May 12, 2008

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Only You Know What Is Right For You

Sometimes you have to take charge of your health problem.

For example, I was once diagnosed with a rotator cuff problem and the orthopedic surgeon wanted to operate. I decided not to have the operation. Instead, I started a series of shoulder exercises in my home and within three months I was — and still am — pain-free.

That taught me a good lesson. There’s often more than one way to control a health condition, and you can choose which way to go.

A case in point: I went for my yearly physical and was told I had high blood pressure. My doctor wanted to prescribe a high blood pressure medication but I didn’t want to take that route. Instead, I told my doctor to give me a month, then recheck my blood pressure. If it was still too high after a month, I’d take the medication. During that month, I started a running program and carefully watched my diet. I have never had to take medication and my blood pressure has been perfectly normal for the last 20 years.

In Florida where I live, so many seniors are on medication, yet there are so many exercises (like water exercises) and healthy lifestyle options that could potentially, depending on the condition, replace the drugs they’re on.

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