Navigation Links
Nurse Practitioner Counsels Lifestyle Changes as Key to Heart Health
Date:4/22/2011

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Lynne Braun spends a lot of her time trying to encourage people to do right by their hearts and their health.

Braun, who works as a nurse practitioner at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and teaches at the university's College of Nursing, helps counsel people who are at risk for coronary heart disease as well as those who've had a heart attack or stroke and hope to avoid another occurrence.

Many clients, she said, expect her to use drugs to deal with their risk factors. "There's a whole group of people who feel medication is the magic bullet," Braun said. "They feel the medication is going to do all the work, and they don't have to contribute to that process."

But Braun disabuses them of that notion, letting them know that they'll have to do some work to bring themselves to good health. They will have to eat right, and they will have to exercise, she says.

"Lifestyle change is really the cornerstone for prevention," Braun said. "Whether you are trying to prevent risk factors from developing in the first place, or preventing a heart attack or stroke or preventing a second, lifestyle changes are key."

Though helpful, medications tend to target one risk factor -- such as high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar. But if people "eat a heart-healthy diet and engage in a regular physical exercise program, that will improve all of their risk factors," she said. "Overall, they'll be healthier."

Such changes are not easy, however, and Braun doesn't sugarcoat it.

"Lifestyle change, when one has engaged in certain less-healthy behaviors, is often very, very difficult," she said. "One of the first things I have to do is really assess their readiness for change. I will talk to them openly about that, and ask them directly. I tell them I know if they are willing to do this, their health will improve, but they have to be willing to make that change."

Diet in particular seems to be very challenging to change. "People tend to struggle with healthy dietary habits and overeating," Braun said. "It seems as though people adapt a little bit better to exercise. They can do a various amount of exercise and still exercise. It seems to be tougher for people to change their dietary habits. There are too many temptations around them."

Many times, she said, she has to help manage expectations to keep people motivated. Losing 50 to 100 pounds can seem like an unachievable goal, but people given a goal of losing 5 or 10 pounds in a month often succeed, she said, and that success then spurs further healthy habits.

"As soon as they start, very often they just start feeling better," Braun said. "Their energy levels improve, and even if they have a lapse, they know that they've done it. The fact that they've done it will often help them resume again. And oftentimes when they have the benefit of experiencing those small changes, it will give them the confidence to pursue larger changes."

Braun also does research and currently is working on a study involving about 300 black women who are being encouraged to walk more. The women have been given pedometers and are supposed to add 3,000 extra steps to their normal amount of walking every day. Some are receiving regular encouragement through personal counseling or automated messages, and others get encouragement only through monthly group meetings.

"Walking is great exercise," Braun said. "In fact, it is the standard form of moderate intensity exercise we recommend. Everyone can do it. It doesn't cost anything. No special equipment is required."

More information

A companion article offers more on how to live a heart-healthier life.

SOURCE: Lynne Braun, Ph.D., C.N.P., nurse practitioner, Rush University Medical Center, and professor, nursing, School of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Patients journey format drives new edition of vital student nurse manual
2. Risk of hospital patient mortality increases with nurse staffing shortfalls, study finds
3. When Nurse Staffing Drops, Mortality Rates Rise: Study
4. Future surgeons may use robotic nurse, gesture recognition
5. More doctors must join nurses, administrators in leading efforts to improve patient safety, outcomes
6. Support not punishment is the key to tackling substance abuse and addiction among nurses
7. Nurses Long Shifts May Put Hospital Patients at Risk: Study
8. Northwestern Memorial maintains top status in nursing hospital renewed for Nurse Magnet®
9. Lupus patients: The doctor, nurse and social worker are here to see you
10. Scripps Clinic nurse to receive 2010 ASTRO Nurse Excellence Award
11. Few nurse practitioners, physician assistants pursue careers in pediatric health
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... Senior International Elite division on February 12th. Ms. Esparza qualified into this ... elite qualifier competition held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Frida is one of approximately ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... On February 22, 2017 the U.S. ... to withdraw previous guidance issued by the Obama Administration requiring schools to treat ... 2016 by the Obama Administration came in response to a growing number of ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Rare ... audience, will be participating in Rare Disease Day events, hosted by the Rare ... Rare Disease Report, a website, weekly e-newsletter and quarterly publication, will be conducting ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Hamlin Dental Group and Dr. Hamid ... sponsoring a raffle. Throughout the month of February, patients who visit Hamlin Dental Group ... for a dinner for two at the Cheesecake Factory. , Tickets are available ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... On April 13, 2017, ... “Doping in Sport: How the Culture Might Change,” in conjunction with ... symposium will be held at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. , Sir Philip ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  Genesis Healthcare Services has ... announcement was made by Bill Monast , President ... and Nathan Feltman , executives with Home ... Services, LLC. This acquisition helps Hospice ... of technology enabled durable medical equipment (DME) solutions for ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017  Cogentix Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: CGNT), a ... proprietary products for the urology market, will release financial ... December 31, 2016 before the market open on Thursday, ... host a conference call and webcast to discuss its ... 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (10:00 a.m. Central ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Calif., Feb. 23, 2017 Nevro Corp. (NYSE: NVRO), ... solutions for the treatment of chronic pain, today reported financial ... 31, 2016. 2016 Accomplishment & Highlights: ... year 2016, an increase of 228% as reported, over the ... 2016, an increase of 612% over the prior year ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: