Lifestyle medicine is the science and application of healthy lifestyles as interventions for the prevention and treatment of lifestyle-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, some neurological conditions, and some cancers. It is the evidence-based specialty bridging the science of physical activity, nutrition, stress management and resilience, sleep hygiene, and other healthy habits to individuals through clinical practice in healthcare. Lifestyle interventions include exercise prescriptions, nutrition prescriptions, stress management and resilience, smoking cessation programs, sleep evaluations, identifying and encouraging social connections, harnessing individuals' strengths, and using positive emotions such as gratitude and laughter as medicine to empower individuals to reach their optimal state of health and wellbeing. Starting with Hippocrates and ending with modern medicine, we explore how trends and guidelines in lifestyle choices by individuals and clinicians have shaped and altered the health of the population. This course brings evidence-based knowledge and practical strategies to those professionals aspiring to instill healthful lifestyle behaviors in themselves as well as in their patients, clients, family, and friends.
Harvard Extension School