The 'Magic' of Making & Sustaining Healthy Behaviors Is...

...Lifestyle Medicine.


Are you interested in becoming a healthier person?

Lifestyle Medicine is a new medical subspecialty that addresses how you live your life day to day and its effect on your health. Lifestyle medicine plays a critical role in management and prevention of chronic disease such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, elevated lipids, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease without the use of medications or procedures. National guidelines now recommend a lifestyle medicine intervention as the first step in treating many of these diseases.

The “EPIC” study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine studied 23,000 people’s adherence to the following 4 simple behaviors:

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* Not smoking

* Exercising 3.5 hrs/wk

* Eating a healthy diet, consisting of mostly plant-based foods

* Maintaining a healthy weight (BMI at or below 25)

In those who sustained these behaviors, 93% of diabetes, 81% of heart attacks, 50% of strokes and 36% of all cancers were prevented. The problem is that most people cannot and do not sustain these behaviors.

It takes more than knowledge and simple advice to make behavior changes. At Emerald Physicians, Carol Penfield, M.S., is a Nurse Practitioner specializing in lifestyle medicine, and she offers individual appointments as well as Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs). Carol provides the tools, time and support to help convert awareness into sustainable changes that lead to improved health.

What is a SMA?

Shared medical appointments (SMA) involve a group of 6 – 10 patients with a common health goal such as weight loss. The group meets 5 times over a 4 month period. Each visit includes group education with recommended interventions tailored to each patient’s unique medical, psychological and socio-cultural situation. The “magic” of the group support enhances the success rate and patients learn skills that help them lose weight and keep it off. This approach is now used with documented excellent outcomes at places on the forefront of medicine, such as the Cleveland Clinic, where they have over 100 such groups with a specific focus on a variety of diseases.

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Carol is a Nurse Practitioner with Emerald Physicians. For the last 6 years she has specialized exclusively in lifestyle medicine, which addresses healthy behaviors that can improve and sustain health with proven strategies. For more information on SMA call Emerald Physicians at: (774) 552-2304