Lifestyle Medicine

What is Lifestyle Medicine?

“The field of Lifestyle Medicine is dedicated to the research, prevention and treatment of lifestyle related diseases.

 Lifestyle Medicine is a branch of evidence-based medicine in which comprehensive lifestyle changes (including nutrition, physical activity, stress management, social support and environmental exposures) are used to prevent, treat and reverse the progression of chronic disease by addressing their underlying causes.” Adapted from the Global Lifestyle Medicine Alliance (Sagner et al, 2014).

Lifestyle medicine and health

Lifestyle medicine addresses one of the major issues in modern medicine and healthcare, the lack of a ‘joined-up’ approach to helping patients towards better health and wellbeing through lifestyle choices.

 The information, expert help and specialist knowledge is already out there, but for many patients, their only access point is their local physician, who may not have time or knowledge themselves to offer lifestyle medicine choices.

The result is over-dependency on drugs and expensive treatments for specific conditions that might be better addressed through changes in lifestyle and everyday habits.

 Lifestyle medicine can help prevent a full 80% of all chronic diseases and associated premature deaths worldwide, based on existing knowledge we already have and can easily apply.

 Lifestyle medicine turns the traditional negative public health messages of “Do not” into positive messages of “You can”. It promises no short cuts but instead promotes a lifelong approach that ensures people can live healthier, longer lives.

Key Area of Lifestyle Medicine

As experienced practitioners ourselves, CALM members can offer a wide range of information, advice and expertise on specific areas where lifestyle changes can have a positive and lasting effect, including:

  • Nutrition and a healthy diet
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • How to deal with stress and hypertension
  • Sleep issues including insomnia
  • Social support services
  • Weight loss, weight gain and obesity
  • Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and back pain

Source: Canadian Academy of Lifestyle Medicine.