Our sedentary and stressful lives can have a huge impact on our mental and physical health. Focusing on 6 modifiable aspects of our lives, lifestyle medicine looks to things we can change to reduce our risk of developing some diseases and conditions. Lifestyle medicine can even help to put Type 2 diabetes into remission.
Lifestyle medicine focuses on:
1. 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.
2. Being Physical Activity
Incorporating regular physical activity into your day and across your week is important. We schedule across the day so we are less sedentary. We schedule fun activities for enjoyment, and activities which might make us sweat for cardio and respiratory fitness.
3. Managing Stress Levels
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…
4. Improving Sleep
Achieving sufficient good quality sleep where we allow ourselves to spend a good amount in bed, resting and nourishing our brains and bodies.
5. Avoiding Risky Substances or Behaviours
Knowing what’s okay and what’s not okay is fundamental to an understanding of good health. Sometimes we are vulnerable to addictions because of our genetics or our environment. We all know smoking is not good for us, moderate alcohol intake is acceptable, and that we shouldn’t play with recreational drugs. Although I do not counsel on substance misuse I can certainly point you in the right direction.
6. Forming and Maintaining Good Relationships
Having a positive social network is key to good health. Be they friends or family social connection has been shown to be crucial to happiness. How we connect whether in person or via the internet can impact positively on how we view ourselves and our experience of life. Choosing who we connect with is really important as we learn though life to hold onto those who value us, and let go of those who do not.
We can learn to set goals and tickbox our way through the various components for a happy and healthy life; knowing the components is key.