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This paper introduces cardiovascular disease and the mortality rate it has on the U.S. population. It explains different kinds of cardiovascular diseases and ways it can be prevented. The significance of physical activity is one of the ways it can be prevented is also talked about. It describes how being physically active can reduce cardiovascular disease in the population, since it is a modifiable factor.
Cardiovascular diseases have become the number one cause of death in the U.
S. for people of different ages (Donatella,2015). Statistics show that in 2011 there were about 596,339 deaths in the United States due to cardiovascular diseases such as; hypertension, atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, coronary heart disease and many other fatal diseases (Donatella,2015). Obesity is also an issue that contributes to cardiovascular diseases, and according to The American Heart Association (2015), obesity among adults and children continues to increase. Children and adults have presented to be obese on the past years, which it is extremely alarming.
The American Heart Association also states that obese people spend $1,400 more on medical insurance as compare to people with a normal weight (2015). Obesity causes tension in the heart, which forces the heart to push blood in order to supply the fat within the capillaries, which can then harm the heart (Donatella,2015). As described, cardiovascular diseases have become a huge problem in today’s society.
Cardiovascular diseases can be decreased if action by the public is taken. There are many modifiable risks that people should be aware of. Among these are physical inactivity, tobacco usage, and unhealthy diets as stated by The World Heart Federation (2017).
According to the Department of Health & Human Services (2018), exercising also helps depression and other mental illnesses, because it changes chemicals in our brain such as stress hormones and serotonin. Physical activity is a modifiable risk of cardiovascular disease, therefore regular exercise can reduce the risk to such fatal disease. Practicing low intensity physical activities can be extremely helpful in reducing risks. Some of the physical activities people should engage in order to reduce the risks according to Donatella include, jogging, running, walking, gardening, and dancing, which are all aerobic exercises(Donatella, 2015). Research shows that running for 5 to 10 minutes daily at speeds of less than 6 miles per hour, can reduce the death of individuals in the U.S., as stated in the journal article Exercise Benefits in Cardiovascular Disease: Beyond Attenuation of Traditional Risk Factors (Fiuza Luces C et al., 2018). Engaging in a physical activity regularly whether is an intense or moderate exercise can be extremely beneficial to everyone.
For this research project, a SMART Goal was set up in order to help the subject feel better and decrease the risk of a cardiovascular disease. According to the article Exercise Heart Statistics (Robin, 2017), the lack of physical inactivity has increased the risk of heart diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. In order for this goal to be successful it had to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based. As a result the subject was given a SMART Goal that required more engagement in some aerobic exercises such as running or jogging. This was done to decrease the risks of heart diseases. The subject had to engage in running or jogging for thirty minutes, four times a week. This resulted in a total of 120 minutes per week, making this a vigorous intensity type of physical activity (Donatella, 2015). Not only was this goal chosen to decrease heart diseases, but it was also chosen to decrease stress levels and increase energy throughout the day. Stress levels can be reduced when endorphins and other chemicals previously mentioned formed, which then boosts the ability of an individual to sleep. Being able to sleep in it of itself reduces stress according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2010).
The Participant engaged in the Health Belief Model theory. The SMART goal that was being implemented for 6 weeks, was chosen to improve the health of the individual in a lot of different ways. Both physically and mentally states of the participants were taken into consideration when the process was implemented.
Step 1. A health assessment was done prior to the SMART goal being implemented in order to see the participant ‘s standing and evaluation on the Six Dimensions of Health.The six Dimension of Health includes physical health, social health, emotional health, environmental health, spiritual health and intellectual health (Donatella, 2015).
Step 2. The results on assessment showed that the participant understands how important it is to be physically active, however lacks to be active due to extracurricular activities and time management. Therefore, the participant is going to try to manage time in order to engage in more physical activities.
Step 3. The participant started planning out what days were the most convenient to engage in running/jogging throughout the week, depending on current schedule.Currently the participant has curricular activities, so managing time is crucial.
