When I mention Lifestyle Medicine to people, I often get a variety of questions. My favorite is, “like The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?”. Um, no… not even a little. Although, I would be lying if I said I would not fancy myself speaking with a British accent, following the rich and famous around the world. But alas, it is nothing glamorous like that. Now some of you are out there reading that like, “I don’t understand”. All you need to know is that was a show from a very long time ago and I am old. Beyond that, we all have lifestyles, they make up who we are and what we do. Now granted, some people lead much more extravagant lifestyles than others, but we all have a lifestyle.
Now that is a broad comment, Lifestyle Medicine it is focused on “everything that we are and everything that we do” but it is kind of true. Can you imagine? A healthcare approach that wants to know all the little details that make us tick. Now there are negatives, as we don’t always want people to know about some of our lesser habits. You know which ones I am talking about… the skeleton in the closet habits. We all have them. For me this would be my love of historical romance novels. I mean who wouldn’t want to snag a roguish Duke… **sighs dreamily**. What? DON’T JUDGE ME! I say that, to say this. I also have a terrible habit of starting a new book, RIGHT. BEFORE. BED!!! I don’t know why I do this, but I do. I inevitably get interested and stay up until 3 am binge reading and then hate myself the next day (and if I am being completely honest, everyone else too). This is a part of my lifestyle, a less healthy part of my lifestyle but part of it nonetheless. Someone out there is like, “that’s stupid, that doesn’t matter to her health.” Maybe not the actual reading part but the lack of sleep is considered a health risk. So… um…. Yeah, you would be wrong.
When I ask patients what their lifestyle is, most don’t really know how to answer that. Do you? Let me help. A lifestyle includes our habits (good and bad) at home, work, social habits, diet, activity, sleep, mood and sex. Plus, all the ways those habits affect our health. So, if you happen to snag a Rogue these days it is probably a good idea to get him tested for sexually transmitted infections, because that’s considered a risky lifestyle in 2020. Get where I am going here? Lifestyle Medicine explores habits, determines risks associated with behaviors, and implements ways to limit their negative effects on health by trying to help you develop healthier habits. Why would we want to do that? Because healthy lifestyles lead to healthy lives and who doesn’t want to feel better and live longer? Throughout this blog we will explore these topics more and how you can make changes to some of these areas to do just that. In the meantime, try to determine what your good and bad habits are. If you are concerned about how your habits may be putting you at risk for diseases, stop by and we will discuss with you the risks associated with them and ways we can help you change them.