How will your current lifestyle impact your future health? The World Health Organization (WHO) predict that, by the end of 2020, 66.7% of deaths worldwide will be due to chronic conditions, many of which can be prevented with lifestyle modification. As a member of the “British Society of Lifestyle Medicine” (BSLM) I can’t stress enough about the importance of our lifestyle for our healthy longevity.
“Lifestyle Medicine” is growing rapidly since non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease, diabetes, cancers, dementia, mental health issues, auto immunity, etc.) have overtaken infectious diseases as the biggest killers worldwide. What is “Lifestyle Medicine” you might be asking? “Lifestyle Medicine” is an evidence based, integrated healthcare approach encompassing nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress therapy, relationships and mental health management as a therapeutic intervention for these non-communicable diseases; essentially it’s about empowering people to take control of their own health by making positive lifestyle changes and not relying on “a pill for every ill”. If you want to enjoy a good quality of life for longer, you must address the root causes of chronic disease formation. This must start before disease sets in.
Even though some Doctors encourage healthful behaviors to help prevent or manage many chronic medical conditions, many of us are inadequately prepared to either start or maintain these appropriate, healthy changes. This happens because we often set unrealistic expectations by focusing on changing multiple things at once: our focus gets spread thin, and in the long run we end up failing to stick to any of the changes. However, there is a solution to overcome this impasse: we all can make a difference to our health through making conscious lifestyle choices “one small step at a time”. It is realistic and possible and it begins with “one change at a time (#1change)”.
I’m taken my first step today and my #1change is to “eat the rainbow”. Join me, make one small change today too! What will your #1change be?
I wish you all the best,
Dr. Valeria Acampora