Lifestyle medicine is an approach to decreasing the risk and development of chronic disease.
This is achieved by improving lifestyle choices such as nutrition, physical activity, stress management, sleep habits, smoking cessation and avoiding alcohol and drug abuse. When you are ready, your healthcare team can provide you with the support you need to modify problematic habits and implement healthier choices.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your physician for help and/or a referral to see a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
- Remember that not everything you read on the internet is factual, accurate, or helpful. Always ask your physician or nutritionist for clarification.
- Increase your daily physical activity. The recommendation for adults is 30 minutes per day while the recommendation for children is 60 minutes per day. Look for ways to add physical activity into your day – take the stairs, park farther from entrances, add a daily walk, do an outdoor family activity, or plant/maintain a garden.
- Reducing stress can help you make better nutrition choices and improve sleep. Seek medical or social support when facing challenges and hardship. Add exercise regimens (walking, running, swimming, weight lifting, organized sports) whenever you can, and remember to take deep breaths throughout the day.
- Work with a healthcare professional to quit smoking. You are never too old to quit, as smoking increases your risk for serious health conditions, diseases and even death. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit smokefree.gov for free support services.
- Get plenty of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours per night for adults. Boost your ability to sleep well by reducing screen time (TV, phone, computer), including daily physical activity in your day, adding a relaxing bedtime ritual to your routine (reading, warm bath, meditation), or try a sleep mask.