Lifestyle Medicine is an emerging discipline which is gaining more and more interest as we learn of the impact of our sedentary and stressful lives on our mental and physical health. Lifestyle medicine focuses on 6 modifiable aspects of our lives to emphasise how we can actually manipulate our risk of developing many conditions like heart disease and some cancers, and even put Type 2 diabetes into remission.
Lifestyle medicine focuses on:
- Enjoying a plant-based diet – this is not a vegan or vegetarian diet (unless preferred) but a diet that is mainly comprised of plant-based foods with dairy, fish and meat also included, in varying amounts.
- Incorporating regular physical activity into your day – so not just into the week, but across the day so we are less sedentary generally and schedule fun activities and even activities which might make us sweat.
- Learning how to recognise when we are getting stressed, then learning stress management techniques which are simple and straightforward and might just involve taking time to breathe…
- Achieving sufficient good quality sleep where we allow ourselves to spend a good amount in bed, resting and nourishing our brains and bodies.
- Avoiding risky substances or behaviours such as nicotine and drugs, which we know are bad for us but may be vulnerable to because of our genetics or history. Appropriate alcohol intake is considered within a lifestyle medicine consultation as we know many of us overdo it, to our detriment. Learning how to manage alcohol intake is a key skill in managing overall health.
- Establishing a social network. Be they friends or family social connection has been shown to be crucial to a healthy lifespan. We are really only starting to look at the components of happiness and how being ‘well connected’ can impact how we feel about our lives.
So altogether, the above contribute to the achievement of a healthy lifestyle and happy life. #lifestylemedicine