What the nursing process can teach you–A FIVE PART SERIES (continued)

healthy living waterfall

Live life unscripted–we’ve heard this in ballads, and touted throughout pop culture.  Most of us realize life is unscripted; especially when our best laid plans go awry.  Yet that’s just it, somewhere along the way–there was a plan.

PLANNING is a pivotal stage in the nursing process.  Why?  It paves the way for IMPLEMENTATION & EVALUATION.

PLANNING usually isn’t a complicated task; it’s sticking to it that gets in the way.  Sound a bit ridiculous?  It should.  However, it’s a reality we all face; in one way or another, at one time or another.

From a health and fitness perspective, PLANNING is KEY.  However, it’s the IMPLEMENTATION or follow-through which leads to lifestyle change.

For the moment let’s stick to PLANNING.  As stated earlier, planning isn’t usually complicated.  We’re going to keep it that way.  Yet, our plan should include these vital elements when thinking fitness–nutrition adjustment, move modification, and education.  I have coined the term NAME.

Everyone has a name-a proper noun to which we respond, when we hear it.  Unless something traumatic occurs, most of us will not forget our name.

Nutrition adjustment is the make or break element here.  You may have been told it is exercise.  Exercise is a must; but your weight loss battle is won or lost at the table.   You can actually gain weight, even if exercise is part of your daily routine.  You must expend or put out, more calories than you take in.  It really is that simple; and that complex.  For specifics on caloric expenditure, see my post under Nutrition.  Furthermore, recent theory suggests that unless you are moving throughout your day, an hour at the gym if the rest of your life is sedentary, may not be beneficial.  Will keep you posted, as some of these clinical trials are very new.

Move modification may mean walking throughout your day, running, resistance training, home workouts, or any combination thereof.  The point is this–do something.  If you have not engaged in regular exercise, have mobility issues, or restricted because of cardio-pulmonary compromise–this doesn’t spell the end or let you off the hook.  Every workout is not for every body.  Your responsibility is to find one that is right for you.  Proper consult with your physician, as well as thorough ASSESSMENT, are essential to your PLANNING.  ACSM (AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE) prescription principles suggest the following:

Cardiovascular exercise–should be 3-5 times a week, for 20-90 minutes.  The routine should be continuous and rhythmic in nature

Resistance training–should work major muscle groups to their full range of motion (ROM), with control of speed.  Eight to ten exercises of 2-4 sets each

Flexibility–In order for your muscles to “trust you,” you should hold your stretches for at least 15 seconds.  Flexibility training should be 2-3 days per week, to mild discomfort (Mild discomfort is difficult to define for everyone.  When in doubt, consult your MD; and especially your own body).  Flexibility training can be static or accomplished with help–15-60 seconds for each; working towards 3-4 repetitions

EDUCATION–or continuing education, is tantamount.  How many of us have returned to school either to “brush up” on a subject or acquire new knowledge?  From floral arranging to learning to speak a different language, most of us desire to know more.  Even if the desire isn’t always there, the requirement may be.  Modifying your lifestyle to reflect your weight loss/fitness goals require education; continuing education.  This doesn’t just mean looking up new exercises or diet trends.  More notably to you, it means interpreting your own data.  Understand what your body is telling you AND document it.  In this way, you have a written record of your successes, failures, and everything in between.  It can also be a useful tool when discussing progress with your trainer or medical professional.  The point is you are educating yourself, about yourself.  This is essential for your nutritional as well as exercise component.

As a nursing student, I was constantly reminded “if it’s not documented, it’s not done.”  That mantra has seen me successfully through false allegations of neglectful care, to assessing new employee skills in the field.  With this in mind, I cannot stress enough, the importance of documenting your progress; even if its regress.

NAME is just a reminder I use.  However, it can be useful to remember and reconcile your PLANNING stage.  There are countless ways and means to see you through.  Regardless of what you choose–have a plan.  Even if needs revamping, rethinking, or rebooting, HAVE A PLAN.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Be sure to check out my ABOUT page.

Questions?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

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