Patient focuses on overall health to live longer

When Kieth Mumford’s family doctor saw that his blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels were rising, he asked his patient to see a primary care nurse and a registered dietitian at the clinic.

Dr. Michael Hamilton explained to Kieth that these services were offered through Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network. The nurse monitored his blood pressure while the dietitian helped him modify his eating habits.

“I was eating more processed foods and eating out more. The biggest thing was lack of exercise and that was contributing to the problem. I’m now trying to eat more salads, fresh foods and home cooked foods. I’m eating less. That’s a big thing,” he says.

The nurse and the dietitian encouraged Kieth to register for Moving for Health, an eight week group program where patients work with an exercise specialist to improve their physical activity.

Before Moving for Health, he avoided exercise because of knee issues.

“For the last 10 years, I was not able to walk long distances, climb stairs or go up and down hills very well. The overall cardiovascular thing seemed to be quite a challenge,” says Kieth.

Before his knee problem, he used to run two or three times a week and weight trained twice a week.

“You do that for 30 years and then all of a sudden, your knee is holding you back. It really slowed down my fitness and my attitude towards fitness,” he says.

Moving for Health and the exercise specialist, Rhiannon Jacek, helped change this.

“It was the impetus I needed to get going again. I’ve always been and always like being fit. I think I needed to get back the attitude and back into the frame of mind of working on my fitness. I had a little bit more control over my eating habits and I just had to get my body stronger again,” says Kieth.

Rhiannon showed him how to adapt exercise around his knee issues. He’s started taking yoga, works on a mat to improve his flexibility, swims, lifts weights and uses a treadmill or bike at the gym.

Kieth has had his right knee replaced through surgery and plans to continue his fitness regime once he recovers. He appreciates the resources that the PCN has provided.

“What I thought was really interesting when I first started working with my family doctor was that everybody on the team got involved in encouraging me to consider taking Moving for Health. The doctor referred me to the dietitian for healthy eating and the nurse for blood pressure monitoring and education. Together as a team, they figured out that one of the things I need to do was to get active again,” he says.

“If you want to live long and healthy, you have to deal with your fitness and overall health and that’s what I am doing now.”