For the middle-aged adult, exercise can reduce the risk of various health problems. Choose two at-risk health issues that regular physical exercise and activity can help prevent and manage. Discuss the prevalence of each of these health problems in society today. Describe measures that you would take as a nurse to assist clients with health promotion measures to incorporate exercise and physical activity into their lives. Include the kind of activities you would recommend, the amount of exercise, and the approach you would use to gain cooperation from the client. Support your response with evidence-based literature.
Two at-risk health issues that regular physical exercise and activity can help prevent and manage are cholesterol and diabetes.
Cholesterol, if not controlled, may lead to heart disease which is also know as the leading cause of death and stroke which is known as the fifth leading cause of death. As per the CDC (2018), in the years 2011–2012, 78 million adults within the United States which is nearly 37% experienced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels of which are in the range where it is recommend to be treated with cholesterol medicine or had other health conditions placing them at high risk for heart disease and stroke. Approximately 55% of adults of whom require cholesterol medications are currently taking them. In the year 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population were diagnosed with diabetes. Additionally, of those 30.3 million adults with diabetes, 23.1 million were diagnosed by which are reviving treatment, and 7.2 million were undiagnosed (American Diabetes Association, 2019).
Physical exercise and activity is essential because it may assist in maintaining a healthy weight, may decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Physical activity is essentially beneficial for diabetic individuals because it makes the body more sensitive to insulin which assists in managing diabetes. While physical activity assists in controlling blood sugar levels, it also prevents nerve damage and heart disease. Nurses must be knowledgeable enough to educate individuals in regards to monitoring their blood sugar levels before, during, and after physical activity. If the individuals blood sugar levels are low before exercise, clients should consume a small snack containing 15-30 grams of carbohydrates. If the individuals blood sugar levels are above 240 mg/dL, then the individuals blood sugar levels are too high to perform physical activities safely.
As per the CDC (2018) it is recommended that individuals maintain a constant 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as bicycling and the elliptical machine. To gain cooperation from the client, the nurse may not want to force exercise upon the client but to recommend taking it slow and start with small increments of time. The individual should be encouraged to find an activity that is enjoyable by them, pick a a partner, commit to a goal, and schedule their exercise during the week. Additional recommendations that nurses can provide their patients with is to use the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from the grocery store, and/or do jumping jacks during commercial breaks.
American Diabetes Association. (2019) Statistics About Diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/
CDC. (2018). Cholesterol. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm
CDC. (2018). Diabetes Home. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/active.html
Obesity and heart diseases (Cardiovascular Disease) have been defined as the most common health problems of modern societies. Currently they are serious health issues with gradually increasing frequency both in the US and developing countries (Selda Bulbul, 2020). Obesity is linked with higher risk for several serious health conditions as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, higher cholesterol, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, asthma, and arthritis (Hammond & Levine, 2010).
In the US, according to Hammond & Levine “more than two-thirds of adults are now overweight, and one-third is obese. Lifetime risk of CHD is 41.8% in obese men compared to 34.9% in the non-obese. For women, risk increases from 25% for the non-obese to 32.4% for the obese” (Hammond & Levine, 2010).
Patients with history of CVD may experience various physical and emotional symptoms such as fatigue, edema, and sleeping difficulties that limit their physical and social activities which will in turn result in poor quality of life. According to data from the World Health Organization, “every year CVD is responsible for the death of 17.9 million people worldwide, which is equivalent to 31% of all deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, 1 in every 4 people die of heart disease every year which accounts for 610,000 people” (Komalasari, et al. 2019)
With the above staggering percentages of obesity, and casualties of CVD in adult men and women, reduction through physical exercise and dieting becomes imperative to avoid premature mortality. Adding exercise to dietary therapy improves weight loss by maintaining non-fat body mass. Diet alone leads to a significant reduction in both fat and non-fat body mass. Regular physical exercise cannot be overemphasized because it is an important factor in regulating body composition during growth (Bulbul,2020). Adequate medication should be followed with the physical exercise and nutrition.
It becomes necessary that the nurse should educate and introduce measures fitting to the patient for reduction of obesity according to the patient’s ability to tolerate physical exercises. My experience has been that patients want an immediate result. Some think that one week or two of exercise will cut off their illness. If continued regularly over time with a combination of diet and exercises, and endurance/patience will help my patients lose weight and keep it off, reducing their likelihood of becoming overweight. In the end, this will also reduce the likelihood of developing obesity-related illnesses. As a nurse I will introduce and recommend some aerobic exercises, stretching, rope skipping, weightlifting to tone the muscles, and show my patients videos of simple home exercises like, stationary cycling and manual hand wining/cycling.
Bulbul, S. (2020) Exercise in the Treatment of childhood Obesity in the Turkish Archives of Pediatrics. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Hammond, R. &Levine, R. (210) The economic Impact of Obesity in the United States.
Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc
Komalasari, R., Nurjanah, & Maria M.Yoche.(2019) Quality of Life of people with CVD:
A Descriptive Study in Asian Pacific Islands Nursing Journal. Retrieved from
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