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PHRs Make Athletes Stronger, Fitter, Healthier
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Skyler Tanner

Imagine for a moment that you’re a strength and conditioning coach. If you’re already a coach this part isn’t going to be difficult. Now, say you have a new client coming in for a consultation and this client has noted that they’ve had “injuries” in the past. When he or she shows up, you’d expect a detailed explanation of their problem.. However, so often in our position as coach a new client comes in and can’t offer specifics about their health history. How frustrating is that?

This is where a PHR would come in handy. The human body is a delicate instrument. So many of the diseases and injuries we get are due to not tempering ourselves of both food and activity. Performing any activity for too long and training too hard will take its toll. It’s my job as a coach to help coax more power, flexibility, and health out of new clients. This becomes exceedingly difficult if a client can only give me a fuzzy description from memory.

Beyond merely setting a training schedule to avoid injury, having PHR allows for new metrics for tracking progress. It’s easy to see how much weight a client is lifting and how much stronger they’ve become over time. It’s much more difficult for me to see how blood glucose levels have improved or if fasting insulin levels have come down. These are things that high intensity strength training improve, but I can’t see it unless I have a way of tracking progress. PHRs give me this and let me serve athletes further.

Being one to practice what I preach, I’m aware of not only my training maxes and daily caloric intake, but I’m also aware of health markers and events. For instance, my most recent illness was a bacterial infection in March of 2009. I was prescribed a Z-Pak and all was well in four days. I also know that my HDL is 89. This might seem like a lot to keep track of, but one thing I’ve noticed is that those who keep track of this stuff regularly tend to be older with a pre-existing condition that they need to watch. Combined with the fact that they’re acutely aware of their own mortality means they keep track of their health like I’d like my younger athletes to keep track of their health. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

So the long and short of it is this: PHRs allow you to be better informed and a true caretaker of your own health., For athletes working with a conditioning coach like me, your PHR allows me to be better informed and to help you become even stronger, fitter, and healthier. Keeping a PHR seems like a no brainer to me.

Skyler Tanner is a strength and conditioning specialist at Efficient Exercise in Austin, Texas. More of his writings can be found on his blog at

Tags   medicalhistory, personalhealthrecord, phr, athletes

About This Blog

Welcome to the Athletes’ PHR blog. This communication forum will provide you with a connection to health information management professionals for information and new ideas to better manage your personal healthcare. As the blog grows, you will be able to connect with other athletes to share experiences and exchange ideas about best practices for managing your health and personal health information to help you reach your peak performance.

Blog Contributors

Marsha Dolan, Valerie Watzlaf, Cindy Boester, Heidi Shaffer, Julie Wolter, Margaret Hennings, Colleen Goethals, Vera Rulon, Leah Grebner, Robert Caban, Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez, Amanda Bushey, Margie Kelly, Donna DuLong, Sarah Dietze, Valisha McFarlane, Maria Kovell, Ted Eytan, Leann Reynolds, Laura Heuer, Kristin Stewart, Derek Allen, Chris Matthies, Margo Corbett, Craig Newmark, Sarah Buelterman, Skyler Tanner, Aniruddha Malpani, Joan Malling, Marilyn McFarlane, Megan Rooney, Patrick Rhone, Dr. Carrie Nelson, Maria Bouselli, Erin Jordan


PHRs do more than manage medication. Stay up to date with information that can help you communicate with your doctor and stay out of the hospital.

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