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Preventive Medicine

Healthy Lifestyle: advice on nutrition and exercise

A healthy lifestyle contributes to preventative medicine, according to healthlinkbc. Healthy eating is a pattern of eating that contributes to your best possible health. Their resources cover many healthy eating topics, including eating habits, essential nutrients, food labelling, meal planning and food safety. 

Eating Habits

Making small changes and setting goals can help you change how you eat. Long-term changes to your eating habits can significantly affect your health. Understanding the labels on packaged foods is key to making healthier choices. Learn more about food labels on packaged food.

Food & Water Safety for an emergency

Food safety at home and the grocery store and preparing safe food for an emergency. Learn more about food and water safety. Handling food safely is essential to prevent foodborne illness (food poisoning).

It is essential to make a plan in case of a disaster such as an earthquake or flood. It may be some time before you can access safe food and water outside your home. Plan and have enough food and water stored for at least three days. 

Plant-based food

Plant-based eating patterns can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.  They’re also a great way to increase the number of vegetables, fruits and plant-based proteins in your diet.  Eating plant-based foods doesn’t mean you can’t eat meat and dairy products. It’s about making subtle changes in your eating habits to improve your overall health. Examples include proteins such as legumes (beans, peas and lentils), nuts, seeds, tofu, fortified soy beverage, and non-starchy vegetables and fruits.

Healthy Weight

A healthy weight contributes to your overall health, well-being and quality of life. It is different for each individual. Your weight is not simply a result of what you eat or how active you are. Genetics, health conditions, stress, sleep quality and other factors can also influence your weight.

Active Lifestyle

Choosing to be active is an investment in your physical and mental well-being. Some benefits of physical activity include good cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and flexibility. Physical activity is for everyone and is adaptable for any age and ability. It doesn’t require special fitness equipment, just the motivation to move. Learn more about being active in this section.

Being more physically active can help you feel better, deal with stress more efficiently, and handle day-to-day activities more comfortably. Here are some things to do before you get started:

  • Think about what types of activities you enjoy or would like to try.
  • Find a time and location when the activity is fun for you. Some people like riding their bikes to and from work or taking a yoga class during lunch breaks. Others enjoy walking in their neighbourhood after dinner.
  • Try activities with friends or family members. They can motivate you to get started and encourage you to continue.

Longitudinal Care for chronic illnesses

Treating chronic pain can be challenging. And it may take several types or combinations of treatments before you find relief. Be sure to seek treatment if your pain lasts longer than 2 to 3 months. Early treatment may prevent the pain from getting worse.

The treatment goals are to reduce pain and improve your function. This includes improving your sleep and coping skills and reducing stress so you can return to regular activities.

It’s essential to build a precise treatment plan with your doctor. Part of this plan includes identifying ways for you to manage your pain. Only you know the severity of your pain and how it affects your life. Be sure to ask your doctor if you are not clear about what steps you can take when pain occurs or gets worse.

Chronic pain treatments

You may be able to control your pain at home by using pain relievers and practicing healthy habits. When home treatment isn’t enough, other treatments may include:

  • Pain medicines or medicines to treat problems that are linked to chronic pain. 
  • Treatments such as counselling, physiotherapy, and complementary therapies. 
  • Surgery, such as intrathecal drug delivery and spinal cord stimulation. 

You may consider going to a pain management clinic if your chronic pain is not relieved after numerous treatments. Treatment is provided by a team of doctors who work together to address all the things that may cause your chronic pain.


Chronic pain can’t always be prevented. But staying in good physical and mental health may be the best way to prevent it or help you cope with it:

  • Treat your health problems early.
  • Get enough sleep every night. Learn to alternate activities with rest throughout each day.
  • Exercise.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Try to reduce stress in your life.


Get enough sleep

If you are tired during the day and have trouble sleeping, try to:

  • Set a bedtime and a wake-up time—and stay with these times, even on weekends. This helps your body get used to regular sleep time.
  • Get some exercise during the day.
  • Avoid taking naps, especially in the evening.
  • Avoid drinking or eating caffeine after 3 p.m. This includes coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate.

Deal with problems right away

Treat medical conditions and mental health concerns early, before they worsen and become harder to treat. Untreated health conditions (such as shingles) or mental health problems (such as depression or anxiety) can make chronic pain harder to treat.

Stay active

Get regular aerobic exercises—such as swimming, stationary cycling, and walking—to build strength and health. Water exercise may be especially helpful in reducing pain that gets worse during weight-bearing activities, such as walking.

Talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program. Start slowly and increase your efforts bit by bit. If your joints are stiff, take a warm bath or shower first to loosen up. Also, do some stretching exercises each day.

Schedule your day so you are most active when you have the most energy. Learn to move in ways that are less likely to make your pain worse.

Practice healthy habits

  • Eat a balanced diet. Good nutrition will help you stay healthy and strong.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking may affect your level of pain and may reduce how well your chronic pain treatment works. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
  • Reduce stress. Try relaxation therapy such as breathing exercises or meditation. 

Think about tools that may help

Assistive devices, such as walking canes or doorknob extenders, may help you do your daily activities. These devices can help you to be more mobile and independent.


Medicines can often help control chronic pain. Sometimes, it may take several weeks for the medicine to work. Medicine may work best when it’s used along with other types of treatment, such as physiotherapy and counselling, to address the different causes of chronic pain.

Sometimes a medicine loses some or all of its ability to work when used daily over a long period. This is because your body develops a tolerance to it. If this happens, you may need to take more of the medicine, change medicines, or add another medicine. Your doctor can work with you to do this.

Pills for pain

You will likely start with medicines that cause the fewest side effects (such as acetaminophen). The dose will be increased, or the medicines will be changed as needed. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

Medicines you put on your skin

A variety of creams, gels, sprays, and patches may be used to relieve chronic pain, including:

  • Topical analgesics. These pain relievers, such as EMLA cream or an EMLA patch, are applied directly to the skin. Some creams or gels can be made at the pharmacy according to your doctor’s directions. Some may contain capsaicin, a naturally occurring substance found in chilli peppers.
  • Cooling spray. This involves directly using a cooling spray (such as Biofreeze) on the skin. This may be repeated several times.


Surgery for chronic pain isn’t expected. It’s usually considered only after other treatments have failed or if it is considered medically necessary. Surgery may provide pain relief but also permanently damage your ability to perceive other sensations, such as light touch and temperature changes. It can also cause different pain to occur.