Don’t Skimp on Hydration

You’ve probably heard the statistic that the body is composed mainly of water, but you may not realize why this is so significant to drinking water on a daily basis.  Hydration maintains a clear balance between internal water and electrolytes so that the body’s systems function as they should. Water is responsible for clearing waste, controlling heart rate and temperature, and much more. A body without water is like a car without an engine: there’s just no way to make it work. If there’s one smart thing you can do for yourself, it’s staying hydrated.

Why is Hydration Important?

Every single cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to survive, so dehydration carries hefty consequences.

Steady water deprivation creates dehydration that makes you fatigued, lethargic, and sick from the toxins that can’t find a way to be flushed out of your body. Water doesn’t just cleanse the outside of your body, it cleanses the inside too. Digestive problems, constipation, dry skin, and premature aging are just a few of these signs. Not drinking water is a prime culprit of poor skin as seen by medical director Todd Besnoff, owner of Ultimate Image Cosmetic Medical Center with locations in Tampa and Clearwater, Florida.

Elasticity-of-skinHow Can You Trick Yourself Into Staying Hydrated?

Drinking water consistently throughout the day isn’t always as easy as it sounds, especially if you aren’t a fan of water. Fortunately, hydration is possible through means other than pure water. Any food or drink with water as its base can contribute to hydration.

Naturally flavored or electrolyte-enhanced waters without added sugar are great choices for water that’s a bit more tempting to drink. Coffee and juice can even contribute to hydration, but shouldn’t be completely relied upon since they aren’t pure H20. Food is also a smart way to get water into your body! Apples, watermelon, even yogurt are water-based foods that can quench thirst in an alternative way.

In addition, try drinking a little bit at steady intervals throughout the day rather than attempting to down an entire liter in one hour. Frequent, small amounts of fluids are much better for the body since too much at once can induce vomiting.

If you dedicate yourself to drinking more water every single day, you will notice dramatic improvements in your health that you may not have even noticed were bothering you. If you still need a New Year’s resolution goal, staying hydrated is the perfect choice.

Avoid Winter Weight Gain this Season!

weight gain winterWhen the sun sets before you’ve left work, the temperature is steadily dropping on your drive home, and that cozy comfortable bed seems to be shouting for your company, it can be very difficult to talk yourself into working out. Add monthly holidays of guilty indulgent meals into the equation, and by February you’re wondering why your pants have shrunk two sizes. Or wait, have you gained two sizes? Gaining winter weight is frustrating, but it can be totally avoided by following these simple tips courtesy of Midwest Aesthetics in Kansas City.

Incentivize Your Workouts

Winter isn’t the easiest time of year to amp yourself up into a calorie-busting workout, so if you need to, bribe yourself! If all you want to do is binge-watch your favorite Netflix series, don’t let yourself watch an episode until you’ve finished your run or completed your lifting routine. Or maybe treat yourself to a skinny latte or a new workout accessory for every week that you complete your 5 full workouts.

Squeeze More Movement Into Daily Tasks

When all else fails, you can always burn extra calories without really knowing it. Take the stairs, volunteer to carry groceries from the car, and park as far away from work or the store as you can. You could even start doing squats while you brush your teeth and calve raises as you wash the dishes. Every little bit counts.

Don’t Arrive Hungry!

The holidays are a time of social get-togethers and dinner parties, which equals extra temptation. Arriving to a party hungry is a recipe for disaster, because appetizers of choice are rarely healthy, fiber-filled fruits and veggies. Alcohol, carbohydrates, and sugars reign supreme at parties and can void your day’s workout entirely. Instead of falling into that trap, eat something healthy before you leave the house and just nibble on the best snack choices once you arrive.

It only takes a few simple steps to avoid unwanted weight gain throughout the winter. By April the sun will be back and you’ll feel a renewed energy to prepare for bikini season. In the meantime, consider Kansas city coolsculpting treatments at our medical spa this winter to keep the weight off for good.


Could You Be Pregnant? Use The Best Tests to Know for Sure!

Whether you’ve been planning and trying for years or enjoying the sudden surprise, the suspicion that you could be pregnant is an exciting journey. Before you begin planning your shower registry, however, you need to test to determine that your pregnancy is indeed official. There are a few simple methods to check for pregnancy. Many eager moms-to-be use every method to be as sure as possible!

Urine and blood tests both check for the presence of hCG, a hormone produced by the placenta after the embryo has been established in your uterine lining. Since hCG is rapidly generated after the embryo attaches, it’s best to wait to test until a few weeks after you suspect you’ve conceived. Testing too early can cause a negative result because the hCG wouldn’t have been released yet.

