Lifestyle: Background

Nowadays there is a lot to do about lifestyle. Everyone considers it important to be healthy and vital and also links lifestyle directly to a happy and long life. Life expectancy in the Netherlands and Europe is still increasing. The number of years that we are really healthy and vital does not automatically grow with life expectancy. We have a busy working and social life and ‘must’ meet many expectations. We unintentionally demand more and more from our body and mind.

From scarcity to abundance

However, our body works the same as that of our ancestors. It can cope well with scarcity, but, on the contrary, on all fronts we precisely live in times of abundance. Unhealthy food is everywhere. Moreover, we sit much more than our ancestors, we sleep less and worse and we have more (social and work) pressure and chronic stress. Our body cannot deal with this.

In this way, our lifestyle plays an important role in many diseases of affluence, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases.

What do we mean by a healthy lifestyle?

A healthy lifestyle is much more than just watching your diet and exercising. At ICMC De Bron, we find that far too limited. From our integrative vision, the combination of six aspects (in no particular order) contributes to a healthy and happy (long) life:

1. Nutrition
Healthy and varied food, moderate alcohol consumption, no smoking and no drugs;

2. Movement
Adequate and regular daily exercise (not just sports);

3. Social contacts
Good and regular (social) contact with family, friends, neighbors, clubs, etc.

4. Sleep
Adequate sleep, with a regular day and night rhythm and relaxation beforehand;

5. Relaxation
Sufficient and nice distraction from your daily activities and worries;

6. Meaningful
Sufficient activities that give you the feeling that you belong to a ‘group’, have purpose in life and are useful and meaningful.

All these factors contribute to a healthy body and mind. It increases mental resilience, making it easier to deal with stress and setbacks.