Don't Take a Holiday From Exercise

Incorporate active measures into your daily routines as holidays approach, expert says

"It's important to maintain your fitness as much as possible during the holidays, but don't worry if you're too busy to go to the gym. Many holiday activities offer ways to get the 30 minutes of daily moderate physical activity that your body needs to help fight off many forms of cancer and other diseases," Karen Basen-Engquist, a professor in the behavioral science department at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, said in a center news release.

She offered the following tips for incorporating walking into your shopping trips:

Park far from the mall or store entrance. If you take the train or bus, get off a stop or two early. When you're inside the mall or store, use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. If possible, carry your purchases instead of using a shopping cart. This will help boost your heart rate and strengthen your muscles.

"For walking to count as exercise, you should be a little out of breath and feel your heart beating a little faster. You should be able to talk in short sentences, but not sing holiday songs," Basen-Engquist said.

You can get an aerobic workout while preparing the house for guests and cleaning up after they leave. Focus on chores that use large muscle groups, such as the legs and back. These include vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing, gardening and making multiple trips upstairs to put away laundry or holiday decorations.

"The most important thing is to get your heart rate up at a consistent level. You should sustain activity for at least 10 minutes without stopping," Basen-Engquist said.

She also offered tips for exercise while traveling:

  • While waiting for a plane, train or bus, take a brisk walk around the terminal.
  • If you're driving, add physical activity to gas and bathroom breaks. For example, toss a Frisbee, kick a ball, or take a vigorous walk.
  • Take advantage of gyms and exercise classes offered by many hotels. If these aren't available, use an exercise DVD or explore the local area by going for a walk, jog or hike.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a guide to physical activity.

(LOUISVILLE)The integrated Physician Network (iPN), sponsored by Centura Health, was honored with the 2010 Best Practice Award from NextGen Healthcare. NextGen Healthcares Best Practice Awards program provides national recognition each year for exemplary use of the NextGen electronic health records, practice management and connectivity solutions. The Large Practice Award was accepted by iPNs Chief Medical Officer, David Ehrenberger, MD at NextGens annual conference before an audience of more than 3,400 physicians, practice administrators, hospital leaders and other healthcare professionals from across the nation. The award is an acknowledgment of the iPNs ability to engineer the electronic medical record as a tool to improve the coordination of care and improve the quality of care for their patients.

The integrated Physician Network is a unique partnership between community independent practices, the community hospitals in North Denver affiliated with Centura Health, and a federally qualified community health center, Clinica Family Health Services. The NextGen Enterprise application is the critical data collection and quality improvement tool for meeting the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Triple Aim of improved patient experience, improved quality of care and reduction in cost. The focus has been on population-based management of chronic disease and preventative care. With NextGen, physicians and their teams have up-to-date patient registries for diabetes, heart disease, and asthma patients with outcomes reports at the practice, site and provider level to help guide effective quality improvement.

In addition, NextGen has provided the iPN with the functionality to participate in two national Patient-Centered Medical Home pilots with several practices achieving Level Three NCQA recognition. By using NextGen, the iPN has developed innovative practice redesign initiatives to improve access to care, quality of patient experience, patient safety and patient centered office redesign. This award is really just a bonus. The real winners are my patients, who benefit from the practical application of the tool - the electronic health record.", says iPN Board Chairman, Dr. David Nuhfer.

Finally, iPN physicians have participated in the statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE) project and has been chosen for Boulder County to be one of three pilot sites for Colorados HIE implementation strategy to begin in late 2010. The iPN is using NextGen to link providers together with their patients across the transitions of care, reducing costs while improving patient outcomes and experience.

About the integrated Physician Network:
The integrated Physician Network (iPN) is a quality improvement collaborative organized in 2004 when a group of independent physicians in the North Denver/Boulder area began implementation of a common electronic medical record (EMR). The iPN worked to embed key "evidence-based" care protocols in the EMR to provide real-time decision support at the point of care. Participating physicians have secure, web-based access to patient data, including demographics, referrals, medications, allergies, problem lists, procedures, alerts, laboratory and radiology reports creating a 'multi-specialty clinic without walls'. The Integrated Physician Network, with over 160 providers across 30 practice sites, has partnered with Colorados largest not-for-profit healthcare system, Centura Health. Physician members include 7 primary care practices, a federally qualified community health center and several other specialties including orthopedics, cardiology, surgery, obstetrics/gynecology and anesthesia. These independent physician practices are clinically integrated through population-based quality initiatives, benchmarking and the sharing of best practices.

iPN Member Practices:

Avista Womens Care, P.C. (2 locations)Lafayette, Louisville, CO
Boulder Valley Womens Health Care, Inc.Boulder, CO
Broomfield Family Practice, P.C.Broomfield, CO
City Park Family Practice, P.C.Denver, CO
Clinica Family Health Services (4 locations)Boulder, Denver, Lafayette, Thornton
Coal Creek Family Medicine, P.C.Louisville, CO
Cornerstone Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, P.C.Louisville & Wheat Ridge (2 locations)
Family Practice Associates, P.C.Louisville, CO
Flatirons Family Practice, Inc.Broomfield, CO
Flatirons Internal Medicine, PCLouisville, CO
Flatirons Pediatrics ClinicLouisville, CO
Front Range Surgical Associates, P.C.Westminster, CO
High Plains Anesthesia Consultants, P.C.Louisville, CO
Meadows Family Medical Center, Inc.Idaho Springs, CO
Orthopedic Professional Association, P.C.Boulder, Louisville, CO(2 locations)
Partners in Health Family Medicine, P.C.Westminster, CO
Restoration Plastic Surgery, P.C.Broomfield, CO
Rocky Mtn. Cardiovascular Associates, P.C.Denver, Lafayette, Littleton, (8 locations)Westminster, Wheat Ridge
Simms Crossing Family Practice, Inc.Golden, CO
Westminster Family PracticeNorthglenn, CO
Woman to Woman HealthCare, P.C.Louisville, CO

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