Health and Quality Improvement Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2971 words)  |  Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 6

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] I have seen programs based on dancing, kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, and intensive aerobic workouts.

Since I am out of shape and have little free time, I think I should choose a program that is not too long and starts out slowly, building up as I become more fit. I will look for a program that is 30 minutes or so, and has different options for me as I progress through the program, something like the "Power Half Hour" workout I researched online. I think the best way to check these out is to rent a few from a video store, and then choose the one I like the best. It also needs to utilize the basic principles of beneficial exercise. Another author notes, "In order to maintain the weight loss, you must exercise. Your fitness program should include three critical components -- cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and stretching and flexibility training" (Villarosa, 2007). I will evaluate the programs I test to see if they contain all these components, and choose the one that most meets those requirements along with my own requirements.

Opportunities for Improvement

I definitely know that I have to improve my eating habits and my physical exercise, as I have outlined. Exercise is as important as diet, for a number of reasons. The two authors continue, "Exercise should be part of every weight loss program because you need to increase the calories that you burn relative to the number of calories you consume" (Nathan & Delahanty, 2005, p. 138). I know that is true, and I know I have to add it to my goals for good health, and not just because of the weight loss benefits. The Mayo Clinic reports on a variety of other health benefits from regular physical activity, including lowering cholesterol and maintaining heart health, improving mood and sleep, boosting energy, and it can actually become a pleasurable and enjoyable activity (Editors, 2009). Exercise is a key to feeling better about myself, too, because it allows me to maintain a healthy weight and feel good about keeping my goals and adhering to them.

Another opportunity for improvement is changing my diet. I know that I have to eat more healthy alternatives, like vegetables instead of high-fat fried foods, and leaner meats, but I have the opportunity to learn more about cooking and preparing foods, and how to choose the right foods that are not only healthy but also fun to eat. I do not cook very much, but I think that I would like to learn how, and I would like to have more choices of what I put into my body. Cooking myself I can choose the ingredients I like, and cut back on fat, salt, and other additives that are in many of the fast foods I eat now. I worry about having the time to cook, but I know that when I am rushed, I can also buy prepackaged salads and frozen steamed vegetables, and I can look for healthy frozen meals, like Healthy Choice or Weight Watchers at the supermarket. A good result of this may be that while I am eating healthier, I may save some money, because fast food can become expensive, and I may learn some new cooking skills, too.

Another opportunity here that has to be addressed is drinking and partying, because I am sure that has helped add to my weight gain. Almost all the students I know go out on the weekends (and some during the week) to drink and party. They overeat a lot, too. I know that I will have to cut back on alcohol when I change my lifestyle, because it is just loaded with empty calories, and I know making that decision is an intervention in my lifestyle, and the right choice for me. I may lose some of my partying friends with my decision, but I think that is really an opportunity to gain a healthier lifestyle and do away with a bad habit at the same time.

Design and Implement Interventions to Improve the Outcome

I know that this is not an easy thing to achieve, and that I have to have interventions to fall back on when I fail to attain my goals, or feel the need to "cheat" on my diet. I think one way to do this is to ask for support from my friends and family. They know I am unhappy with my weight and they have encouraged me to do something about it. In addition, research indicates that college students often benefit from social support from friends and family when they are trying to lose weight. Another writer states, "One 'intervention' source that has been frequently acknowledged, but not often emphasized, is the use of social support to effect positive behavior change" (Gruber, 2008). I can foresee some problems with some of my friends, who like to go out drinking and then chow down at fast food places. I know that I may not be able to hang out with these friends, but that is a lifestyle choice that I have to understand. It is better for my health and well-being, and that is now an important priority in my life.

Another intervention that I will take on right away is to rid my kitchen of any food that does not fit in with my healthy eating plan. I tend to eat a lot of snacks, and those are going in the trash when I go home. I also have a lot of sugary cereals and stuff, just because they're easy to eat and quick to prepare. I will get rid of those choices too. To modify my diet, I will add more whole grains to my diet, and reduce sugar, because it is also just filled with empty calories. I will modify how I think about eating and about my body, because making healthier choices can help me live longer, feel better, and look better, too.

Besides looking for help and support from my friends and family, I will look for more information on dieting and exercise, and continue to learn more. When I become discouraged, I will look for online support groups, too, because I think that they can offer emotional support, but also information about why you are not meeting your goals, and how to deal with discouragement. I will not give up on my diet and exercise program, I will use these interventions in case I do become discouraged or tired of the regimen. I will look for healthy foods that I really like, and I will not stop exercising. Instead, I will look for another exercise program if I get tired of the one I am currently using, or switch programs from time to time, so they do not become monotonous and boring.

The Effectiveness of the Interventions

Since I have just begun my program and research to lose weight, it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of the interventions yet. However, I am confident that the interventions I have noted will be successful, and they will help keep me on the right path to losing weight. I am determined, which is one good trait, and I know I have the support of the people who are important to me. I also look forward to developing an exercise program and learning more about a healthy lifestyle, so I think that will keep me interested and motivated to reach my goals. Finally, I am excited about learning more about cooking and preparing food, and learning about new ingredients that I might never have discovered before. I think that will also help keep me motivated and interested as I start the process. Since my research shows that interventions are a key ingredient in losing weight and staying healthy, I am confident these interventions will be effective and will help me accomplish my long-term goal of losing weight while maintaining a much healthier lifestyle. I am also confident that I have made the right choice, and that my goals are attainable and reasonable.

References

Editors. (2009). Seven benefits of regular physical activity. Retrieved 23 Feb. 2010 from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676.

Gruber, K.J. (2008). Social support for exercise and dietary habits among college students. Adolescence, 43(171), 557+.

Hunt, B.P., Bogle, V., Gillentine, A., & Daughtrey, C. (2001). Weight loss 101: A healthy weight loss program for college students. American Journal of Health Studies, 17(1), 26+.

Lott, A.M. (2009, November). Managing diabetes: One professional learns that her diabetes diagnosis is not a death sentence. Black Enterprise, 40, 82+.

Nathan, D.M., & Delahanty, L.M. (2005). Beating diabetes: The first complete program clinically proven to dramatically improve your glucose tolerance. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Stellefson, M., Wang, Z., & Klein, W. (2006).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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