This article is a guest blog by Katrina Evans, health food fan and aspiring food and wellness writer. Enjoy! -Torey
Sticking with New Year’s Resolutions May Reduce Risk of Cancer
A popular New Year’s resolution is losing weight and getting in shape. Unfortunately, most will lose the motivation to continue their efforts after a few short months. Setting small, realistic goals to change eating habits and add in regular exercise may be the answer to sticking with it. A healthier way of life can help prevent cancer and lead to a healthier body and mind for those who already have been diagnosed.
Studies have shown that regular exercise helps to prevent certain cancers, including endometrial, uterine, lung and prostate cancers. Exercise also increases muscle strength and joint flexibility and helps prevent weight gain. Staying physically active during cancer treatments can reduce fatigue as well. The number one reason New Year’s resolutions fail is time. But exercise does not have to take hours at the gym. Interval training by walking, biking or swimming is a low-impact way to train in a short amount of time. Perform 90 seconds of higher intensity exercise, followed by two to three minutes of lower intensity. Beginners can set a goal of 20 minutes a day, three times a week and still see results. It’s really that easy!
Circuit training with weights can also build muscle strength. This is an easy and quick way to strengthen alternating muscles groups and takes only 20 to 30 minutes a session. Beginners can make it as low or high-impact as they wish. It can be done at the gym with machines or with dumbbells at home.
Nutrition may be the most important factor in weight loss and staying healthy, but starting a diet can feel like a chore. A diet should be a permanent change in eating habits, but keep it simple. Start by slowly substituting and adding in healthy foods gradually instead of all at once. Several smaller meals per day can calm cravings and keep blood sugar levels consistent.
An increasing number of research studies are finding that certain foods can reduce your risk of developing cancer. Doctors recommend fruits and vegetables for many reasons. One reason is fruits and vegetables’ ability to fight certain cancers – prostate cancer, colon cancer, or even mesothelioma – with high levels of antioxidants. Vegetables such as broccoli, leafy greens, artichokes and cauliflower and fruits like blueberries and grapes are particularly high in cancer-preventing substances. Healthy fats like linolenic acid and lignans, found in fish, flaxseed and nuts, are also cancer fighters.
Your doctor may recommend putting weight loss efforts on hold during cancer treatments, although a healthy diet is still important. Eating healthfully can prevent unwanted weight gain during treatment and keep energy levels high. You may wish to increase protein with eggs, dairy products, beans, legumes and nuts. Whey protein shakes are also a good way to get additional protein that is lost during exercise.
If you still have questions about diet and cancer, the internet may be a good resource for information. Be sure to look for reputable websites, either through a hospital or medical facility or as designated by .edu, .org, or .gov URL endings. Healthy lifestyle changes can improve all aspects of life not only by eating, but by reducing your risk of cancer and other health conditions in the future. .
* Please consult your physician for any specific questions related to your diagnoses. The information above should not take the place of your doctor’s advice.
Katrina Evans is a recent college graduate aspiring to write for health and wellness resources all over the web. She enjoys making a difference in people’s lives seeing how devastating cancer can be for people and their families. Katrina also really likes to run, stay fit, and listen to cool podcasts. Katrina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.