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Cleveland Clinic Launches Ground-Breaking Wellness Program To Reverse Effects of Common Chronic Diseases
Date:3/5/2009

"Lifestyle 180" wellness program equips participants with tools to live healthy, active lives. The six-week program includes almost 50 hours of hands-on guidance in nutrition/cooking, exercise, and stress management. The next session begins on March 16.

Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) March 5, 2009 -- As a top-ranked healthcare institution, Cleveland Clinic has consistently sought to shift the national focus from providing "sick" care to promoting wellness. As part of this commitment, Cleveland Clinic has launched Lifestyle 180, a new wellness program that helps reverse and decrease the effects of several common chronic diseases that are plaguing the healthcare system and costing participants their quality of life.

The six-week program includes almost 50 hours of hands-on guidance from a team of wellness experts, including registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and stress management and yoga instructors. Elizabeth Ricanati, M.D., Medical Director for Lifestyle 180, manages disease-specific therapies for each participant and advises them through regular one-on-one sessions.

"We feel that Lifestyle 180 truly represents a fundamental change in how medicine and healthcare can impact participants' lives for the better," said Dr. Ricanati. "Research shows that many chronic conditions are largely the result of lifestyle decisions, so if we can teach people how to make better choices, we can reduce the number of people living with these diseases instead of simply adding to the numbers afflicted."

Each Lifestyle 180 group has 12 to 16 participants who meet for four-hour classes twice a week at Cleveland Clinic's new Wellness campus in Lyndhurst, Ohio. Currently, Lifestyle 180 is open to participants with metabolic disorders, like hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, and participants with multiple sclerosis. The wellness program will expand in the spring to include other conditions.

The components of the program include:

1. Nutrition/Cooking - After a trip to the grocery store to learn how to make healthy selections and read food labels, a Lifestyle 180 registered dietitian provides ongoing insight into what to eat, when to eat it, how to prepare it and what to watch out for, including tips and tricks for eating out. Also, participants cook their own meal at every class, under the instruction of a professional chef, who provides hands-on kitchen skills sessions and secrets to keeping the taste in while keeping unhealthy ingredients out.

2. Exercise - Cleveland Clinic exercise physiologists create group workouts that can include cardio exercises, resistance training or other physical activities that can be modified for participants given their abilities. From the state-of-the-art Lifestyle 180 gym to exercises that can be easily continued at home with hand weights, exercise balls and stretch bands, participants learn how to incorporate this program into their daily lives and reap the benefits of physical activity.

3. Stress management - Many unhealthy lifestyle decisions are the result of stress, so dealing with stress in healthy ways is a major focus of Lifestyle 180. Participants learn stress management techniques like meditation and deep breathing from a behavioral medicine specialist and participate in rejuvenation yoga, led by a certified instructor who teaches simple postures and breathing exercises.

The program also incorporates one-on-one meetings with Dr. Ricanati, who helps each patient set goals and monitors their progress. She also oversees the entire wellness program to ensure maximum benefit and safety for participants. Once they complete the program, participants are invited to five follow-up sessions over the next year and are eligible for additional sessions in the years ahead.

Average findings from Lifestyle 180 pilot classes showed that after the six-week wellness program, participants:

  • Reduced their body weight by four percent
  • Reduced their body mass index (BMI) by four percent
  • Reduced their LDL cholesterol levels by six percent

In addition, three of the pilot participants no longer needed five of their prescription medications after the six-week program, and overall, about one-third of participants are able to come off at least one drug within 10 weeks of starting the program.

"As one of the world's most respected academic medical centers, we see firsthand the consequences of certain preventable conditions and their effects on the healthcare system," said Michael F. Roizen, M.D., Chief Wellness Officer at Cleveland Clinic. "Our experience treating the sometimes life-threatening conditions that emanate from unhealthy habits has motivated us to offer several innovative, proactive wellness programs like Lifestyle 180 to our employees, participants and the community."

The next session of Lifestyle 180 begins March 16. For more information on Lifestyle 180, visit http://my.clevelandclinic.org/wellness/reclaim_your_health.aspx.

About Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute:
The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute is one of 26 institutes at Cleveland Clinic that group multiple specialties together to provide collaborative, patient-centered care. Its members are dedicated to making preventive care the driving force in medicine, minimizing the physical, emotional and economic costs of illness through health and wellness services and education.

About Cleveland Clinic:
Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic among the nation's top four hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2007, there were 3.5 million outpatient visits to Cleveland Clinic and 50,455 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries. Cleveland Clinic's Web site address is http://www.clevelandclinic.org.

The information contained in this communication was developed by Cleveland Clinic's Marketing Department.

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