From the March 1997 issue of Entrepreneur

After-hours tips for busy entrepreneurs

Checking Up

If you think you're too healthy (or too busy) to go for a physical checkup, it's time to change your thinking. Consider these reasons to visit the doctor:

1. Uncovering potential problems can prevent more serious health problems later.

2. Even if you feel great, consider your family history. If anyone in your immediate family has diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol, cancer, depression or gout, you may be predisposed to these conditions, says Dr. Frank Myers at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens.

3. You don't have to go every year. If you're healthy and have no chronic condition, periodic health exams are fine. Dr. Donald Hensrud, director of the Executive Health Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, suggests healthy adults go for a checkup once every four or five years in your 30s, every three years in your 40s, every other year in your 50s, and yearly after age 60.

To make exams more palatable, look for an executive health program or a doctor who does age-appropriate screenings based on your risk factors. Choose someone who takes the time to talk to you and can counsel you on nutrition, exercise and stress relief.

Visiting the doctor may not be one of your favorite things to do. But you take time to maintain your business's health; isn't your own just as important?

Fore!

Twelve percent of the adult population will play at least one round of golf this year. Hackers may drive, chip and putt with hand-me-down clubs, but if you take the game seriously, you'll be forking over a portion of the $6.2 billion spent on golf equipment and merchandise each year.

What are those in your foursome buying? Probably specialized clubs. "They give more experienced golfers an edge," says Rod Warnick, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst who researches recreation trends. The need to improve on the game is behind the success of Callaway Golf's Big Bertha, a driver with design innovations that give you 10 or so extra yards off the tee. Following in Big Bertha's footsteps are a slew of other, lower cost specialty clubs to get you into the swing of things.

Even golf balls are now designed to match a player's skills and abilities. If you're serious about shaving a point or two off your handicap, ask a golf pro which dimple design will affect your spin rate and driving distance.

Among the latest in golf gear are new and improved rain suits, special towels to keep clubs dry, iron covers, soft-spike shoes, golf videos and a seemingly endless supply of designer golf apparel.

American Express is getting into the game, too: Its new Golf Card lets members earn points good for equipment, instruction, green fees and golf vacation packages. For information, call (800) AXP-GOLF.

Time Capsule

Do you ever wish your grandparents had documented the events that shaped their lives? Wouldn't it be interesting to understand the entrepreneurial links between you and your determined, refugee great-grandmother or the wacky great-uncle who invented odd gizmos in the basement? Here are several ways to turn your parents' memories into a family legacy:

1. Ask your parents to write about 10 or so turning points in their lives. The finished stories can be duplicated, bound and given to family members.

2. Organize letters and memorabilia in a scrapbook or a series of folders, separated into categories such as "Special Letters," "Cherished Pictures," "People Who Influenced Me as a Child" and the like.

3. Let them tell their stories on audiotape or videotape. You'll not only get memories but sounds and images you'll treasure. Grandchildren can get involved by interviewing their grandparents on tape.

Contact Sources

Mayo Clinic, (507) 284-2288, fax: (507) 284-0909.