Lifestyle Medicine. Accountability. Who Is Helping You?
Updated: Feb 2
Is it true: You know what you need to do, but aren't doing it?
Certain key behaviors reduce risks of disease and death. These behaviors are daily habits built up over time that also improve your chances of recovering from severe illnesses and injuries.
Depending on your situation and your goals, a coach can help you to move more, to sleep better, or to make a habit of eating more vegetables. Improve your chances. Connect to a group of people with similar priorities. You need support & accountability. Support to reach your health and performance goals comes in many forms.
This article will help you:
Get the support you need.
Have a better understanding of the five pillars of lifestyle medicine.
See the kind of work that I do.
Most of us know that eating whole foods and choosing an
active lifestyle every day forms the cornerstone to wellness.
As a personal trainer and health professional, I see the most common obstacles to eating and moving well are the "vises" that keep our attention more than we'd like. It could be junk foods, sugar, screen time, alcohol, smoking, caffeine..., that get in your way to feeling your best.
Sometimes OVER WORK OR OVERTRAINING is the vise. We can do more harm than good. Pushing the body beyond its limits over and over again without giving it the necessary recovery time. The grips of these vises, so to speak keep us from being well in our bodies. You can change habits and find strategies for reducing these and other vises. And lifestyle medicine encourages you to do so.
In 2020 American Council of Exercise published a special exercise and health report: Lifestyle Medicine Essentials-The Power of Healthy Habits.
You've got to nurture good habits to fuel yourself for recovery over the long haul. To support the activities you want to do and to counter stresses of everyday life. Lifestyle medicine recognizes that what you do with and what you put into your body matters. And so do I.
The five pillars of lifestyle medicine are:
Mind Body/Stress Management
#1 EXERCISE: NO matter your circumstance you've got to find a way to move your body each day. When you are sick or injured it becomes more challenging but is still fundamentally important. All of the body's systems benefit from the circulation that occurs when we move. Some of them, the lymphatic system (your body's immune and a key waste processing apparatus), for example, depend on muscle movement to function. Crawl, wiggle or move whatever you can, carefully and as best as you can. Slowly and gently increase -no more than 10% per day and don't do anything that causes tearing, sharp or pulling pain. Slow and steady wins the race. It's not what you can do in one day, but what you can do each day. Little by little.
Summing it up as simply as I can: whole foods in their natural states, nutrient dense. Whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds. Fresh. Half your plate veggies. If you can't identify it consider if you should eat it. Cook at home. Reduce Alcohol, Salt & Sugar. Increase veggies and water.
#3 Mind Body/ Stress Management: Boiled down to chronic stress harms all body systems. 3 categories: A) Peace of Mind B) Gratitude C) Laughter.
Peace of Mind split into: 1) Meditation 2) Mindfulness 3) Relaxation Techniques.
#4. SLEEP: Alleluia finally, I think the world is seeing it: SLEEP is KING. 8hrs every night for optimum recovery. You CANNOT heal if you do not sleep. Clinical signs of dementia are observable in non-elderly populations after just 3 days of limited sleep. Computers, phones nor work should get in the way of a good night's sleep. If you want more car accidents, more physical pain, more inflammation, decreased mental health, decreased digestive repair don't make sleep a priority.
#5. Substance Abuse.
Cannabis, Tobacco, Alcohol, Stimulants, & Opioids are all harmful to the body. We know that if you can reduce dependency and make them not a habit you can optimize your chances at living a fuller, longer healthier life. Don't do it alone. There are many and varied resources. Take a stand and reach out for help.