by Alyssa Protsman, MS, CWP

Wellness practitioners play an important role in providing advocacy and accountability toward healthy lifestyle behaviors known to modify cardiovascular disease risk. Individuals who receive wellness support through functional medicine practice, nutrition and wellness coaching, fitness training, or workplace and community settings benefit greatly when these interventions go beyond the physical dimension of health and wellness and consider all aspects of the individual’s lifestyle, as they look to shift their mindsets, behaviors, and practices toward high-level wellness.

This multidimensional approach to addressing beliefs and behaviors should include the individual’s emotional and mental state, social and environmental norms, occupational and family responsibilities, and spiritual values and practices. Consideration of all cofactors of successful, planned behavior change will help enhance wellness outcomes and prove more sustainable results.

For the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease, including lowering bodily inflammation, a patient’s care plan should include a sustained focus on the following:

  1. Helping the individual discover enjoyable ways to incorporate aerobic physical activity and resistance training to strengthen the heart and offset the effects of physical and mental stress.
  2. Guiding the person through proven techniques that build resilience to stress in addition to building a reliable social network of individuals who have shared values.
  3. Assisting or referring your client as needed to develop a tailored meal plan that incorporates heart healthy foods like leafy greens, spirulina, berries, fermented foods, fatty fish, legumes, walnuts, almonds, and olive oil.
  4. Encouraging your client to prioritize a nighttime routine, as well daytime practices, that support a healthy circadian rhythm and support quality sleep to help them feel and function its best.

“In the following video, IFM educator Elizabeth Boham, MD, MS, RD, talks about the importance of functional medicine’s personalized lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and sleep for at-risk patients.”

The National Wellness Institute is committed to helping wellness practitioners take a multidimensional approach to implementing proven and sustainable strategies to modify cardiovascular disease risk and improve the lives of others. Click here to learn more about becoming a Certified Wellness Practitioner (CWP).