Mind-body fitness: encouraging prospects for primary and secondary prevention

Author: La Forge R
Lipid Disorders Training Program, San Diego Cardiac Center Medical Group, California, USA
Conference/Journal: J Cardiovasc Nurs
Date published: 1997
Other: Volume ID: 11 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 53-65 , Word Count: 162

In recent years health promotion programs have generated many worthwhile psychologic and physiologic benefits but frequently with less than optimal long-term adherence. Incorporating approaches such as mind-body exercise with existing health promotion and cardiac rehabilitation services can improve self-efficacy and long-term adherence to healthy behaviors as well as improve personal stress management skills. Mind-body exercise couples muscular activity with an internally directed focus so that the participant produces a temporary self-contemplative mental state. This internal focus is in contrast to conventional body-centered aerobic and muscular fitness exercise in which there is little or no mindful component. Research on mind-body exercise programs such as yoga and tai chi reveal they have significant mental and physical value. There also are numerous primary and secondary preventive indications for cardiovascular disease in which mind-body exercise can play a primary or complementary role. Mind-body exercise programs will be a welcome and necessary addition to evolving disease management models that focus on self-care and decreased health care use.