Back on the horse that threw me

Back in late June 2009 I started on what I wanted to be a permanent health maintenance program. For one thing I was approaching retirement age. I realized with crystalline clarity that I couldn’t put off getting on a permanent exercise, better-nutrition program anymore. Time has run out on having a chance to reverse the years of benign neglect and broken self-promises. And, frankly, I got scared from seeing the point of no return of real old age peeking over the horizon. I’ve spent way too many days in long-term care facilities with relatives to ignore the unpleasant last years that many experience.  From what I’ve seen, if you want your life to end with some grace and dignity you’ve got to get active to make that happen.

I did pretty well starting and keeping a basic program in ’09. Then in the last few weeks  something entirely predictable happened: holidays, over-indulgence, relatives in the house, and, finally, a head cold. So I stopped for two weeks. But part of what I agreed with myself to do from the outset was not to take interruptions as failure. It’s just necessary to get back on the horse and get on with the journey. So Monday I hit reset and started anew. Below is a list of the modest set of things I’m trying to do. I’ll be sharing more about how these elements are going because I think they reflect some of the elements of Health 2.0 and newly available technology that will become part of individual health routines.

  1. I set goals that I can live with. Big goals? Nah, I’ve been there, done that, and I realize they’re not for me in the long run. I’m doing modest but not trivial daily exercise and diet limitations I can stick to the rest of my life. I’m preparing a chart of my goals that I’ll publish on Google Docs and link to on this site.
  2. I got an iPhone last July because I wanted to see if it could aid me in sticking with my program and keeping records. Starting this week I’ve got four apps I’m using to keep daily records. I’ll be blogging about the pros and cons of this approach.
  3. I want to create my own personal health record in a PHR that becomes my information hub. I’ve got accounts with both HealthVault and Google Health and will blog about which I think is most useful.
  4. I want to augment my PHR with my own database and information flow related to what my history and my data gathering suggests. I’ve gotta know about my cholesterol and about Alzheimer’s, the disease that strikes fear in my heart because my dad had it. I’m going to try to find useful tools to pull resources together from the crazy mish-mash of internet information. I want to keep it dynamic with things like Google Alerts and maybe social groups.

So that’s the plan. I’ll be sharing my experience, and hope others will share theirs with me.

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