While Lifestyle Medicine could be considered cutting edge, it’s also simple. Doesn’t it just make sense that your lifestyle habits, how you live, affects your health?
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), is a formal college of medicine with thousands of doctors who agree on the evidence:
In our practice we address all six pillars with you because they’re each important. Yes, we still use medication and testing as needed.
But we look at your health through the lens of these pillars first and foremost.
A Whole-Food Plant-Based Plate
Eating mostly plant-based with a variety of minimally processed vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Even if you don’t get it 100% right, it’s ok. Just start displacing one unhealthy food with a healthier option.
For instance, try oats and berries for breakfast instead of a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. Or how about switching out bars, chips and cookies with grapes, apples and berries?
Isn’t this plate beautiful!
Move your body every day. Regular and consistent physical movement that gets your heart rate up.
You don’t have to run a marathon, just move. Walking, running, hiking, biking, dancing, lunges, squats, pushups, burpees, swimming…the list goes on.
Isn’t pickle ball popular now?
It doesn’t matter what you do, just move. It’s good for the heart, the head and all the parts.
Did you know that your body cleanses toxins when you sleep? It’s the best cleanser out there!
If you’ve had a newborn, or pulled an all-nighter then you know how it feels with little to no sleep. Hard to function or think straight, right?
Poor sleep can lead to a decrease in immune function, poor lifestyle choices and coping skills. We use diet, exercise and the other pillars to help improve sleep.
Stress could go two ways – to better health, energy and productivity. Or it could lead to anxiety, depression, obesity, decreased immunity, sleep and more.
When stress leads us astray we need to take a look at stress responses and coping skills. This could include breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, exercise or connecting with loved ones.
One thing is for sure in life, stress will come, it’s important for us to adjust our responses.
Avoidance of Risky Substances
We can all agree that smoking and drinking can be detrimental to our health. Not only that but many addictive substances increase the risk for heart disease and cancer.
Using tools and support to limit alcohol and stop tobacco are ways to limit the risk for these and other diseases.
You could have every other pillar done perfectly, and if you don’t have social connection or a good relationship then you could still see signs of poor or decreased health.
Social connection is important for overall health and emotional resiliency. Interestingly, studies show that isolation is associated with increased mortality.
What makes you smile, who do you like hanging out with? What were you put on this earth to do, what do you have to share?
Finding and knowing your purpose is part of this too.
This pillar is why we offer our LifeMed Membership program. It’s a way to connect with others. We do this through moving, eating and learning together.
Putting it all together
Each pillar is interconnected with the other pillars. If you’re not sleeping well, you may not handle stress effectively. Lack of exercise may lead to crappy sleep. Increased stressed and you may be reaching for the chips rather than a handful of blueberries.
The point is to just start somewhere.
- a 15 min walk outside
- a 5 minute guided meditation
- snacking on fruit only
- joining a book group
The list is endless. It’s about progress, not perfection
Ready to tackle your health? Pick a pillar to get started with.
Get a copy of our Habit Tracker or give us a call to make an appointment. 860-788-6573