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:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Itopia, a leader in cloud services automation ... Platform (CIP) into Cielo®, a discovery, migration and cloud orchestration engine. This integration ... and medium business (SMB) clients. , In recent years, BI and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fisher House Foundation Chairman and CEO Kenneth ... Nevada Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, and Peggy Kearns Director, VA Southern Nevada ... Healthcare System. This will be the first Fisher House in Nevada, and will ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The Jones Agency, a family ... eastern Texas, is launching a cooperative charity drive with the Tarrant Area Food Bank ... than 50,000 individuals and families in need, the Tarrant County Food Bank offers hope ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Erlanger Agency has announced a new partnership ... The latest campaign focuses on the fight against breast cancer, fundraising for a local ... here . , Carmen is a loving single mother of two boys who ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Donor Network West, the organ procurement organization that heals lives ... San Ramon Regional Medical Center. Under the collaboration, the first of its kind, specific ... a more certain time frame for donor families for the recovery of organs. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Stem cells are primitive cells found in ... the capacity to differentiate into mature cell types Stem ... first mouse embryonic stem cells were derived from embryos ... the first culturing of embryonic stem cells from non-human ... until 2006 As a result of these discoveries, stem ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today ... 1,400 jobs throughout Western New York ... the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, includes a major expansion of ... Buffalo , as well as the ... in Dunkirk . The combined projects ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016 AAIPharma ... provider of custom manufacturing and development services for ... sterile fill-finish capabilities and capacity in its ... in demand has driven several recent investments. ... it had one filling line with small-scale lyophilization. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: