1. Living a healthy lifestyle requires some form of fitness and exercise. Exercise not only helps to maintain a healthy body weight, but helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, reduces the risk of certain cancers, strengthens bones and joints, improves muscle tone, and helps improve mental health (ODPHP, 2020). Proper nutrition, exercise, and maintaining a healthy body weight can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and improve diabetes (ODPHP, 2020). Exercise helps elevate mood, increase self-esteem, and overall feelings of joy and pleasure (Edelman & Kudzma, 2018). There are many obstacles patients can face however when trying to incorporate fitness and exercise into their lives such access to fitness equipment, a place to exercise, environmental factors, disabilities, and social and economic status (ODPHP, 2020).
Nurse practitioners (NPs) can help promote healthy lifestyles by educating patients on the benefits of exercise and by exploring limitations to compliance. NPs should discuss limitations and offer alternatives to fitness goals. For example, a patient could say that a barrier to exercise is a safe place to go outside to walk or run, but there are many alternatives to this limitation such as indoor aerobic exercise and strength training. There are several fitness apps available that require no fitness equipment and that can be completed in the comfort of one’s home. Exploring limitations is the first step in improving compliance in regards to exercise and fitness. Each fitness and exercise program can be individualized to meet the needs of the patient. Goals are also essential and can help to achieve desired outcomes. Smart watches and devices such as an iWatch and fitbit trackers can help patients track progress and burned calories each day. Other apps such as MyFitnessPal can help patients track daily nutrition consumption and exercise to help stay within daily goals, helping to achieve the primary set goal over a period of time.
Edelman, C. L., & Kudzma, E. C., (2018). Health promotion throughout the life span. (9th ed).
St. Louis, MO: Elsevier, Mosby
Office of Disease Prevention and Health. (2020). Nutrition, physical activity, and obesity.
Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators/2020-lhi-topics/Nutrition-Physical-Activity-and-Obesity
2. Healthy people 2020 released physical activity guidelines for American in 2008 in order to achieve the goal which is improving health, fitness, and quality of life by having a daily physical activity. Healthy people 2020 identified the physical activity objectives that positively influenced by legislative policies, structural environment, and science supporting the health benefits of having a regular physical activity. Examples of structural environments are sidewalk availability for running or walking, bike lanes, trails, and parks. Legislator’s policies to improve access to facilities that support physical activity (Healthy People 2020).
Why is physical activity important and why does Healthy People 2020 emphasize it?
According to the healthy people 2020, having a regular daily activity can reduce the risk of heart disease, early death, stroke, type two diabetes, some of the cancers especially breast cancer, obesity, depression. Moreover, physical activity can improve bone health, decrease body fat, and improve cognitive skills and concentration among children and adolescents.
One of the ways that nurse practitioners can promote healthy lifestyles and improves the health in patients is “education and inform patients about the benefits of daily activity and exercise” (Duquesne University, 2018). According to the article that Duquesne University released (2018), “Nurse practitioner not only provide healthcare to patients, they focus on education also. NPs by informing patients regarding the benefits of exercise, explain the risks of obesity in diabetes and high blood pressure, and provide healthy diet (low fat, low salt, low sugar diet) to people can peruse patients to improve their health life. Nurse practitioner can explain how exercise can reduce stress which is a risk factor in high blood pressure, stroke, and death.”
However, the goal will meet by building the trust and relationship between health care providers and patients. Based on Watson’s theory (2008), “sustaining humanistic-altruistic values by practice of loving kindness, compassion, and equanimity with self/others, giving faith and hope, being sensitive to self and others, sustaining loving and trusting relationship, listening to the patient, creating a healing environment, and assisting with basic needs,” I believe, trusting relationship will build between nurse practitioners (NP’s) and patients when the achievement of patients’ satisfaction of outcomes meet. Nurse practitioners can provide physical activity guidelines that released by Healthy People 2020 to the patients and educate them the importance of following the guidelines to improving their health and prevention of chronic disease.
In my opinion, nurse practitioners are able to peruse people to utilize technologies to help them to have physical activities. Technologies that are available to assist patients are, “Active video game that has variety of activities and cause body movement with images onscreen such as boxing, dancing, tennis, and skiing. The other technology is an activity tracker, by using smart phones or fitness watch can track how many calories burn in daily activity or by exercise. There are variety of websites to educate fitness and are low cost or free” (Dalleck, np). Utilizing technology like smartphones, is an advantage for young adults and older to control or track their activity, the amount calories they intake, and measure how much fat burned.
In the end, physical activity is essential for being healthy and maintain the health. Healthy people 2020 provide physical activity guidelines for American in order to improving the health of the nation. Nurse practitioners have crucial role to educate and encourage people to follow the physical activity guidelines and perform the exercise and consume healthy diet to reduce the risk of chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and introduce them technologies that help to track their exercise and activity in order to control their intake calories, fat burn, and avoid of gaining weight.
Dalleck,, L. (n.d.). 5 ways technology can help your clients be more physically active. ACE Fitness. Retrieved December 5, 2021, from https://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/2904/5-ways-technology-can-help-your-clients-be-more-physically-active/.
Lifelong care: How fnps help patients maintain healthy lifestyles. Duquesne University School of Nursing. (2018, July 18). Retrieved December 5, 2021, from https://onlinenursing.duq.edu/blog/lifelong-care-fnps-help-patients-maintain-healthy-lifestyles/.
Physical activity. Physical Activity | Healthy People 2020. (n.d.). Retrieved December 5, 2021, from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/physical-activity.
Watson, J. (2008). Nursing: The philosophy and science of caring. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.

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