Integrated lifestyle change: The perfect time to start is now

It doesn't surprise us that during this pandemic healthcare professionals are turning their efforts to educate patients about simple lifestyle changes to keep them healthy. As we navigate through this difficult time we come to the realization that "simple" lifestyle changes just won't cut it. Dr. Dean Ornish, clinical professor at UCSF and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, pioneered the concept of Lifestyle Medicine. (You can listen to his TED talk here). His premise is based on the fact that our bodies have a remarkable capacity to begin healing itself when you give it a chance to do so. His Optimal Lifestyle Program emphasizes on 4 basic propositions: Eat well, Stress less, Move more, Love more. All 4 working together in a synergistic environment can dramatically improve our health and well being. We should take advantage of the times we are living and see it as an opportunity to hit the reset button. Take a good look around and ask yourself of the changes you can make now to improve your health. Keep in mind to have an integrated approach in your choices. As we mentioned, Dr. Ornish recommends to integrate nutrition, stress management, fitness and love & support. He strongly suggests to adopt a plant based diet, exercise at least 15-30 minutes a day, manage your stress by empowering yourself to react in healthier ways and look at your social networks to build healthy relationships of love and support around you. Adapting all of these changes at once may seem drastic but by doing so you could enhance immune function and your body will be better equipped to fight contagions. The first step is to identify what is disturbing your well being and make the decision to remove it from your life. Once this integrated lifestyle change is adopted you allow the natural healing to occur. To learn more about Dr. Ornish Lifestyle Medicine approach you can visit his website at

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