Nurse Coaching: Importance of Lifestyle Medicine

Oct 10, 2021

It’s no secret that the American healthcare system is less than perfect. We outspend more than any other developed nation, dedicating 16.8% of our GDP to healthcare costs. But all that spending isn’t yielding results. The United States has the least affordable healthcare, the highest infant mortality rate, and the lowest life expectancy (age 60) of any developed country in the world!

We have some of the best, most cutting-edge medical technology in the world. 

Our healthcare professionals (including nurses like you) are some of the smartest, most passionate, and best-trained workers in the world.

So what’s the problem here?

Something is keeping us from helping our patients the way we’d like to — the way that would lead to long-lasting wellness and a better quality of life. So, what gives?

The truth is that the current model of care works to manage symptoms and treat serious conditions, but it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. As a result, we end up stuck in a “sickness cycle,” filling countless prescriptions without feeling like they’re truly well.

According to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, there’s one clear solution to this issue: lifestyle medicine. Because the truth is – if the healthcare industry dedicated as much time to promoting wellness as they do treating sickness, our patients would be much healthier for a much greater period of their lives.

This sad reality is why we Nurse Coaches focus much of our healing around lifestyle medicine. This wellness-based treatment can help prevent health problems before they start, leading to a fitter body, mind, and soul – and a better quality of life

But what is lifestyle medicine, and how can this treatment method lead to real change in our patients’ lives? That’s what we’re here to talk about today.

What is Lifestyle Medicine?

Lifestyle medicine is an approach that uses evidence-based lifestyle interventions to prevent and treat chronic conditions. There are six pillars of lifestyle medicine:

  • A nutrient-dense diet with lots of plant-predominant meals
  • Regular movement and physical activity
  • Improved sleep habits
  • Healthy stress management
  • Fulfilling relationships with friends and loved ones
  • An end to unhealthy habits like tobacco use

As Nurse Coaches, we use lifestyle medicine to help our patients achieve their health goals. Through alternative modalities like meditation and mindfulness, exercise, and even new social connections (like the relationship between patient and coach), we can help our clients become healthier and stay healthy.

Benefits of Lifestyle Medicine

There are many benefits to using lifestyle medicine in a patient’s treatment plan. 

First and foremost, lifestyle medicine helps prevent serious health conditions. When your patients are generally healthier (exercising more, abstaining from tobacco and excessive alcohol, managing their stress, eating and sleeping appropriately) their bodies can operate at a greater level than before. This allows their natural healing and health management to function at peak condition, helping your patients avoid developing or worsening illnesses.

But lifestyle medicine doesn’t just focus on your bodily health. It’s also interested in healing the mind and spirit. Mental practices like mindfulness and meditation can help reduce stress and improve your mental health. Research also shows investing in personal relationships with friends and loved ones can have a profound impact on your health. When you coach your patients through the pillars of lifestyle medicine, they won’t just look better — they’ll feel better too!

Lifestyle Medicine and Nurse Coaching

It is important to recognize that, for many people, lifestyle medicine alone might not be enough for their health needs. The CDC reports that six in 10 Americans have a chronic illness, and they require medication in addition to lifestyle interventions for their care. 

The rate of chronic illness in the U.S. is alarming, and it tells us that Nurse Coaching is more important than ever.

Nurse Coaches have the training and the know-how required to treat patients. As Nurse Coaches, we incorporate lifestyle medicine to help our clients improve their health while also using our nurse training to help them with medication or other treatments necessary to manage a chronic illness. We are uniquely trained and qualified to treat both the illness and the patient, ultimately resulting in better health that’s sustainable and lasting.

Start Your Coaching Journey Today

At The Nurse Coach Collective, we understand the value of lifestyle and alternative medicines. We believe that we have a duty to help our patients get as much value as possible from their medical care. That’s why we’ve developed the Transformative Nurse Coach Certificate Program

Our seven-month course will teach you all the skills you need to help your clients set and achieve their health goals. You’ll learn how to integrate lifestyle medicine into patient care, coach patients to manage their own health, and even use Nurse Coaching tools to benefit yourself.

To learn more about Nurse Coaching, check out our free training, or visit our Facebook group to connect with like-minded nurses!


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