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10 Ways to Improve Your Medical Appointments

10 Ways to Improve Your Medical Appointments

One of the most important relationships we have outside of family and friends are the ones we share with our doctors and practitioners.  In this era of patient-centered care, the focus to the patients’ expectations on their doctor/practitioner have now outweighed the expectation of the doctor on the patient. So, is this a good thing? Yes and no. Like any good relationship it takes 2 parties to make it work. The best relationships are formed and continue to grow based on how the parties interact.

These 10 points will help empower you, the patient to better control your destiny in these situations. It is your health after all.

1. Before your appointment make a list of questions. Make it no longer than 5 but realize you will probably only get to 3. Focus on what matters most.

Hint: Think about your objective for the appointment and don’t let it get lost in your quest to be cured instantly.

2. Always aim to be the first patient of the day (this is also applicable to surgery).

Why? Everyone is fresh and open-minded. Your doctor has not been jaded by 10 other patients and this is your opportunity to start his or her day off on the right foot.

3. Listen after you ask a question, do not ramble on.

The art of the pause is very important as it allows the professional to regroup his or her thoughts and shows respect on your end.

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4. Do not bring your own research or opinions from Dr. Google.

Instead use your research to form your questions. Remember you are not an expert nor is your doctor on everything, but you are the expert on you.  As well, don’t push for what you perceive to be the issue. Use the appointment time wisely to explore and take the proper next steps.

How to phrase your own findings: I wanted to understand what I was experiencing, and found this online – what do you think?

5. Look your doctor or practitioner in the eye when you greet and speak to them.

Accept the same in return.Jumping right in with issues gets everyone on edge for no reason. Eye contact changes the way we respond and lowers our cortisol levels.

6. Ask your doctor or practitioner how they are.

Acknowledgement that we are all the same human species makes for a level playing field so all parties feel more comfortable.

7. If you don’t like your doctor or have a personality clash get a new one – you are doing everyone a favour.

The other reasons that may call for this are:

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A. Wait times to see him or her

B. Your first language is not English – find someone who speaks your mother tongue

C. The support staff make you uncomfortable or continuously make errors

D. The doctor has poor listening skills

8. No one is perfect.

If something is not working or makes you uncomfortable it is your life/health. Speak directly to your doctor/practitioner and resolve or move on. Many people feel intimidated by a doctor or practitioner – if your intuition says something or you were not understood speak up.

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Is it your intuition or you?

A. Are you looking to hear something your doctor is not telling you?

B. Are you not listening?

C. Looking for an excuse not to get well and avoid the doctor’s office

9. Don’t look for problems.

Maybe you are having emotional issues or hate your job. Yes, you can manifest something and get pills, but remember the saying: Be careful what you wish for.

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If you are having any issues – change your appointment and maybe take a day off instead.  Sometimes, the doctor serves as a friend/psychologist.  Because of the nature of how a practice is set-up they are limited for time.  You must acknowledge this as well, and ensure that what you are asking is valid and within their scope.

Pills do not solve life problems. A prescription to be happier and take a walk just might…

10. A good patient forms a bond with a practitioner/doctor that allows him or her to grow with that practice and as health issues occur call upon that professional for help.

However, you are first and foremost responsible for your health. Take it seriously as your life depends on it.

A doctor is just a human with a different skill set.  Often we put too much on their shoulders, when in fact it truly starts with ourselves.  Before you do to your appointment audit your lifestyle: food, sleep, habits… be honest and also share these with your doctor.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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