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Have you heard of Lifestyle Medicine before? Lifestyle Medicine focuses on chronic disease prevention and possibly chronic disease reversal – things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Lifestyle medicine uses six pillars in order to help patients and individuals optimize their health. The six pillars include: nutrition, movement, sleep, avoidance of risky behaviors, managing stress, and role of social connection.

We dive into these topics and more with Dr. Melissa Sundermann, double board certified physician in both Internal Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine. 

Dr. Sundermann currently practices medicine with IHA in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is helping to launch the IHA Lifestyle Medicine Institute. She has been featured in several Lifestyle Medicine articles and podcasts. 

Dr. Sundermann is plant-based and an endurance athlete. She is a 9x Boston Marathon finisher and a 3x Full Ironman Triathlon finisher. 

I like to tack on a seventh pillar [in addition to the six lifestyle medicine pillars] near and dear to my heart which is exposure to nature. I feel like fresh air and nature are so grounding and so powerful that I encourage my patients to get fresh air every day. We live in Michigan, you live in BC, that can be challenging in the winter time. I tell my patients, one of my favorite quotes, there’s no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.

Dr. Melissa Sundermann

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Key Takeaways

  • How to know what’s true when it comes to research and nutrition
  • The pressure to know everything as a medical doctor
  • Doing your best
  • What the 6 pillars of Lifestyle Medicine mean
  • How sports shapes our values
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Whether it’s okay to drink alcohol
  • Myths around food




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