Episode 27: Lifestyle Medicine

Author: Eoghan Colgan    @eoghan_colgan
Special Guest: Punam Krishan @drpunamkrishan



Podcast _ Punam Krishan.png

Guest Bios

Punam Krishan


A little bit about me. I’m a GP (previously partner now a balanced, happier, portfolio GP). I work in Kingspark surgery, Glasgow, as a salaried GP. I’m also a trustee and director of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine - an organisation that focuses on education of both health professionals, and the public, about prevention of premature illnesses through identification and management of lifestyle related stressors. I run conferences, workshops and locally lead community projects where we help empower people to make positive habit changes via education. 

I burned-out as a partner and have written about it a fair bit in the media. I’m a medical writer and blogger for pulse, HuffPost, health columnist for WW magazine and recently joined the Scotsman inside health team. I’ve recently presented at Medic footprints about Lifestyle Medicine and health coaching because there is an increasing awareness of the need for self care in the NHS as we appear to have lost touch with the basics. 

I’m passionate about helping health care professionals manage stress through mindfulness. We need to embrace the concept of wellness for ourselves first and foremost if we are to inspire our patients. 

Show Notes

Lifestyle Medicine is an approach to improving patient health through optimising daily life. The pillars of lifestyle medicine are;

  • Nutrition

  • Physical activity

  • Sleep optimisation

  • Stress management

  • Awareness of the dangers of alcohol and smoking

  • Healthy relationships.

By adopting a healthy lifestyle, we can ensure that we live the best possible life, with maximal health and wellness. Lifestyle medicine does not replace traditional western medicine, it simply enhances and compliments it!

Take Home Points


A lot of things happen in our life and work that we can’t control - so lets control the things we can

Morning routine

  • have an hour to yourself in the morning

    • rise early

    • make it your time - gym, walk, reading, nice shower etc

  • have a nutritious breakfast

    • incorporate into ‘your hour’ if you need

    • enjoy the food slowly and allow digestion to happen

    • could be prepared night before if easiest

Getting to work

  • can use driving time to listen to podcasts

    • good quality, meaningful and inspiring (see links below for some recommendations)

  • park away from work so you need to walk a part of the way

At work

  • take lots of ‘me’ breaks through the day

    • taking a few minutes for some deep breathes before patients

    • reminding yourself to drink water

    • make sure you are eating through the day (healthy snacks)

      • nuts, fruit, protein bars etc

      • will help you to avoid the unhealthy food at work

  • try to empower each other to be healthy at work and avoid having lots of unhealthy choices at work (e.g. a no-cake rule at work)

  • during a break aim to get outside for a quick walk in the fresh air

  • have a good mindset at work

    • bring the best version of you to work

    • your bad mood will rub off on others

    • be nice and kind to your colleagues

  • handling stress at work

    • having insight is important - recognise how you feel and remove yourself and recalibrate

    • breathing exercises are helpful

      • HeadSpace app is recommended (see links below)

      • breathe in for 4 seconds and breathe out for 8

        • could do this multiple times during the day

        • even a few breathes before each patient

The journey home

  • could listen to podcast or sing all the way home to your favourite music

    • a good time to reflect

    • it is ‘you time’

Evening routine

  • put yourself to sleep like you would a child

    • don’t eat too late

    • do relaxing things (bath etc)

    • don’t use devices later in the evening

  • wind-down starts about 90minutes before bed

    • put your phone on airplane mode and charge them outside the room

    • read before bed

    • do your to-do list for the next day

      • map out the most important things you need achieve the next day

      • positive affirmations for the next day

    • journal - write down how the day went and especially the good things that happened and the things you are grateful for

  • Dinner-time

    • always eat with your family (and prepare together)

    • no devices at the table or tv in the background

    • communicate with one-another

    • eat slowly and enjoy the food

  • Prepare food for the next day

    • could do this on a Sunday and prepare food for the entire week

Career advice

  • it’s important to be selfish

  • number one thing you can do is invest in yourself

  • indulge yourself in good health


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You can find Punam Krishan on Instagram at @drpunamkrishnan or visit her website www.drpunamkrishan.com

Glasgow Wellbeings - https://www.meetup.com/Glasgow-Wellbeings/

For more information about Dr Rangan Chatterjee visit https://drchatterjee.com

Hannah BellComment