches could easily provide this service at one-fifth the cost. They would also present a more friendly, accessible, peer-support approach to individuals. The specialized training of medical doctors is best directed to complex cases, whether acute or chronic.The entire continuum of care needs to be re-examined and opened up to include reimbursement for health professionals that investigate the foundational causes of chronic illness, and who understand and have specialized skills in countering the ill effects of unhealthy lifestyles-professionals such as Nurse Practitioners, Naturopathic Doctors, and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors, Homeopathic doctors, and Chiropractors.For too long, there has been an active collusion barring the advancement of these professions by certain medical organizations with insurance companies, and the public has suffered as a result.When these allied health professionals spoke up, demanding inclusion at the reimbursement table at the Summit on Integrative Medicine, a few medical doctors such as Dean Ornish, MD, championed this democratizing of the medical landscape, but others kept insisting that their own practices could accomplish wellness services, if only they were properly reimbursed.However, reimbursement for lifestyle counseling should not have to include the major overhead encountered by medical doctors, including their clinical offices, costly tuition loans, high-tech equipment, numerous staff and billing clerks.It’s been said that the US health care system is neither healthy nor much of a system. I believe it’s always darkest before the dawn of a new era, and these dark days of an ailing system must mean the light is about to break over the horizon.Bringing health coaches into the US health care system can address the colossal “elephant in the middle of the room”-that the burden of disease and related health costs can be dramatically lowered through healthy behavioral change. Learning to move more, eat well and less, and de-stress often, is not only a prescription for a better life, it’s an Rx for US health care reform.

Sports Nutrition Supplements – Only the Right Supplements Can Fine-Tune Your Fitness Level

You cannot develop a healthy diet without consuming all the essential nutrients. Many key nutrients are not even found in food, while certain people are not allowed by their doctor to eat certain food items. In such a scenario, sports nutrition supplements play a vital role in fulfilling your body’s need for essential nutrients.Most sports nutrition supplements are very easy to use simply because most people try to avoid using supplements that are too complex. However, using them is never as simple as swallowing pills day after day as you have to keep other factors in mind.For starters, you need to pick the right set of exercises in accordance with the sport you play. Secondly, you need to be 100 percent certain that all the nutrients you take come from the intake of only healthy food items. Lastly, you must not forget that sports nutrition supplements are just there to optimize your performance.It is very important to understand why your body needs the support of sports nutrition supplements. An easier way to analyze this is to notice what foods you crave to eat before, after and during exercise sessions. This pattern will help you realize which nutrients your body consumes in abundance and which ones it does not consume at all. This deficiency can then be filled by sports nutrition supplements.In order to develop a healthy and athletic body you have to create a combination of nutritional diet and regular exercise. With stern discipline in your diet plan and regular exercise you can begin to get the desired results from sports nutrition supplements. Your diet plan can only go on to serve your purpose if it is developed after taking into account important nutritional facts.A proven method of bringing more discipline to your ‘healthy’ routine is to think of ways of bringing more fun and excitement in it. Setting goals and pursuing them will also keep you motivated to stick to your diet plan and exercise routine.Some of the important yardsticks that can be used to set short-term and long-term goals include body type, cardio training, presence of good fats and body fat composition.Although, there are literally hundreds of sports nutritional supplements available in the market, experts generally classify them as vitamin supplements, protein supplements, protein bars, creatine glutamine and weight loss supplements. If you want to narrow down your search in terms of top brand names then you might want to consider Hydroxycut, EAS, Twinlab, Xendadrine EFX, Optimum Nutrition and Muscletech.While each brand in the industry harps about the benefits of their products, what you really need to look at is the true nutritional value of the supplements you use. Moreover, you should also use products that fit right in your health routine. In the end it all comes down to the level of realization you have about what your body needs and what goals you have to set health-wise. Without having the necessary awareness, you will never be able to find the right sports nutritional supplement.There are certain nutrients that have universal benefits for literally every person but it is important not to create an excess of such nutrients in your body by using nutritional supplements without doing any research about their possible aftereffects. Despite their benefits, the excess of certain nutrients can eventually turn out to be counterproductive for your health. This is another reason why health awareness is so important before you set out to buy a sports nutritional supplement.