As part of their role as healthcare providers, doctors can promote healthy lifestyles in many ways. By promoting healthy eating, physical activity, and stress management, doctors can help patients make the right choices for their overall health.
Although promoting healthy lifestyles can be challenging, it is important for everyone to try and live a healthier life. This can include limiting smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, and making other healthy lifestyle choices.
Provide Information About Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
Eating a healthy diet is an important part of any long-term plan to improve health and reduce the risk of disease. It is also one of the best ways to keep your body fit and lean.
Your patients may want to learn more about the best ways to incorporate healthy foods and activities into their lives. You can offer a variety of tools to help them choose healthier options, including a food pyramid or calorie counter, recipes and menu planning tips.
A well-rounded diet includes a mix of foods from each major food group and plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. A balanced diet is also about portion size, not to mention cutting back on soda, processed meats, candy and ice cream.
Encourage Patients to Be Physically Active
Regular physical activity has been shown to improve many health factors, including heart disease prevention, weight loss, and arthritis. It also reduces anxiety, depression, and self-esteem.
Doctors can encourage patients to be active through counseling and coaching them to set realistic goals. They can also prescribe a specific amount of daily exercise and use patient logs to track progress.
In addition, doctors can provide their patients with information about community-based physical activity programs and resources. This can help them get started on a healthy lifestyle and increase their chances of success.
In order to promote physical activity among older hospitalized patients, it is important to assess the barriers and enablers of this behavior. Feeling weak, experiencing pain, or having lines or drains were reported as the most significant barriers. Maintaining physical strength, feeling physically independent, and a sense of importance were the most significant enablers.
Help Patients Set Goals for Healthy Living
Healthy lifestyles consist of a combination of physical activity, good nutrition, sleep and stress reduction. These habits have been shown to improve health and reduce the risk of developing certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Doctors can help patients set goals for healthy living and support them through the process. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable and relevant to the patient’s health needs and life circumstances.
In addition to helping patients set health goals, doctors can also refer their patients to local community programs that support a healthy lifestyle, according to a report in the journal Health Affairs. These programs can include a variety of activities and services, from exercise classes to diet-related support groups.
Researchers from the Norwich Clinical Trials Unit randomly allocated three practices to goal-setting and three to control, using a simple block randomisation scheme, with sealed opaque envelopes. They also conducted focus groups with GPs and patients, to gain their perspectives on the use of goal-setting in general practice.
Help Patients Manage Chronic Diseases
Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and lung disease, can affect a patient’s life in many ways. They can zap a patient’s energy and make daily activities difficult.
Doctors can help patients manage their diseases by providing information about diet, exercise and lifestyle. This can improve a patient’s quality of life and reduce health care costs.
Physicians also help patients monitor and track their progress through disease management programs. These programs include checkups, blood tests and medication reminders to keep a patient on track and alert if their health status changes.
Digital tools such as wearables, remote patient monitoring, coaching and education can help patients adhere to their disease management plan between doctor visits. This helps reduce the number of trips patients have to make to a physician’s office.