Sunday, July 27, 2008

Exercise Advice

Image by Hortongrou

This article, found in Science Daily, discusses motivating people with chronic illness to exercise. (It's interesting that I am reading it while lounging on Couch. Oh brother.)

 Here's an excerpt: 
ScienceDaily (July 27, 2008) — It is common knowledge that regular exercise supports physical and mental well-being. Despite this and recommendations from health care providers, the majority of patients with chronic illnesses remain inactive. In a new study, University of Missouri researchers found that adults with chronic illness who received interventions focused on behavior-changing strategies significantly increased their physical activity levels.

In contrast, interventions based on cognitive approaches, which attempt to change knowledge, beliefs and attitudes, and are most commonly used by health care providers, did not improve physical activity. 

“The information that physicians are giving patients isn’t working. Patients are not motivated when they hear ‘exercise is good; it will improve your health.’ What works is providing patients with simple, action-orientated strategies to increase their activity levels,” said Vicki Conn, professor and associate dean of research in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing.

Behavior strategies include feedback, goal setting, self-monitoring, and stimulus or cues. Self-monitoring, any method where participants record and track their activity over time, significantly increased awareness and provided motivation for improvement, Conn said.

Conn also goes on to comment that 12 minutes per day of physical activity is enough to get a patient started toward better health. I could do that. Maybe. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

12 minutes a day? Hmmm, I do think I can do that. I just love it when my doctors tell me to try to do some exercise after I've seen them for something like muscle pain that hasn't gone away in two weeks, extreme fatigue due to low potassium, anemia, etc. You get the picture, right?

It's so easy to laugh and try to imagine yourself moving at all. But when you say 12 minutes, it seems so different.

If doctors were more specific or had some type of handout for their patients our ideas of exercise would be in sync with theirs.