We hear a lot about the drawbacks of social media and cell phone use…a lack of personal communication, being disengaged at the dinner table, but those iPhones have their benefits after all. One of the many pros of quick social media access is increased convenience of daily activities. I’d like to encourage everyone to make use of texting and/or social media support as a way to improve a health condition they are currently dissatisfied with.
A recent large study showed that among patients with coronary heart disease, the use of a lifestyle-focused text message system four times per week improved patient body mass indexes, blood pressure and LDL levels as they were sent positive reinforcement and healthy lifestyle tips via frequent messaging. Whether it’s setting up a system on your phone, reminding a family member, downloading a wellness app, or reminders posted in locations where you will see them throughout the day, regular reinforcement can help keep a goal or desired positive behavior present in your mind and this in itself will make long term success more likely.