When you consider that chronic disease accounts for over three-quarters of all health expenditure and is the principal cause of disability and death, it is little wonder that lifestyle medicine is growing in importance. The field, which covers research, prevention and treatment of disorders attributed to lifestyle factors related to physical inactivity, poor nutrition and chronic stress, aims to reduce death and disability as a result of preventable or treatable disease such as heart disease and diabetes.
Lifestyle medicine also encompasses anti aging procedures such as botox and hormone replacement therapy as well as certain cosmetic procedures that address lifestyle issues like liposuction. In 2012, more that $11 billion was spent on cosmetic treatments in the U.S, an increase of 5.5% over 2011, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In fact, the U.S. anti-aging skin care market brought in more that $2.1 billion in retail sales in 2013. Lifestyle medicine even includes nutritional coaching and relaxation techniques. Guided approaches to lifestyle changes can make the difference between long-term success and failure.
Exercise can play a vital role in improving lifestyle and reducing the risk of chronic disease. It even improves brain health! Physically active people born around 1936 were found to have less brain shrinkage than those in the same age group who did not participate in physical activity, according to a 2012 study published in the journal Neurology. It is recommended that most people engage in at least 30 minutes of modest activity or exercise at least three to five days, although daily exercise offers the greatest health benefits.
Those wanting to address the risk factors in their lifestyles right consider investing as concierge medicine, a model in which doctors offer more personalized care for a fee. Interest in this model is still small but is growing with most patients pay a monthly or annual fee amounting to between $1,200 and $5,000 a year. From hydration IV to lifestyle assessment and advice, concierge medicine can offer significant benefits for those wanting a personal approach to lifestyle adjustment and treatment. It is becoming more affordable too — according to Concierge Medicine Today, two-thirds of the roughly 5,500 concierge practices available nationwide in 2013 charged less than $135 a month on average.