Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fitness Centers Crucial to Any Health Care Plan

The YMCA in Norwich, Connecticut will close its doors permanently on April 30th after 100 years of service to the community. Like many other facilities around the country the Norwich YMCA provides a place for people to swim, play competitive sports and exercise. The Y is the only access to indoor exercise for many during winter months.

New health plans that provide wider coverage under the federal government are in the
head lines every day. Unfortunately, these plans only address care after people become ill. Any new health plan must include preventive measures with wider access to fitness centers.

As exercise facilities close due to economic constraints health care costs will rise. Money spent on these facilities now is an investment in the future.

Do you have ideas on how to incorporate fitness incentives into health plans?
How should we deal with constraints placed on these facilities?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Alzheimer's Disease and Physical Activity

Among the most frequent and feared neurological complaints is loss of the ability to think clearly including recognition of friends and family. Problems such as these fall into the broad category of cognitive impairment often preceeding Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

This month's issue of Archives of Neurology contains four articles addressing the link beween physical activity and dementia. Multiple studies demonstrate a higher frequency of cognitive disorders in obese people. Many of these disorders are the result of obesity in combination with diabetes, high cholesterol and vascular disease.

One study demonstated improved memory function in adults over the age of 50 who began a program of physical activity.

These recent studies add more support to the fact that even a modest exercise program of walking, aquatics or cycling will improve the quality of life for older individuals.

Do you have any suggestions of how to incorporate physical exercise into an active lifestyle?
How can you make physical activity part of a productive retirement?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Colorectal Cancer Awareness

March is colorectal cancer awareness month highlighting the number three cause of death from cancer in the United States. Vigilance for signs of bowel cancer should begin at age 50 with a colonoscopy. If there is a family history of colorectal cancer these examinations should begin sooner. All adults should have annual stool guiac testing (a test for blood in stool) as part of a general physical exam.

A recent Healthy Rounds interview with Dr. David Coletti, a general surgeon at the William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, CT, revealed the importance adequately preparing the colon for any procedure including endoscopic colonoscopy, radiologic imaging of the colon or colorectal surgery. Careful cleansing of the colon before the procedure, as outlined in the written instructions, will directly increase the ability to find a cancerous growth and remove it without complication.

If you have any helpful hints regarding preparation for colonoscopy please share them.