Urine Tests

You can easily purchase a urine pregnancy test at any drug store or grocery store. Most involve catching your urine mid-stream onto a stick which then checks for the presence of hCG. You can also complete a urine test at a doctor’s office or clinic; they will have you dip a stick into your urine instead. Either of these urine tests are about 97 percent accurate as long as they are done correctly. It’s vital that you read the instructions carefully to avoid a false result. The biggest perks of a urine test are affordability and privacy.

Blood Tests

pregnantEven if a urine test confirms your pregnancy six times in a row, you still need a blood test to medically confirm the pregnancy and schedule your first visit with an OB-GYN. A blood test is a very simple process that can definitively identify whether or not you are pregnant. One type of blood test measures the exact amount of hCG in the blood, while the other type simply samples whether the hCG is present at all. It will be up to your Port Richey doctor’s office or walk in clinic to determine which type of test is best in your situation.

If you are indeed pregnant, it’s time to schedule your first prenatal appointment and start all of the exciting planning that a baby brings about!

Avoid Weight Gain This Winter Season

Are you familiar with the clothes shrinking fairy? She seems to do most of her work in the winter, with her grand finale right around April when you go to put on your first pair of shorts since the warm weather retreated.

weight gain winter time

Well, if only that was the reason clothes always seem to fit a bit more snugly after the holiday season! Cookie-baking parties, snack-packed movie marathons on chilly nights, and lost exercise motivation during impossibly short daylight hours are the real culprits for weight gain, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it as an inevitable fact of the winter says Dr. Heim of The Center for Health and Age Management in Tampa Bay.

Create a Realistic Strategy for Holiday Eating

If you eat and drink every single thing that looks even partially tempting at every party you attend from Halloween through Valentine’s Day, you’re in for an unpleasant wake-up call upon spring’s arrival. Instead of throwing self-control out the window, avoid the standard “all or nothing!” mindset by being more attentive to the food you do eat and allowing yourself a certain number of indulgences. If you avoid distractedly gobbling down Pigs in a Blanket while simultaneously cheering for your college football team, you’ll remain more aware of what you eat and if you’re even hungry to begin with. To make it possible to eat only a few select desserts, remind yourself that there is always next time! You don’t need to eat everything; brownies won’t cease to exist after the party ends!

Don’t Be Fooled By Holiday Drinks

It may be hard to look a Starbucks PSL in the eyes and tell it you’re breaking up, but those calories equate to one large meal! Whipped cream topping, sugary lattes, and warm apple cider are wintertime favorites, and while a treat every now and then won’t hurt anything, incorporating these drinks into your daily routine will put you on the fast track to weight gain. If you must have your gingerbread latte then use it as an incentive after a great workout week or completion of an important project at work.


Every workout doesn’t need to break a world record, but moving daily in some capacity is vital to staying fit in the winter time. On very busy days your workout might just need to be climbing the steps rather than taking the escalator and doing a few squats while you brush your teeth, but other days you can take the time for a full cardio session. If you’re struggling with inspiration try a workout video; you won’t have to leave the house to workout, and the incredibly inspiring people in the video can push you past your normal limits.

It only takes a few simple steps to avoid unwanted weight gain throughout the winter. By April you can be trying on those shorts for the first time and breathe a sigh of relief that the clothes shrinking fairy stayed far away from your closet over the winter! If all else fails, you can always consult with a medical clinic about their weight management programs like the ones offered by Dr. Heim in Tampa, Florida.

An American Universal Health Care System

An American Universal Health Care System

Health Care System Needs Reform, Not a Government Takeover

Believe it or not, America boasts some of the world’s best doctors, the most advanced health care system, and the most technically superior resources in the world, bar none. Those who travel globally and have gotten sick know that their first choice for treatment would be in the U.S. Though health care in America is, more expensive than any other country, many of the worlds wealthiest come to the U.S for surgical procedures and complex care, because it holds a worldwide reputation for the gold standard in health care.

To examine the complex health care issue, a small research study was conducted from randomly selected doctors in a best doctors database. We ask 50 top doctors, located in different states and who practice different specialty fields, ” Is a universal health care plan good for America?” Forty-eight of these doctors essentially responded that it was a “bad idea” that would have negative impacts on the quality of our nation’s health care.

