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my healthy lifestyle medicine-A Whole Person Approach to Your Health and Wellness

 What is the first thing that comes to your mind when treating a disease or disease? You might have a drug in mind -- maybe even a procedure. After all, that's the history of seeing a doctor. we go tell them what bothers us, sometimes we Go out with a new prescription.

While medication and procedures are important in managing and maintaining good health, a new approach is emerging.

Lifestyle medicine.

This approach applies the research and science we know about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to your everyday life.

"Lifestyle medicine starts by looking at behaviors you can change to help prevent serious health conditions like high blood pressure, obesity and even diabetes," explains Brandy L. Washburn, a family nurse practitioner at the Riverside Elizabeth Lakes Family Practice.

Here, Ms. Washburn describes lifestyle medicine and how it can help you.

Pillars of lifestyle medicine

The term "healthy lifestyle" can be a bit vague. Lifestyle Medicine follows six specific pillars and provides actionable advice to help you make healthy choices that lead to a lasting lifestyle.

Healthful eating

Lifestyle Medicine doctors recommend a whole-foods plant-based diet. This includes unprocessed or minimally processed foods and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

"Lifestyle medicine takes a food-as-drug approach," explains Ms. Washburn. "Eat more fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds."

The best part is, it's not an all-or-nothing approach to eating. Focus instead of making the majority (at least 95%) of your diet delicious and healthy.

Physical activity

Physical fitness isn't just about exercise. Lifestyle Medicine focuses on keeping you active throughout the day - including in everyday chores like washing dishes and gardening. This keeps your body active, rather than sedentary, which is detrimental to your overall health.

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that physical inactivity is the leading cause of disease and disability.

Stress management

We all feel stressed from time to time. But if we don't take steps to manage this stress, it can lead to serious health conditions like high blood pressure heart disease and diabetes.

Lifestyle medicine focuses on helping you relieve and manage stress before it becomes a problem. Ms. Washburn explained. Your provider will discuss ways to help you manage stress effectively, such as exercising, meditating, or talking with a behavioral health professional.

Substance abuse

Tobacco, alcohol and drug use can increase your risk of different types of cancer, heart disease and other serious diseases. Your doctor can help you get the resources and support you need to stop smoking, drinking, or using drugs—without judgment.

Sleep

Adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems - including anxiety, depression, heart disease and obesity. Lifestyle medicine can help you build the healthy sleep habits you need to stay healthy and look forward to Address any underlying ailments that may be keeping you up at night.

Relationships

Did you know that friendship is good for your health? Your social connections can bring emotional resilience and support your physical and mental health. A sobering study finds loneliness in adults over 50 linked to premature death, increased risk of dementia, stroke and other serious health conditions.

Your doctor can help you connect with groups and resources to help you build and maintain positive relationships that nourish your mind and body.

A Whole Person Approach to Your Health and Wellness

Lifestyle medicine, although a new term, is not actually anything new or innovative. It simply puts evidence-based guidelines and steps in place to help your doctor guide you toward developing positive, healthy and lasting habits.

If you are interested in learning more about lifestyle medicine, make an appointment with Ms. Washburn or your primary care physician.

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