Health-good health that is- is often defined by a few known practices markedly constructing our thoughts and actions into being to provide an almost translucent pathway to well-being. While incorporating 30 minutes of exercise and consuming a colorful portion of fruits and vegetables daily aids in optimizing our health and longevity, lifestyle medicine provides a plethora of benefits in addition to that delectable side of fruit and the well-earned mileage on those running sneakers. Although a redressed fork and pair of sneakers are just a couple of resources guiding the way, solutions as diverse as lifestyle medicine provide a boundless dosage we have yet to take advantage of. By embracing the various and countless solutions provided by lifestyle medicine- from reiki, CSA's and hiking to meditation, financial well-being and social good-we are able to rehabilitate our taste buds, revitalize our body, empower our mind, and connect with community. It's in this heterogeneous lifestyle medicine dosage that we truly find the best medicine!
This lifestyle medicine I speak of requires a dosage beyond compare, one that allows us to reap the long-term benefits closely associated with our domestic and global centenarian populations: happiness, health and longevity. The dosage, in reference, isn't right, perfect, or flawless. It does not align perfectly with any normal distribution or get solved through a mathematical equation. The dosage speaks less about fads and fictions and, rather, speaks volumes about bliss, enjoyment, and fun. These elements are sprinkled into each one of our actions so that lifestyle medicine becomes more like a rhythmic ribbon flowing steadily and easily into daily existence rather than a chore buried into our next day's workload. This dosage is not about frequency, intensity, or time but rather self-satisfaction, self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation and fulfillment.
Although fun may be reserved for toddlers just coming to grips with plated food (to be thrown around the house) or a repeated annual celebration of one's 21st birthday, how can we not find enjoyment in medicine that adds years to our life and life to our years? A drudgery of actions molded into existence by behaviors classified as the norm. Pushing and pulling through discomfort, distaste, dislike, anguish, and disdain to reap results for which we never enjoyed the ride getting to. Lifestyle medicine is built on the constructs of optimizing the life in our years and years in our life with solutions that please the palate, provide purpose for our movement, create open space for our thoughts and conversations, and enjoyment in our days. These unrestricted solutions have no intent of a love-hate relationship (unless it keeps you from an early retirement!) but rather a blissful diversion from the norm to which has been superseded. It is this fun, blended up to your liking, shimmying in one direction or another, that can showcase the joys a proper dosage can bring.
As Henry David Thoreau once said, "The world is but a canvas to our imagination". Utilize your canvas to define lifestyle medicine solutions that allow you to love foods that nourish, movements that provide purpose and actions that fill you with a sense of wonder, adventure and excitement (sweatband not included!)
In health (and fun),
Colleen M. Faltus, MS, CWWS, CPT
Healthy Fusions, LLC
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Colleen M. Faltus
With a passion and enthusiasm for workplace well-being and lifestyle medicine, I founded my own company, Healthy Fusions, an interdisciplinary and holistic workplace well-being company based in Boston, MA. As the President and CEO of Healthy Fusions, I am an advocate of the power self-care, prevention, and lifestyle medicine has on adding years to life and life to years.
I earned my BS degree in Applied Exercise Science from Springfield College (2008) and MS degree in Nutrition and Health Promotion at Simmons College (2015). I currently hold certifications through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and National Wellness Institute (NWI) as a certified personal trainer and worksite wellness specialist. Additionally, I am a member of the Worksite Wellness Council of MA as well as an active committee member for their annual conference.
Colleen has experience writing and speaking about lifestyle medicine at both the individual and population health level. My expertise also lies in the design and implementation of people-centric health and well-being programs, with previous experience in both the commercial sector at Sports Club LA and Equinox as well as corporate sector at Google and State Street Corporation. My knowledge and expertise in the development and implementation of individual and population-based health and well-being programs embodies the significance of lifestyle medicine solutions for sustainable, positive health outcomes.
Specialties: organizational health and well-being program planning and implementation, lifestyle medicine practices and solutions, disease and stress-management, individual and population-based exercise prescriptions