Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Telehealth Can be Useful in Treating Chronic Diseases

The aging population is increasing worldwide. The number of people 60 years and older are expected to reach $2.1 billion by 2050. And with this increase in age comes an increase in overweight and obesity. And we know that with an increase in overweight and obesity, we will get an increase in chronic diseases. But many of these chronic diseases can be avoided or effectively managed using lifestyle change and self-management techniques facilitated using telehealth.

To address the onset of type 2 diabetes, the CDC established the National Diabetes Prevention Program in 2010. And one of the optional delivery modes in that program is telehealth. Telehealth can lower the cost of delivery, and allow participants in distant areas to take part in the treatment. The treatment uses weight loss as a key objective of the prevention program. And one study has shown just how effective the use of telehealth can be in weight management for individuals 60 and older.

The study was done in China, and employed remote management as the primary tool for delivering the weight management protocol. Participants in the study had to be between 60 and 80 years of age. Participants had to have a BMI of 24 or greater. They could not have participated in any other weight loss study. They had to have a smart phone, and be able to use the phone.

People were excluded from the study who had problems with cognitive skills, schizophrenia or depression. Participants were not to have a pacemaker, walking difficulties, bariatric surgery, or any history of alcoholism. All participants were to be amenable to lifestyle change.
As with the National Diabetes Prevention Program, participants in the study were allowed to set their own goals, use smart scales and activity trackers connected to their smart phones via Bluetooth.

Nutrition and physical activity experts were on hand to provide personalized assistance via the internet and phone. The participants were encouraged to get a minimum of 20 minutes of resistance training or 20 minutes of aerobic physical activity per day. Or the participants could choose to walk 6000 steps each day.

The researchers concluded that intervening via remote management could improve diet and enhance physical activity. And that the interventions were beneficial in weight management. This is also been the conclusion drawn from the National Diabetes Prevention Program.



Saturday, May 27, 2023

You Can Derive Health Benefits from Less Than 150 Minutes of Physical Activity Per Week

Physical activity is essential for maintaining both physical and mental health. Regular physical activity can assist people in living a healthy and fulfilling existence. The benefits of exercise range from reducing the risk of chronic diseases to enhancing mental health. Typically, individuals are advised to engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week to maintain health. However, a recent study indicates that less than half of the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week can have beneficial effects.

The study was done in Norway over a period of 36 years. The aim of the study was to determine how different amounts of physical activity were associated with mortality. There were approximately 123,000 participants in the study. For the study, the participants were divided into three groups. One group engaged in frequent activity, one group was completely inactive, and one group consisted of mixed participants: some participants were very active, and some were inactive. The researchers used two cut off points for measuring physical activity: One was 60 minutes per week and the other was 150 minutes per week.

The researchers concluded that as little as 60 minutes per week of physical activity provides health benefits to an individual. Indeed, there was a significant reduction in mortality for those individuals who did participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity over the 36-month period. So, if an individual can get at least 60 minutes during the week, that activity may add years to the person’s life.

Exercise is essential for a person's health, as it can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. Exercise also helps to control blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. Physical activity can help to reduce anxiety, tension, and depression and improve a person's quality of sleep. Physical activity improves energy levels, strengthens muscles and bones, and enhances brain function by increasing blood flow to the brain. Physical activity can improve life's overall quality by improving cognitive function, memory, and focus.

If 60 minutes of physical activity per week can provide some of the benefits mentioned above, healthcare providers should let patients know that although 150 minutes of physical activity per week is recommended, a smaller amount of physical activity can increase longevity.


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