Monday, May 11, 2015

How Physicians Can Promote Healthy Lifestyle Changes

It is most certain that creating and keeping a healthy habit can be difficult. But, what really makes someone want to live a healthier lifestyle? What motivates someone to want to go on a diet or simply get healthier -- is it because a friend or loved one tells us to do so? What makes us want to change a behavior. Is it out of personal need and necessity? And, why is it so hard to stick to it, especially when there are so many temptations out there to mess us up. 
It is pretty clear that even those that we believe should know a better way to promote a healthy lifestyle, i.e., your doctor, finds it difficult to promote that healthy change. Then, to add to the mix, there may be  confusion for a patient who is prescribed medication for a particular ailment to eat the right kinds of foods. 
Much to the benefit of patients, doctors and the general public, there is a program called "The Americans in Motion-Healthy Interventions (AIM-HI)" research study that is currently being promoted by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Research Network and the AAFP Americans in Motion program in order to promote better strategies and educational tools to participants with focus on physical activity, healthy eating and emotional well-being.
What are those 4 strategies
1) Creating a Healthy Office Environment will be the perfect example for patients to follow. As it is, most patients have chosen their particular physician because they trust them to do a good job in initiating that they take better care of their health. A doctor should be able to lead by example in other words.
2) It not only takes the doctor to be a great example to his/her patients, but it is most encouraging and helpful to see that everyone in the office is supporting and promoting good healthy habits too.
3) Get patients involved in the process of better habits and make them more accountable through encouragement and strong support.
4) Lastly, in providing patients good follow up to their appointments, patients become more involved and interested in better management of their health. To learn more about the 4 strategies, refer to the article which provides more details and examples of how patients can become more involved and better informed about their own health.

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