6 Tips to Beginning a Healthy Lifestyle

Adopting a healthy lifestyle sometimes requires a support system. Working out can be much more fun when you’re accompanied by someone else. And if you lack self-motivation, a solo workout and healthy eating can be challenging. If you’re ready to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you’ll need to adopt some healthy habits to help you reach your goals. Here are six tips to help you adopt a healthy fitness and lifestyle regimen.

1. Plan your workout schedule. Plan out your weekly schedule just as you would with work. Make yourself and your health a priority. Schedule in workout sessions on a daily basis just as you would a meeting for work. Commit to going to your workouts.

2. Get a workout buddy. Family and/or friends are a great place to start. Having a workout buddy can help motivate you, push you and guide you during workouts. In addition, working out with someone else helps keep you accountable. You’re more likely to stay on track when you’ve got someone else counting on you for a workout.

3. Find a class that inspires you. What type of exercise will get you to the gym? What’s most important in the beginning and throughout your healthy lifestyle is to participate in workouts and activities that inspire you to move. Do you love cardio dance classes, body sculpting class or boot camp at your local gym? Determine which activity you would like to do most and gravitate to that activity. In addition, classes are a great way to start working out. Classes provide an instructor that will help motivate you and keep your workouts safe to avoid injury.

4. Get involved in an activity or club. Have you ever thought of getting involved in an activity such as tennis, swimming, golf, softball or a running club? Organized sports activities and clubs provide a great environment for working out with like minded people. In addition, sports groups and clubs are the perfect way to keep you interested, involved and on a training schedule.

5. Set short and long term goals. First and foremost, it’s important to be realistic with your goals. Whether your goals are to lose weight, improve endurance, excel at a sport or simply to become more active, goals can be a great way to keep yourself on track. Make sure to track your progress as well. Whether you journal your steps toward your goals or create a calendar or use an app on your phone, keep a record of the steps you are taking to reach your goals and by what date you would like to reach your goals. Each person is different and each person’s goals should be specific to you and your fitness level and lifestyle.

6. Adopt healthy eating habits. Not only are your workouts important but so is healthy eating. If you want to improve your fitness level, lose weight and become healthier, you’ll need to fuel your body properly. Make sure to hydrate, eat whole fresh foods and try to eliminate processed foods from your diet. Plan your weekly meals, journal your food daily and remember to reward yourself at the end of each week for all of your hard work. Remember, it’s about lifestyle – not deprivation.

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. But with a consistent workout routine, healthy eating and healthy habits, you’re one step closer to your goal. Sit down and devise a workout schedule and a healthy eating schedule. Being prepared can help you stay on track and ensure you stick to your new healthy regimen.

Is Team Training Effective at Healthcare Sites?

In the June 2016 issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology the authors Eduardo Salas, Lauren Benishek, Megan Gregory and Ashley Hughes in an article titled “Saving Lives: A Meta-Analysis of Team Training in Healthcare” set out to answer the question as to whether team training is effective in healthcare, whether it leads to reduced mortality and improved health outcomes.

Their research stated that a preventable medical error occurs in one in every three hospital admissions and results in 98,000 deaths per year, a figure corroborated in To Err is Human. Teamwork errors through failure in communications accounts for 68.3% of these errors. Thus, effective team training is necessary to reduce errors in hospitals and ambulatory sites.

The authors used a meta-analysis research method to determine whether there are effective training methods in the healthcare setting that can have a significant impact on medical errors, which would in turn improve outcomes and reduce costs by eliminating the costs associated with the errors. A meta-analysis is a broad research of existing literature to answer the research questions posed by the research team or authors.

The research team posed three questions to answer:

1. Is team training in healthcare effective?

2. Under what conditions is healthcare team training effective?

3. How does healthcare team training influence bottom-line organizational outcomes and patient outcomes?

The team limited its meta-analysis to healthcare teams even though there is a great deal of research available about the effectiveness of team training in other industries and service organizations. The team believes that healthcare teams differ significantly from teams in other areas in as much that there can be much greater team fluidity in healthcare. That is, team membership is not always static, especially at sites such as hospitals and outpatient surgical centers. There are more handoffs at these sites.

Although there is greater fluidity in team membership at healthcare sites, roles are well defined. For instance, a medical assistant’s role at a primary care site is well defined even though different MA’s may be working with one physician. These roles are further defined and limited by state licensure. As the research team stated in their article, “these features make healthcare team training a unique form of training that is likely to be developed and implemented differently than training in more traditional teams… “

The team assessed their research of articles using Kirkpatrick’s model of training effectiveness, a widely used framework to evaluate team training. It consists of four areas of evaluation:

1. Trainee reactions

2. Learning

3. Transfer

4. Results

Reaction is the extent to which the trainee finds the instruction useful or the extent to which he enjoys it. Learning is defined as a relatively permanent change in knowledge, skills and abilities. The authors note that team training is not a hard skill, as learning to draw blood. Rather, it is a soft knowledge skill. Some researchers question whether it is possible to measure the acquisition of these soft team skills effectively. The team of authors effectively argue that it can.

Transfer is the use of trained knowledge, skills and abilities at the work site. That is, can team training be effectively applied in the work setting? Results are the impacts of the training on patient health, the reduction of medical errors, the improved satisfaction of patients and a lowering of costs in providing care.

In order to assure that the changes in these four areas were ‘real’ the team only used literature that had both pre-assessments and post-assessments to see if there were statistically significant changes in the four areas.

Using this assessment rubric the team was able to answer the three questions that it posited. First, team training in healthcare is effective. Healthcare team training closely matches training in other industries and service organizations.

Secondly, training is effective, surprisingly, regardless of training design and implementation, trainee characteristics and characteristics of the work environment. The use of multiple learning strategies versus a single training strategy does not matter. Simulations of a work environment are not necessary. Training can occur in a standard classroom.

Training is effective for all staff members regardless of certification. Training of all clinical personnel as well as administrative staff is effective. Team training also is effective across all care settings.

Lastly, the team’s meta-analysis shows that within the Kirkpatrick rubric team training is effective in producing the organizational goals of better care at lower costs with higher patient satisfaction. In the rubric trainee reactions are not nearly as important as learning and transfer in producing results. It is important that trainers use both pre-training assessments and post-training assessments to measure whether there learning of skills, knowledge and abilities were learned and whether these were transferred to the work site. Effectiveness of training should always be assessed in order that training programs can be consistently improved.

Baby Boomers – 4 Elements of a Healthy Lifestyle

For anyone born during the post-World War II Era, up until the Vietnam Era, you have been automatically labeled a Baby Boomer. This generation had proven to be the largest in quite some time, and as they get older, more of a focus has been placed on becoming much healthier.

The Baby Boomers have seen the toll that hard work, lack of proper sleep, and poor nutrition have had on both their parents’ and grandparents’ generations, and this has been motivation to make a difference in overall lifestyle choices.

First and foremost, everything we do to our bodies has some kind of impact, whether it is positive or negative. But what we eat can sometimes help us to improve our quality of life, and make it possible to add several years to our lives. Good nutrition is significant, because it can release antioxidants for heart health, or help us to feel more energized so we engage in more activity throughout the day.

As long as we are practicing good nutrition, the next step would be to exercise. Whether you go to the gym every day of the week, or simply walk a mile a couple of days a week, physical activity has proven its benefits, especially to people over the age of forty. Getting the body moving increases blood flow for heart health, releases endorphins for mental health, and allows the body to sweat, releasing toxins that are extremely bad for the skin and other organs.

Another element that the Baby Boomers should consider is the impact of cigarettes and alcohol on personal health. This generation grew up in an era where nothing much was thought about smoking several cigarettes a day, and imbibing alcohol was a regular occurrence in many homes. It seems like such obvious advice, but giving up smoking, and limiting the amount of alcohol you consume can really add years to your life. But really, the way you feel will improve one hundred percent.

The last element of a healthy lifestyle for Baby Boomers would be a good night’s sleep. So often, working adults feel that they can get through the day on only a few hours, and be fine. Yet, what they do not realize is that, even though they may be able to function at the office that does not mean that this behavior is healthy.

Looking and feeling great involves taking care of your body, and taking the time to relax and fall asleep in a timely fashion often falls to the wayside. But many people of this generation are beginning to realize the need for sleep, and taking steps to ensure they fall asleep quickly at a decent hour, to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

Unlike with exercise, nutrition and quitting smoking and drinking, you do not have to do much to practice this method of health. All it takes is lying on the bed, and drifting off into a deep slumber, and years will be added to your life.

By combining all of these positive behaviors, the Baby Boomer generation will demonstrate that they will far outlive the average age of their parents and grandparents. All it takes is four positive steps.

Pulsatile Tinnitus – What Beat Are You Marching To?

Tinnitus comes in several different noise packages, with pulsatile tinnitus being one that is not so common. With general tinnitus symptoms, the sufferer deals with noises that are continuous, such as: hissing, roaring, clicking, ear ringing and other such variations. One thing to keep in mind is that tinnitus is not a disease, but rather a symptom of some underlying condition. It is therefore important to find out what is causing the irritating sounds.

The causes of tinnitus fall into three main categories: hearing damage due to loud noises; hearing damage due to stress or anxiety; and hearing damage due to allergies and sinus problems. There are also two main forms of tinnitus: subjective tinnitus and objective tinnitus.

Subjective Tinnitus: This is where only the one suffering from tinnitus can hear the noises, and the sounds are continuous. But, there is no external evidence of the sounds he/she is hearing, it is completely “subjective”. This is the most common type of tinnitus and almost 50 million Americans deal with it in some form.

Objective Tinnitus: The noises that the person with objective tinnitus hears can also be heard by their doctor, through a special medical instrument.

Pulsatile tinnitus, also known as vascular tinnitus, would be classified as objective tinnitus. It gets its name from the fact that the sounds are not continuous but rather come in “pulses”, keeping rhythm with your heartbeat. This is usually due to the restriction of blood vessels in and around the ear, or even by poor blood circulation. This restriction makes it more difficult for the blood to get through it and disrupts the normal smooth flow resulting instead, in a pulse like flow. That is why some people refer to it as pulsating tinnitus.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, could also be a potential cause of pulsatile tinnitus, as could any number of factors that alter the regular, or normal, blood flow in and around the ear. One quite common culprit could be an inner ear infection or inflammation, which causes an elevation and thus a disruption, in the blood flow.

Some sounds associated with Pulsatile Tinnitus Are:

  • Clicking
  • High pitched sounds
  • Swooshing or swishing
  • Blowing sounds
  • Low pitched humming, booming or thumping
  • Single rhythmic beats

Pulsatile Tinnitus Treatment

The treatment for pulsatile tinnitis must concentrate on the improvement of blood flow throughout the capillaries and blood vessels. This is done by isolating, and then dealing with, the underlying conditions that are causing the disruptive flow to start with. You could take the conventional, or medical, route for treatments or try any number of alternative tinnitus remedies that offer relief to the sufferer without the bothersome, and sometimes dangerous, side-effects of the drug-based therapies.

1. Conventional Treatment of Pulsatile Tinnitus:

This is through the use of drugs that work to improve the blood flow, which in turn reduces or alleviates the annoying symptoms of pulsatile tinnitis. These drugs are inclusive of those that help reduce hypertension and a spectrum of antibiotics that fight inner ear infections. Angioplasty surgery is sometimes used to un-block the restricted blood vessels, thus improving the flow dramatically and doing away with the “pulse” or “beat” symptom of pustule tinnitus.

2. Alterative Pulsatile Tinnitus Treatment:

For those who shy away from high-potency drugs or invasive surgery, there are many, valid, natural or homeopathic remedies that can bring relief for pulsatile tinnitus sufferers. They also deal with the underlying issues, but without the negative, and sometimes dangerous, side-effects of prescription medications, and of course, without having to go through the trauma of tinnitus surgery.

Here Are Some Alternative Treatments For Pulsatile Tinnitus:

  • Herbal remedies
  • Dietary supplements
  • Homeopathic medicine
  • Exercise
  • Lifestyle adjustments
  • Change of diet
  • Tinnitus retraining therapy

Utilizing an all-encompassing “holistic” approach, by combining the best remedies from each of these alternative treatments packaged together, will offer you the best chance of getting rid of your pulsatile tinnitus once and for all…

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