Theres no stronger scare tactic into leading a healthy lifestyle than suffering a heart attack or stroke, which is why it may be surprising that many survivors dont make changes needed to improve their health.
A study published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows one in four men doesnt make any lifestyle changes after a heart attack, stroke or other major cardiac event. Women were more likely to change unhealthy behaviors, and urban residents were more likely to make at least two lifestyle changes than those who lived in rural areas.
Three behaviors were included for the study: smoking cessation, healthy eating and physical exercise. Out of 7,519 patients surveyed in 17 countries, just 4.3 percent of participants improved their habits in all three areas, more than 30 percent made two lifestyle changes and more than 47 percent changed at least one lifestyle behavior to better their health.
Dr. Mark Friedman, a cardiologist at the SSM Heart Institute, said changing ones lifestyle can be very difficult.
Patients dont want to be talked down to, he said. They dont want to be told theyre bad.
But much of the problem is lack of education. While patients used to stay in the hospital for up to two weeks after a cardiac event, they now are discharged within a day or two. This leaves little time for the medical staff to educate patients on what happened to them and what it could mean for their future.
Friedman attempts to motivate patients by starting small. While the American Heart Association recommends walking for 30 minutes a day five times a week, the SSM cardiologist encourages his patients to begin with walking three days a week. He also recommends frozen fish and fruit for those on a low budget.
What really surprised Friedman about the study is that patients had the most success with smoking cessation more than 52 percent. People in wealthier countries had more success than those in poorer countries, the study showed. Friedman said higher income individuals are likely to have more education and resources to quit smoking.
The numbers pleased him, though, as Friedman said smoking cessation is one of the best ways to avoid heart disease. Still, he said he believes it is one of the hardest habits for his patients to cut, and they have to really want to stop for it to work.
Other changes include diet, with 39 percent reporting eating more healthful food, and physical activity, with 35 percent saying they were more active.
Urban area residents were 22 percent more likely in the study than those in rural areas to make at least two lifestyle changes. Friedman said this could again be because of more education and resources in cities. More physical activity was reported by people at all income levels.
Women were more likely than men to make lifestyle changes after a major cardiac event.
More than 7 percent of women made all three recommended lifestyle changes, compared to less than 2.5 percent of men. They were also 66 percent more likely than men to make at least two lifestyle changes, and more than 26 percent of men changed nothing compared to about 7 percent of women.
Friedman and his team do their best to educate victims of major cardiac events by bringing in dietitians and models that show whats happening in the patients body. Then they have a mandatory follow-up visit.
Deb Garbo, a nurse practitioner, sees patients shortly after their release from the hospital to prescribe medications and treatment. She said many people dont absorb what theyre taught in the hospital because theyre more focused on being released, so its her duty to reteach the patients everything.
Garbo assesses patients readiness to make changes. Sometimes they will tell her that they arent confident they can handle breaking a habit, so she doesnt force it on them.
A scared straight method that Garbo uses sometimes is she will ask the patients to hang a photo of their heart stent in their homes so they can look at it when theyre tempted to smoke a cigarette or eat unhealthily.
One way to succeed is to participate in a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program, she said.
At the heart institute, patients are overseen by a medical director for an hour three times a week for exercise and education. Amy Puricelli, a nurse at the St. Marys Health Center cardio rehab, said the patients she sees usually are genuinely trying to make changes.
However, only 10 percent to 20 percent of patients eligible for cardiac rehab actually sign up for the program.
Be Well On Your Way: Journey to a More Authentic You (Paperback) tagged “healthy lifestyle” 88 times
Wed, 10 Nov 2010 00:25:58 GMT Be Well On Your Way: Journey to a More Authentic You (Paperback)By Maiysha T Clairborne MD Click for more info Customer Rating: Customer tags: mind body spirit(90), self-help(90), empowerment(89), personal growth(88), healthy lifestyle(88), health(88), healthy living(85), healthy life(85), personal development(81), relationships(79), self esteem(35), self-improvement(35) http://www.amazon.com/Be-Well-Your-Way-Authentic/dp/1453614095/ref=tag_rso_rs_edpp_url?ie=UTF8&creative=381421&tag=thedays-20
Life On Your Terms: 7 Steps To a More Empowered You (Paperback) tagged “healthy lifestyle” 88 times
Wed, 26 Jan 2011 03:27:19 GMT Life On Your Terms: 7 Steps To a More Empowered You (Paperback)By Maiysha T Clairborne MD Click for more info Customer Rating: Customer tags: self-help(91), empowerment(89), health(89), healthy living(88), healthy lifestyle(88), healthy life(87), personal development(86), mind body spirit(86), personal growth(84), relationships(81), self-improvement(41), self esteem(40) http://www.amazon.com/Life-On-Your-Terms-Empowered/dp/1453615040/ref=tag_rso_rs_edpp_url?ie=UTF8&creative=381421&tag=thedays-20
New Ad Says Drinking Coca Cola Is Part of a 'Healthy Lifestyle'
A new ad for Coca Cola advises drinking the brown flavored bubbly corn syrup water isn't unhealthy at all — instead, it's a part of a wholesome, healthy lifestyle like the kind your grandfather enjoyed before he died of lung … http://jezebel.com/new-ad-says-drinking-coca-cola-is-part-of-a-healthy-li-1155299383
Health4Youth by AEGEE-Europe and iValueHealth.NET partner to …
First collaboration between Health Social Network and Youth Community promises to enhance health education and healthy lifestyle among European Youth. Health4Youth by AEGEE-Europe, an initiative meant to educate … http://www.aegee.org/health4youth-by-aegee-europe-and-ivaluehealth-net-partner-to-promote-healthy-lifestyle-among-european-youth/
Naturally Thin Presents HEALTHY LIFESTYLES 8 CD Set
Life-Line Healthy Lifestyle Complete Daily Nutrition 30 Packets
Does your child get enough exercise? You can get your children more active with these 5 fun parenting tips.
In just four steps, you can improve your health for the better and this article will show you how. The steps below are bite-sized nuggets of health information you can actually use to live a healthy life. Here we go… Nutritional supplements are the first step As far as I’m concerned, they are very important […]
Several food and nutrition trends were in the spotlight this year, including the continued rise of plant-based diets, non-dairy ice creams and superfoods that are blasts from the past — legumes, apples and cabbage. It can be easy to experience nutrition whiplash in the New Year, but don’t be a victim. Get a jump-start on […]
If you want to lose weight, you’re not alone. More than half of Americans desire to shed pounds, according to Gallup. This goal inspires people to take action in many ways, from increasing exercise to modifying meals. One thing many people do is skip breakfast in order to lower calorie intake. While this may seem […]