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6 Root Causes Series – Part 3: Lifestyle

Article Overview
Problem: Risky Lifestyle Habits
Solution: Empowering Lifestyle Habits
Lifestyle Prescription®: 7-days of Lifestyle Medicine

Summary: The third of Lifestyle Prescription University’s 6 Root Causes that we will highlight in this series is Lifestyle. In this article, we will briefly overview lifestyle habits and their relationship to health. We will explore each lifestyle habit further in a future series.

Lifestyle habits are connected to the functioning of the human body. Risky behaviors weaken our organ tissues and empowering lifestyle habits strengthen our organ tissues. We can improve our health by taking small steps every day towards upgrading our daily routines.

Overview of Lifestyle Habits:  Lifestyle habits are repetitive actions that create a person’s life. We will keep it simple by focusing on five that can be counted on one hand. These are breathing, eating, sleeping, moving, and drinking. Daily routines are built around these basic human needs.  We must breathe while moving around to provide food, water, and a place to sleep in order to survive. How we fulfill these needs becomes our lifestyle and impacts the functioning of our bodies.

Problem: Risky Lifestyle Habits

Risky lifestyle habits are repetitive actions that weaken our organ tissues. This includes taking in any kind of harmful substance. For instance, smoking cigarettes weakens the lung tissue because there are toxins being inhaled into the lungs. It is also problematic when we do not get enough, or we have too much of a basic need. One example is how a lack of movement leads to weak muscles making it difficult to move around. Risky behaviors are a problem for our health as they create weak organ tissues that are vulnerable to disease and impairment.

Solution: Empowering Lifestyle Habits

We have the power to boost our health by upgrading our lifestyle habits. We want to create habits that prevent illness and support the body’s natural healing process. This can be accomplished by improving the quality of a basic need and adjusting the amount. For example, when we eat high-quality foods the digestive system can break these down into high-quality nutrients for the body to use to build strong organ tissues. It is important not to wait until we have a disease to start working toward healthier habits.

Step 1: Mindset Change

The first step to changing a lifestyle habit is choosing what area of our lifestyle that we want to improve. We must decide that this is something we wish to do.  If we do not desire to change our eating habits then we won’t. We also need to consider why would we want to put the effort into changing this area of our life. Does changing our eating habits mean that we feel better, lose weight, or prevent disease? As soon as we have made a clear decision on what lifestyle habits we want to change then we will be able to explore what that looks like for us.

Step 2: Plan

The next step is to figure out how we will upgrade this area of our lifestyle. If we have decided to change our eating habits then we need to narrow it down more. We can choose to reduce a risky habit or increase an empowering habit. An example of changing our eating habits would be that we could reduce the amount of sugar we intake or increase the amount of vegetables we eat. It is also important to customize this to our specific needs in our current stage of life. A newborn baby is going to need a different amount of food and sleep than a full-grown adult. We are setting ourselves up for success by completing this step prior to action.

Step 3: First Step

Finally, it is time to decide what the first step we will take towards our overall health goal. It is easy to get overwhelmed when changing aspects of our daily life. But we do not have to change our entire diet overnight. We want to start with small micro habits that work towards the bigger goal. We can choose something really easy like consciously chewing food more, adding one vegetable to each meal or stop buying sugary foods. Then make it seem easy by committing to only 7 days of trying out this micro-habit. Each small step brings us a little closer to big changes in our life.

Lifestyle Prescription®: 7 days of Lifestyle Medicine

This week’s 7-day Lifestyle Prescription® is to work towards upgrading one of the five basic lifestyle habits with the intention of improving our health. The two options are to start thinking about what to change or take action with a chosen micro-habit.

Step 1: What area of my lifestyle do I want to upgrade? (Breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping, or moving habits). Why is it important to me to make this upgrade?
Step 2: How specifically will I improve this area of my life? (Reduce a risky habit or increase a empowering habit).
Step 3: What is the first small step I can take for the next 7 days?

Lifestyle Prescription® Health Coaching: Lifestyle Prescription® Health Coaches are trained to support you in each step of upgrading your lifestyle habits. They are able to help you identify what areas of your lifestyle you want to change and how you will be able to make this change. They will help you create personalized Lifestyle Prescriptions® to reach these health goals and cheer you on all the way to the finish line.

Click here to get connected to a health coach today

Author: Ashley Layle is currently studying with Lifestyle Prescriptions® University to get her Master’s in Lifestyle Medicine and is a certified Lifestyle Prescriptions® Health Coach. In 2014, she became certified in Massage and Hydrotherapy then was a Licensed Massage Therapist in Colorado for 2 years. In 2020, she received her certificate of expertise in Culinary Nutrition. She enjoys reading books, exploring nature, cooking, and spending time with her family in her free time.