You have the power to take charge of your health!
There has never been a more important time to be healthy. Complications of COVID-19 are more likely to develop in individuals with underlying medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, so implementing positive lifestyle changes is vital. Making healthier choices – like exercising regularly, eating well, managing your stress levels, and other principles of lifestyle medicine – improves your overall health and reduces your risk of these complications.
Chronic diseases that are influenced by lifestyle choices, like heart disease and diabetes, are the leading cause of mortality worldwide, and a huge strain on our healthcare systems.
In fact, 80% of all deaths* are caused by poor lifestyle - which means that making better lifestyle choices puts you in charge of how well, and even how long, you live!
Lifestyle Medicine is a branch of medicine that uses positive lifestyle behaviours to treat and even prevent or reverse chronic diseases.
The Wellness Institute offers a full range of lifestyle medicine services that are evidence-based and medically integrated.
We empower people of all wellness and ability levels to introduce positive changes to their lives.
We created the Wellness 10 to help you focus on the ten behaviours that have been proven to have the biggest impact on your health and quality of life now and over time:
1. EXERCISE REGULARLY
We recommend 30-60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity most days of the week, and resistance training twice per week. Balance and stretching exercises are also recommended.
2. EAT WELL
A healthy diet fuels us, prevents deficiencies, helps us manage weight, and reduces the risk of chronic conditions. Eat a balance of whole grains, proteins, vegetables, and fruit mainly from minimally processed whole foods.
3. SLEEP WELL
Poor sleep quality and quantity are associated with weight gain, premature aging, increased stress and instability, immune suppression, and increased risk of injury. Aim for an average of 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
4. DON'T SMOKE
The risk of cancer and heart attack drops dramatically for non-smokers, as does the risk of respiratory diseases.
5. EMOTIONAL WELLNESS
Poor emotional health can affect physical health, including weakening your immune system.
6. LIMIT ALCOHOL
Alcohol provides empty calories and can lead to weight gain. Reduce your risks by eliminating daily drinks and avoiding heavy drinking.
7. HEALTHY WEIGHT
Excess weight is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and numerous other health issues. We recommend maintaining a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9.
8. MANAGE STRESS
Chronic stress can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, and asthma.
Follow safety guidelines and take precautions, such as wearing your seat belt, getting immunized, wearing sunscreen, and seeing your doctor regularly for checkups.
10. ASK FOR HELP
When you start to feel like you're getting off track, reach out! Our Wellness Consultants would love to help you develop and maintain a lifestyle medicine treatment plan.
*WHO Geneva 2005
Lifestyle is MedicineTM is a trademark of the Wellness Institute