Social Engineering Medicine

One of the greatest mis-conceptions some people have relied on with regard to the health care debate is that, given a universal health care system, every person in the U.S. would receive the highest quality health care – the kind our nation is renowned for and that we currently receive. However, unlike some public amenities, health care is not a collective public service like police and fire protection services, therefore the Government cannot provide the same quality of health care to everyone, because not all physicians are equally good orthopedic surgeons, internists, neurosurgeons, etc, in the same way that not all individuals in need of health care are equally good patients.

As an analogy – stay with me – when you design a software program, there are many elements that are coded on the back-end, and used to manipulate certain aspects of the software program, that your average “John Doe” who uses the software (the end user) does not understand or utilize, nor do they care about these elements. Certain aspects of the program are coded, so that when one uses that portion of the program, other elements of the program are manipulated and automatically follow the present or next command.

Likewise, once a universal care plan is implemented in America and its massive infrastructure is shaped, private insurance companies will slowly disappear, and as a result, eventually patients will automatically be forced to utilize the government’s universal health care plan. As part of such a system, patients will be known as numbers rather than patients, because such a massive government program would provide compensation incentive based on care provided, patients would become “numbers,” rather than “patients.” In addition, for cost savings reasons, every bit of health information, including your own, will be analyzed, and stored by the Government. What are the consequences? If you’re a senior citizen and need a knee replacement at the age of 70, the government may determine that you’re to old and it’s not worth the investment cost, therefore instead of surgery, you may be given medication for the rest of your life at a substantial cost savings to the government, and at a high quality of life price to you.


Fixing the current U.S. health care system might require that we;

1. Encourage prevention and early diagnosis of chronic conditions and management.
2. Completely reform existing government are programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.
3. Forgive medical school debt for those willing to practice primary care in under-served areas.
4. Improve access to care, provide small businesses and the self-employed with tax credits, not penalties for providing health care.
5. Encourage innovation in medical records management to reduce costs.
6. Require tort reform in medical malpractice judgments to lower the cost of providing care.
7. Keep what isn’t broken-research shows 80% of Americans are happy with their current insurance, therefore, why completely dismantle it?
8. Reimburse physicians for their services.
9. Innovate a system in which Medicare fraud is dramatically decreased.

Devil In the Details

Socialized medicine means:

1. Loss of private practice options, reduced pay for physicians, overwhelming numbers of patients, and increasing burn-out may reduce the number of doctors pursuing the profession.

2. Patient confidentiality will need to be compromised, since centralized health information will be maintained by the government and it’s databases.

3. Healthy people who take care of themselves will pay for the burden of those with unhealthy lifestyles, such as those who smoke, are obese, etc.

4. Patients lose the incentive to stay healthy or aren’t likely to take efforts to curb their prescription drug costs because health care is free and the system can easily be abused.

5. The U.S. Government will need to call the shots about important health decisions dictating what procedures are best for you, rather than those decisions being made by your doctor(s), which will result in poor individualized patient care.

6. Tax rates will rise substantially-universal health care is not free since citizens are required to pay for it in the form of taxes.

7. Your freedom of choice will be restricted as to which doctor is best for you and your family.

8. Like all public programs, government bureaucracy, even in the form of health care, does not promote healthy competition that reduces costs based on demand. What’s more, accountability is limited to the budgetary resources available to police such a system.

9. Medicare is subsidized by private insurers to the tune of billions of dollars, therefore if you take them out of the equation, add a trillion dollars or more to the current trillion dollar-plus cost estimates.

10. Currently, the government loses an estimated $ 30 billion a year due to Medicare fraud. Therefore, what makes anyone think that this same government will be able to run & operate a universal health care system that is resistant to fraud and save money while doing so?

How Did Health Care Costs Get So High?

How Did Health Care Costs Get So High?

First, let’s get a little historical perspective on American health care. To do that, let’s turn to the American civil war era. In that war, dated tactics and the carnage inflicted by modern weapons of the era combined to cause terrible results. Most of the deaths on both sides of that war were not the result of actual combat but to what happened after a battlefield wound was inflicted. To begin with, evacuation of the wounded moved at a snail’s pace in most instances causing severe delays in treatment of the wounded. Secondly, most wounds were subjected to wound related surgeries and amputations and this often resulted in massive infection. So you might survive a battle wound only to die at the hands of medical care providers whose good intentioned interventions were often quite lethal. High death tolls can also be ascribed to everyday sicknesses and diseases in a time when no antibiotics existed. In total something like 600,000 deaths occurred from all causes, over 2% of the U.S. population at the time!

