Sizing up a surgeon, if you must…

In keeping with the prevention mode of this blog, here’s how to protect yourself if you need surgery. Before you go under the knife.

Most people hold surgeons in such high esteem they’re afraid to ask any tough questions.

But this is changing, says the WSJ:

“A rash of recent news has highlighted the risks, such as the death of rap mogul Kanye West’s mother after an office cosmetic procedure by a surgeon who was facing disciplinary action at the state medical board and two malpractice suits that ended in significant payouts.”

Questions patients and families should ask before surgery…

  • Do you perform this operation regularly? What are your results?
  • Are you board certified in the surgical specialty in which you practice?
  • Do you have any health problems that would interfere with our ability to do this operation?
  • What is your success rate with this operation and your safety record regarding complications?
  • Will I be involved in marketing the surgical site?

And after surgery…See here.

“There are no questions (about the surgeon’s competence to perform the operation) that should be off the table,” says Thomas Russell, a surgeon and executive director of the American College of Surgeons.

“I can’t stand the guilt,” says Ann Handley

That’s why she gets out “Power walking every day for 3-ish miles,” says the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and regular blogger at the Marketing Pros blog and the Huffington Post.

Here’s what Ann does.

“Power walking every day…is moderate exercise, in the grand scheme of things. But it works for me. Also, I eat well but eat right. I don’t deny myself much, honestly… but I do so in moderation. Oh, and I also have good genes. (LOL)”

What got you started doing it?

“I used to be a runner. Then a few years ago (after about 10 yearsof punishment) my knees started complaining — telling me that they’d had enough. My hips eventually joined the complaint, and I decided a fast-paced “power walk” suited my lifestyle, body and outlook better. The slower pace of a walk vs. a run — actually works better for me mentally, as I spend much of the rest of my life at a frantic pace.”

What keeps you doing it?

“I have 4 dogs. If I don’t walk them every day, they look at me with the saddest, most pathetic pairs of doe-like doggie eyes they can muster. (Sometimes, I swear they mist over.) I can’t stand the guilt.”

If you’re inspired by this story to do something for your health, weight or fitness, please comment.

John Jantsch’s trick to get more done…

Duct Tape Marketing (141,000 readers) creator John Jantsch told me:

“I always, always get more done on the days I work out.”

I asked: What are you doing for your health, weight or fitness?

“My wife and I work out every other morning after we ship the kids off to school. Daily vitamins and enough vegetables and fruit to hopefully make up for the fact that a large portion of the fruit comes in the form of fermented grapes.”

What got you started doing it?

“I’ve always done it off and on – I always, always get more done on the days I work out.”

What keeps you doing it?

“I want to attend four weddings before one funeral (I have four daughters)”

And does he meditate or anything quiet like that?

Err, “Yes, but my brain has trouble shutting up for very long.”

Darren Rowse, ProBlogger, got a personal trainer for Christmas…

Darren Rowse writes the incredibly helpful Problogger, with 38,066 RSS readers at the moment. Glad I am one. From our email interview tonight…

Darren, What are you doing about your health, weight or fitness?

“I have a personal trainer. Since having him I’m eating healthier and exercising 4 or so times a week both with him and at home alone.”

What got you started doing it?

“Two things:

“Firstly I have an 18 month old son and another child ‘on the way’. The faster my Son got the more I realized how out of shape I was getting. For me it was a gradual process of slipping into poor eating habits and less and less exercise.

“Secondly the heart attack and passing of blogger Marc Orchant shook me up. While I didn’t know him personally (I think we commented on each other’s blogs 2-3 times) there was something about his situation that was familiar and I guess I was challenged to be more proactive about my own fitness and health. Om Malik’s more recent heart attack was a big confirmation to me that I’d done the right thing.

“It was always one of those things that was a ‘one day I’ll do something about it’ – but that day never came.

“I decided that 2008 had to be the year for change and asked my wife for a personal trainer for Christmas. I started in December 07 and it’s now been 4-5 weeks. I’m still early into it but I am already feeling better, have lost a few kilograms (I’m already down 1 size around the waist) and am feeling more energetic and productive.

What keeps you doing it?

“As I say – it’s early days for me and the jury is still out as to whether I’ll be able to keep it up. I am hoping however to make this a new lifestyle rather than a chore that I do. For me everytime that I look at my Son is part of my motivation. I want to see him grow up and reach his potential – as a result I have a responsibility to him and the rest of my family to do this.”

John Battelle’s secret to looking good…

and staying healthy:

“I work out six times a week.
I take omega 3 supplements and also a multivitamin every day. And greens drink. Every day.”

I’m waiting for an image of the greens drink. Do you make it yourself, John?

John authors the popular John Battelle’s Searchblog, is CEO of Federated Media and wrote the eye-opening and delightfully readable book on Google, The Search. Order it from John’s site and get it signed! Here.

What George W does to keep fit…

“President Bush ran on Saturday morning on his 1,600-acre ranch here, between phone calls from Secretary of State…He ran on Air Force One on his way to Mexico on a treadmill set up in the jet’s conference room. Mr. Bush ran on the flight back to Washington, too.

“Mr. Bush seems determined to be the poster president for working out. His personal best is a 6:45 mile for three miles, a record he set last Thanksgiving at Camp David. He runs four to five days a week, uses an elliptical trainer about twice a week and lifts weights at least twice a week. He can bench press 185 pounds, for five repetitions.” New York Times.

They’re Playing My Song. Time to Work Out.

Favorite workout music from readers of fitness magazines…

How about the “ ’80s cardio playlist,” which includes the short-shorts video classic “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! Or singer Rihanna, who reveals her favorite workout songs — immodestly recommending four of her own for “when you have to pick up the pace on the treadmill.”

The playlist fixation has a scientific basis: Studies have shown that listening to music during exercise can improve results, both in terms of being a motivator (people exercise longer and more vigorously to music) and as a distraction from negatives like fatigue. But are certain songs more effective than others? More here.