Healthy Living Tips  |  Posted 01.03.17

New Year, New (Healthier) You

New Year, New (Healthier) You

Did you know that experts estimate that over 30% of ALL cancers that occur in the US could be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle?

The New Year is a natural time to try for a new start and do things better. The choices we make every day have a direct impact on our health. We can reduce our risk of getting cancer by following a nutritious diet, aiming to be a healthy weight, and being physically active every day. Regional Cancer Center is committed to sharing health tips, recipes, and expert advice to help you reduce YOUR risk. While more than 40% of American adults make New Year’s resolutions, less than half of them keep their resolutions for at least 6 months. Here are some tips and tools for not only making those resolutions but sticking to them.

Eat better
The origins of cancer are complex, and no one knows exactly what causes it. But scientists do have a good idea about which factors increase cancer risk. Yet they aren’t the factors many people associate with cancer. Healthy living; diet and exercise, play an important role in decreasing your cancer risk.For example, the amount of meat recommended as part of a healthy meal is about 3 ounces, or the size of a deck of cards.

Eat a little healthier by adding more vegetables, fruits, and fiber to your meals and leaving out some of the sugar, fat, and calories. Want a full catalogue of recipes to choose from? Go here

Quit smoking
Quitting smoking is the most important action you can take to reduce your cancer risk. One of the best ways to become smoke-free is to develop a master plan for quitting. There are three steps to quit smoking; knowing when you are ready to quit; developing a plan to quit; and staying smoke free. Each step is broken down into ten phases. As you make progress toward quitting smoking, you complete phases. Learn more here.

Exercise

You have to exercise to keep your body in shape. Unless you are trying to lose weight, you can exercise at least five days per week for 30 minutes per day. If you are trying to lose weight, you should increase your daily exercise time to 60 to 90 minutes. Engage in aerobic and weight resistance exercise so that you can work out your cardiovascular system, burn fat and build healthy muscle tissue. Playing sports like tennis or basketball, swimming, yoga and circuit weight training are some possible exercises. Just make sure you start off on the right foot with these helpful tips:

  • Take it Slow: Set small goals- after all, you’re in this for a lifetime.
  • Talk to your doctor before getting started. Consult a doctor before you start, especially if it’s been 8-12 months or longer since you’ve last exercised, you’ve had a large weight gain, or you’ve had a noticeable change in health.
  • Evaluate your personality. Do you like to exercise alone, in a large group, or with a partner? The answer to this question will help you decide what type of exercise will keep you motivated to stick with your new routine.
  • Be safe. If you’re exercising outside, make safety a priority. Dress for the weather, wear reflectors and light colors if you’ll be out when it’s dark, and carry a cell phone with you.

The physical health benefits of exercise, eating well, and not smoking, are well researched and understood; and you are no doubt well-versed in the importance of all of this in warding off illness. So, while you may have heard or read some of this before, these tips can’t be reiterated enough -and are some of the most important things you can do to help reduce your cancer risk, and overall, help you become a happier -- and healthier -- you.