Exercise Is Paramount to Good Health

Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Las VegasExercise is a vital health intervention for individuals, yet it is often difficult for primary care clinicians to find the time and tools to address exercise during short office visits. Jane Nelson Worel, MS, ANP-BC, APNP, will discuss this topic during an encore presentation titled, “Exercise 101.”

An adult nurse practitioner with over 15 years experience in preventive cardiology, Worel will offer tips and tools for clinicians to help them provide safe and effective exercise prescriptions for patients of all ages and abilities.


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“Exercise is medicine is a term used now to describe the health benefits of exercise which are plenty. There is a long list of proven benefits attributed to exercise from reducing depression and anxiety to preventing diabetes and heart disease,” explained Worel, who practices at Phases Primary Health Care for Women in Madison, WI. “Clinical trials have compared regular exercise to pharmacotherapy for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia, and found exercise was equally beneficial in many cases.” 

Counseling interventions and strategies clinicians can apply when recommending exercise to patients include goal setting, motivational interviewing, and cognitive behavioral strategies. Worel will also address the 5A’s (Assess, Advise, Agree, Assist, and Arrange) lifestyle counseling model, which can help clinicians deliver brief, individually tailored physical activity messages to patients.

Clinicians may also find ParQ Physical Activity readiness tool beneficial. This tool allows clinicians to quickly determine the safety of starting an exercise program without an exercise test. An exercise prescription notepad makes it easy to send patients home with simple to follow written recommendations and follow-up plans, according to Worel. Pedometers and other activity tracking tools provide timely feedback and motivation for patients to stick with an activity and exercise plan.

“Efficient office-based counseling starts by making exercise a vital sign; documenting at every office visit exercise type, frequency, duration, and intensity,” said Worel. “Next, determine the patient’s readiness to change and target interventions to match the stage of change. Have resources readily available to provide written exercise prescriptions and referrals to appropriate exercise professionals.”

-Eileen Koutnik-Fotopoulos