Take-Home Message #1 – Promote a Healthy Lifestyle throughout Life.
Welcome to the first blog of the Preventive Care Blog Series. In this series, we will be taking a closer look at the “Top Ten Take-Home Messages” from the recent American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association meeting on prevention of cardiovascular disease.
The first take-home message is to “promote a healthy lifestyle throughout life.” No brainer, right? Well, don’t mark this one off too soon. Let’s zoom-in.
When we imagine what a healthy lifestyle is many of us think of someone else and what they are doing to seemingly stay healthy. Maybe it’s a colleague who has salads for lunch, a friend who has a personal trainer, or a family member who runs marathons. Maybe it’s some celebrity who has claimed to have the perfect daily routine and is all over the news for it.
We may even find a little inspiration from those people. We may try eating a salad for lunch, getting a gym membership, or buying those blue-blocker glasses the celebrity swore by. Yet, a month or two later we’re back to our same old habits. Or worse, we develop new bad habits that compensate for what we were attempting to maintain. Maybe we’ve eaten salads for lunch every day of the last month, but to what avail if we are now eating cookie dough for a late-night snack? We become discouraged after not seeing the results we want right away and it’s not until a while later when we find inspiration through someone or something else that we try again.
Shifting gears into a healthier lifestyle may not be so simple after all – especially when we are looking externally to those around us. Why is this the case? Let’s break down the word “lifestyle” to see what it really means. “Life” + “Style” = Lifestyle. Check my math, but what comes first in this equation is “life”. However, this is the part of the equation we most often miss! You see, we gravitate to answering the “style” part of the equation first. We are constantly looking for what we should do (“style”) but not accounting for how it makes sense for our individual day-to-day lives (“life”). We try new healthy behaviors based off what we read or what others are doing, but if you work late at night that celebrity’s early morning workout routine is not going to go over so well. It’s critical that we address both parts of the equation.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t try exercising more if that is what your healthy neighbor is doing. It is to say that we need to consider how it makes sense for ourselves, our individual day-to-day lives before engaging in these behaviors that constitute a healthy lifestyle. Investing in health is a long-term process and it while it may seem daunting at first it is certainly worth the effort. The more Therapeutic Lifestyle Choices that we can incorporate into our lives while accommodating for our own unique circumstances the better. The reward? Adding more years to your life and more life to your years!
It is so important to work with your healthcare team to make sure engaging in new exercise, changing your diet, or modifying other pieces of your lifestyle is right for you and only you! Our team here at SpeckHealth and POTENTRx have the experience and tools to help evaluate and develop the right approach for you. Call to set an appointment with one of our health coaches today.
STAY TUNED for another post on the Top-Ten Take Home Messages in the Preventive Care Blog Series! We will reveal a very integral piece to our health – one we often do not think about!
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