The solution is so easy. It sits right before our eyes. The methodology is known.
Small Steps to Heart Health was big headlines in today’s WSJ. As if the secret was revealed.
The report succinctly argues that simple lifestyle choices, like daily exercise and better nutrition are surprisingly successful. Shocking! As an illustration of a model patient, they used the example of an overweight interventional cardiologist (a squisher) who caught the health bug. By making better food choices and exercising on a daily basis, he was able to glean huge gains in objectively measured parameters of heart health.
The review cited three studies from this Spring’s ACC meeting. All three studies revealed that more aggressive pharmacologic management of medical conditions was not always better. There exist many examples of this phenomenon, but the specifics here were:
More medicine cannot substitute for life’s simple choices. Although pills have undoubtedly enhanced the lives of many, they will never replace the importance of the big three components of health: good food, good sleep and good movement. Really, it is that simple.
Our challenge as doctors is not just in telling our patients of the fruits of healthy living. Most already know. The real challenge is infecting our patients with the “healthy-living” virus. So many in America–and especially Kentucky–remain immune.
In the implementation of healthy living, doctors might need help. Thus far, we are not doing so well.
Even with my motivational pitch at full throttle, successful infection of the healthy-living virus is a rarity. I will continue to try, though the futility of the effort creeps closer and closer with each successive failure.