When we look at the millions of dollars spent annually in North America to treat our chronic diseases, it’s clear that lifestyle medicine is the most cost effective solution to our healthcare crisis. The CHIP class shows how choosing an optimal lifestyle results in optimal health. And I really love that the Lifestyle Medicine Institute states that one of their goals is to make the easiest choices be the healthiest choices, especially in the two key areas of exercise and diet.

Optimal Eating

In the first video clip of Session 4 Dr. Andrea Avery explained the optimal diet using the “eat more” and the “eat less” categories:

Eat/drink more vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and water.

Eat/drink less fats, sugars, salt, caffeine, alcohol and animal products.

Optimal Activity

Then Dr. Morton presented the optimal exercise benefits and goals using the acronym SOS. The first S stands for “sit less.” Prolonged sitting is now known to be an independent risk factor for premature death. Dr. Morton also talked about how it can cause negative changes in enzymes in our bodies.

The current recommended guideline for optimal health is to sit no more than 30 minutes at a time without getting up and moving around for at least a few minutes.

Bottom dwelling is perilous to health.

The O in SOS stand for “oxygenate.” All that’s required to reach desired oxygen blood levels is moderate intensity activity (3-4 on a 10 point scale) for 30 minutes per day. Recent studies have shown that three 10 minute walks (or whatever activity) is as helpful as one 30 minute session.

Oxygen is the most important nutrient for the human body.

The final S stands for strengthen and stretch. Keeping the body supple and engaging in weight bearing and muscle strengthening activities are important for long-term health.

Finally Dr. Diehl made this observation: Optimal circulation is the foundation for optimal health.

Hmmm…Where have we heard that before?

What I Learned from Session 4

Appropriate exercise is linked to cancer prevention.

What I Choose Today

I choose to enjoy the benefits of my standing desk at work and to promote the concept of “standing” meetings.

More from the “CHIPing It” series.