Step 4. A reminder was set on the participant’s phone to constantly remind the participant of the SMART goal that had to be accomplished.
Step 5. The subject engaged in different types of physical activity not just running or jogging. In order to accomplish the goal the participant had to run for 30 minutes, whether it was on a treadmill or park, then engage in different exercises.The distance ran by the participant will be recorded on the 1st week, the 3rd week and the 6th week of the implementation.
Step 6. After long six weeks the process of the SMART goal will be terminated and the measurements from the average miles ran for 3o minutes will be recorded.
The new behavior the research participant tried to engage in was extremely difficult for many reasons. The SMART goal that wa being implemented was to try to run, jogg, or walk for 30 minutes, 4 times a week. As a college student, the research participant had a lot of things going on throughout the semester. School,work, extracurricular activities and trying to balance a social life were factors that made it very difficult for the participant to engage on the physical activity that was trying to be accomplished.
Adding this physical activity into a daily routine really brought time management into perspective. As previously mentioned trying to balance a lot of things can be stressful, and that is when making time for all of them comes into play. The research participant had to prioritize multiple times on studying rather than implementing the SMART goal. This was due to a rigorous course being taken that required a lot of time. Some days were a lot more difficult than others because sometimes the motivation was not there, so pushing through each day was a challenge, specially the first 2-3 weeks that the SMART goal was being implemented.
However, the research participant understood that in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle this change had to be done. Looking up quotes and putting reminders on the phone were ways to keep the motivation going. As the weeks passed by, the participant found it a lot easier to go to the gym in the apartment complex. The participant would either run, jog, or walk on the treadmills that were offered at the gym. Other exercises and physical activities were also done after doing 30 minutes on the treadmill.
Throughout the process, the participant had to manage time wisely, prioritize and have dedication. All of which were extremely hard due to a lot of factors previously mentioned. Time management was extremely hard for the participant and sometimes not achieved. The participant would actually end up going to the gym really late which conflicted with her sleeping schedule. The dedication was there, because no matter how late or early it was the participant would still try to go to the gym. Another thing the participant learned was that going to the gym takes a lot of courage, and consistency. Being consistent was the most important thing learned in this process. The participant learned that no matter what, time has to be made in order to achieve goals that are set. There had to be consistency with running, jogging or walking for at least 30 minutes, which the participant cultivated, and eventually also learned to engage in other exercises along the way.
After the six weeks, behavior was changed one way or another. The participant started enjoying the gym and going more frequently. The changed behavior helped the participant feel better, both physically and mentally. It became a sanctuary where stress was relieved, and energy was gained. The participant felt a lot more energized throughout the day after running or walking in the morning. It also gave the participant a boost on self-esteem. It was clearly noticeable that the participant looked a lot lighter after the 6 week process. Going to the gym to run, jog or engage in other physical exercises is already on the daily routine of the participant. The distance the participant was able to run under 30 minutes was also measured on the first week, third week and the last week the SMART goal was implemented. The participant started off running an average of 1.19 miles on the first week, 1.10 miles on the 3rd week and on the last week an average of 1.86 miles, all under 30 minute (see page 13).
Evidently it was a bit difficult for the behavioral change to be obtained but overall it was successful. Of course, sometimes the participant was not able to go to the gym or go on runs, but for the most part the consistency was applied. The participant was able to accomplish the SMART goal by accomplishing the entire 6 week process.
The purpose of this research study, was to implement a SMART goal in order to change the health behavior of the participant. The implementation of either running, jogging, or walking was intended to help the participant reduce the risks of a cardiovascular disease. Overall, it was hard at first for the participant to follow through with the goal, but finished the six week process strong. The participant was actually able to run a longer distance under 30 minutes. at the end of the sixth week, with an average of 1.86 miles. The participant also started feeling better and the stress levels were reduced while engaging on the physical activity. This goes on to show how important it is to be physically active, it has many health benefits and one of them is lowering the risks of having a cardiovascular disease.
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