Let’s skip to the first half of the 20th century for some additional perspective and to bring us up to more modern times. After the civil war there were steady improvements in American medicine in both the understanding and treatment of certain diseases, new surgical techniques and in physician education and training. But for the most part the best that doctors could offer their patients was a “wait and see” approach. Medicine could handle bone fractures Family-health-Insuranceand perform risky surgeries and the like (now increasingly practiced in sterile surgical environments) but medicines were not yet available to handle serious illnesses. The majority of deaths remained the result of untreatable conditions such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, scarlet fever and measles and/or related complications. Doctors were increasingly aware of heart and vascular conditions, and cancer but they had almost nothing with which to treat these conditions.

This very basic understanding of American medical history helps us to understand that until quite recently (around the 1950’s) we had virtually no technologies with which to treat serious or even minor ailments. Nothing to treat you with means that visits to the doctor if at all were relegated to emergencies so in that scenario costs were obviously minuscule. A second factor that has become a key driver of today’s health care costs is that medical treatments that were provided were paid for out-of-pocket. There was no health insurance and certainly not health insurance paid by someone else like an employer. Costs were the responsibility of the individual and perhaps a few charities that among other things supported charity hospitals for the poor and destitute.

What does health care insurance have to do with health care costs? Its impact on health care costs is enormous. When health insurance for individuals and families emerged as a means for corporations to escape wage freezes and to attract and retain employees after World War II, almost overnight there was a great pool of money available for health care. Money, as a result of the availability of billions of dollars from health insurance pools, encouraged an innovative America to increase medical research efforts. As more and more Americans became insured not only through private, employer sponsored health insurance but through increased government funding that created Medicare, Medicaid and expanded veteran health care benefits, finding a cure for almost anything has become very lucrative. This is also the primary reason for the vast array of treatments we have available today. I do not wish to convey that this is a bad thing. Think of the tens of millions of lives that have been saved, extended and made more productive as a result. But with a funding source grown to its current magnitude (hundreds of billions of dollars annually) upward pressure on health care costs are inevitable. Doctor’s offer and most of us demand and get access to the latest available health care technology, pharmaceuticals and surgical interventions. So there is more health care to spend our money on and until very recently most of us were insured and the costs were largely covered by a third-party (government, employers). This is the “perfect storm” for higher and higher health care costs and by and large, the storm is intensifying.

At this point, let’s turn to a key question. Is the current trajectory of U.S. health care spending sustainable? Can America maintain its world competitiveness when 16%, heading for 20% of our gross national product is being spent on health care? What are the other industrialized countries spending on health care and is it even close to these numbers? Add politics and an election year and the whole issue gets badly muddled and misrepresented.

I believe that we need a revolutionary change in the way we think about health care, its availability, its costs and who pays for it. And if you think I am about to say we should arbitrarily and drastically reduce spending on health care you would be wrong. Here it is fellow citizens – health care spending needs to be preserved and protected for those who need it. And to free up these dollars those of us who don’t need it or can delay it or avoid it need to act. First, we need to convince our politicians that this country needs sustained public education with regard to the value of preventive health strategies. This should be a top priority and it has worked to reduce the number of U.S. smokers for example. If prevention were to take hold, it is reasonable to assume that those needing health care for the myriad of life style engendered chronic diseases would decrease dramatically. Millions of Americans are experiencing these diseases far earlier than in decades past and much of this is due to poor life style choices. This change alone would free up plenty of money to handle the health care costs of those in dire need of treatment, whether due to an acute emergency or chronic condition.

Let’s go deeper on the first issue. Most of us refuse do something about implementing basic wellness strategies into our daily lives. We don’t exercise but we offer a lot of excuses. We don’t eat right but we offer a lot of excuses. We smoke and/or drink alcohol to excess and we offer a lot of excuses as to why we can’t do anything about it. We don’t take advantage of preventive health check-ups that look at blood pressure, cholesterol readings and body weight but we offer a lot of excuses. In short we neglect these things and the result is that we succumb much earlier than necessary to chronic diseases like heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure. We wind up accessing doctors for these and more routine matters because “health care is there” and somehow we think we have no responsibility for reducing our demand on it.

It is difficult for us to listen to these truths but easy to blame the sick. Maybe they should take better care of themselves! Well, that might be true or maybe they have a genetic condition and they have become among the unfortunate through absolutely no fault of their own. But the point is that you and I can implement personalized preventive disease measures as a way of dramatically improving health care access for others while reducing its costs. It is far better to be productive by doing something we can control then shifting the blame.