*Smaranda Maier

An area relatively new in health care is LIFESTYLE MEDICINE. This medical approach to health uses evidence-based behavioural interventions to prevent, treat and manage chronic disease.

But what is exactly, LIFESTYLE MEDICINE? Lifestyle medicine stands on 6 pillars of life and uses the power of prevention by using behavioural changes in those 6 areas.

  1. Nutrition – choosing to eat less ultra-processed foods or food-like foods or ingredients and replacing them with wholefoods, less processed, seasonal, and local where is possible is the main change that can have a huge impact on. To support you to make this easier, Authentic Health together with a local Wholefoods Chef, Tanya Ranalow, are creating a day masterclass to equip you with the life skills you need to put together a healthy meal plan and to learn how to prepare the foods that keep your body healthy. Reach out to Authentic Health on 0851968088 for bookings and more info.
  2. Sleep – some of us don’t exactly know, unfortunately, when they had a good night sleep or what a good night sleep means. From a science perspective, a good night sleep implies 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This can be so easily affected by a multitude of factors. During the night sleep our body is resting and our brain uses the glymphatic system to flush out the toxins from our body. Focus on working with a health coach or your GP to help you to rest and rejuvenate your body through the power of good night sleep it can make a huge difference to your overall health.
  3. Physical exercise means more than going to the gym because you want to lose weight. The ideal amount of physical exercise is 30 mins daily plus 150 minutes of intense exercise weekly. Believe it or not, the walks are a huge powerhouse for our brain health and walking while exposing your body to natural day light not only gets you the Vit D intake but also stimulates your brain to create melatonin, the sleep hormone that will serve you well to have a good night sleep.
  4. Managing stress – the damaging effect of oxidative stress on your body’s health and wellbeing extends from physical to mental health. Therefore, if you pay attention to food and exercise but you are working in a stressful environment or you are in an unhealthy relationship that keeps you awake in the night or distresses your body and mind you are more than likely to develop a blood pressure related condition or diabetes or adrenal fatigue. Managing stress works in both ways: learning and increasing your resilience to it without affecting your body and removing the stress factors from your personal environment. Here are also two options: removing the stress from your life or removing yourself from the stressful environment. It is a very personal approach, and the best is to work with someone qualified and specialised in stress management.
  5. Toxic substances – eliminating or reducing toxic factors: drugs, alcohol and smoking or gambling is a huge step. But it is worthy of putting the effort into it. My best advice is don’t do it alone! There are free services provided by HSE or non-governmental entities, ready to help. Access the help that is there for you!
  6. Social connections – the power of peer-support is huge when it comes to create and strengthen a new behaviour or habit. Having likeminded people to support your decisions, to hold you accountable, to remind you of what motivates you is incredible. And it is going to make a difference in what will be the final result. Human beings are social creatures, and our brain was created for that, and trying to self-isolate is against our human nature.

My focus in my practice is to show individuals like you how to develop a lifestyle that supports their health. Every decision that to take from the perspective of those six pillars is going either to signal genes for health or genes for diseases in your body and here is where your personal willpower makes the difference.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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