Health Assessment: Exercise and health

Health Assessment: Exercise and health
For the middle-aged adult, exercise can reduce the risk of various health problems. Choose two at-risk health issues that regular physical exercise and activity can help prevent and manage. Discuss the prevalence of each of these health problems in society today. Describe measures that you would take as a nurse to assist clients with health promotion measures to incorporate exercise and physical activity into their lives. Include the kind of activities you would recommend, the amount of exercise, and the approach you would use to gain cooperation from the client. Support your response with evidence-based literature.


According to the World Health Organization (2018), physical activity is any body movement originating from the skeletal muscles in which energy is used. Exercise is a physical activity which is planned and repetitive to maintain physical fitness. Regular exercise and physical activity have significant health benefits, while inactivity is a leading risk factor for mortality globally. There are multiple ways individuals can incorporate exercise and physical activity into their lives and this will help prevent health issues such as diabetes type 2 and hypertension.


Diabetes is a metabolic disease whose main characteristic is elevated blood glucose levels (MacLeod, 2019). Type 2 diabetes is the most common, which is as a result of the body’s resistance to the produced insulin or insulin deficiency. In 2016, 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes while 90.9% of the cases in U.S are type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise increases insulin sensitivity while muscles use glucose which in turn lowers the blood glucose levels. Staying active helps better the control of blood glucose levels and prevents long term complications such as kidney and heart diseases.

According to MacLeod (2019), adults with diabetes should have two to three sessions per week of aerobic exercises such as jogging and biking. Adults should have 150 minutes and children 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity. Daily movement with unstructured physical activity such as household tasks increases the energy expenditure in form of glucose. Increasing informal activities to all individuals is essential and should be encouraged daily.


According to the World Health Organization, a systolic blood pressure of higher than 140mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher is defined as hypertension. It accounts for 13.5% of all deaths globally and is the leading risk factor for mortality. There has been increased interest in a non-pharmacologic intervention such as exercise in the prevention and treatment of hypertension (Alexandra, 2013). This is due to the increased cost, potential side effects, and concerns about the effectiveness of antihypertensive drugs.

Antihypertensive effects following exercise are reduced peripheral vascular resistance, increased lumen diameter and length, increased baroreceptor sensitivity, and improved insulin sensitivity (Alexandra, 2013). Aerobic exercises improve endothelial functioning through decreasing the wall thickness of the left ventricle and reducing arterial stiffness and should be done three to five times a week. Dynamic resistance exercises such as weight lifting work the crucial muscles and consists of two to three sessions per week. However, prolonged periods of breath-holding should get avoided.

As a nurse helping your client incorporate exercise into their lives is crucial for the promotion and management of health problems. Guided goal setting based on the type and intensity of activity should be done and there should be self-reward with each achievement. A social network, support, and motivation from the significant others aids in increasing the dedication of the client. Relapse counseling and support sessions should be available where the nurse reminds the clients of the health benefits of physical activity.

In conclusion, physical activity and exercise is a crucial part of the promotion and treatment of health problems. Insufficient training is a significant risk factor for the development of non-communicable diseases which raises the burden of diseases. Hence, individuals must be taught on the importance of remaining physically active and health benefits which outweigh risks such as accidents. Therefore, nurses must incorporate exercise as part of their health education in each session they have with the clients.


Alexandra, S., and Ghadieh, B. (2013). Evidence for exercise training in the management of hypertension in adults.

 MacLeod, S., Terada, T., Chahal, B., & Boulé, N. (2019). Diabetes and exercise. Exercise performance impairments and benefits of exercise training in diabetes,10.1007/978-3-319-61013-9_6, (83-108),

World Health Organization, 2018. Physical activity,Geneva, Switzerland


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