Cancer-Fighting Resolutions for Everyday!
Tips for staying cancer-free in 2018
In honor of making every day a “New Year’s Day” – the National Foundation for Cancer Research has put together cancer-fighting “resolutions” that are worth fighting to keep. Start small, then keep building. Simply pick one or two and stick with them, and keep adding onto your success. Your body will thank you. We promise.
1. Replace just one processed item a day with real food.
- Grab an apple or an orange instead of cookies.
- Substitute cucumbers and baby carrots for crackers. Dip them hummus for a tasty treat. Mmmm!
- Replace soda with a glass of water or sparkling water. (Water helps your body get rid of toxins that put you at risk for diseases like cancer.)
2. Get moving every day.
Studies conclusively show that exercise helps relieve stress, weight gain, and reduces cancer-related risks. It can even help cancer survivors live longer. So, get out there and dance, run, bike, walk, and shimmy! Exercising at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes every day has so many benefits: look good, feel better – it’s a win-win!
3. “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
As the famous author and journalist, Michael Pollan puts it: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” What you eat – and don’t eat – has a powerful effect on your health. Maintaining a healthy weight and nourishing your body with certain foods is key (and no, bacon is never a healthy food. And Doritos are worse…). A few simple changes to your diet can make a big difference in how you look and feel – and can also help lower your risk of cancer. Big in the celebrity world – try Meatless Monday – take one day off of animal protein and improve your health!
4. Add superfoods to your diet.
Sounds like fun, but what is a superfood, you ask? Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that contain large doses of cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Basically the superheroes of food world!
- Sauté dark green veggies like broccoli, kale, and spinach and to your omelets. Or pasta dishes. And everything else!
- Feeling peckish? Snack on a handful of raw walnuts or roasted pumpkin seeds instead of a bag of chips.
- And bring on the blueberries and raspberries!
5. Schedule your screenings.
Regular cancer screenings help with early detection and prevention of cancer. Screening tests include mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies for colorectal cancer, pap smears for cervical and uterine cancer, body checks for skin cancer and more. Talk to your doctor to see what screenings are appropriate for you given your family history, age and lifestyle choices. For more information on cancer screenings, see the American Cancer Society’s Guidelines for Early Detection of Cancer.
6. Use sunscreen every day (even during the winter months).
Skin cancer rates are on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to reduce the risk of skin cancer. While people with fair skin may be more likely to develop skin cancer due to sun exposure, people with darker skin tones are at risk as well. Sunscreen protects against sunburn as well as harmful ultraviolet rays that can wreak havoc on your skin on cloudy, overcast or winter days where there is no sunshine. Sunscreen also helps prevent premature aging.
7. Reduce your alcohol intake.
Although moderate alcohol use has possible health benefits (hello! red wine!) it’s not risk-free. Excessive use can cause liver damage, heart problems and even cancer. So here’s the deal: to reduce your lifetime risk of cancer men should cap it at 2 drinks per day and women at 1 drink a day… so enjoy, but as with most things, in moderation.
8. Quit smoking.
Smoking harms nearly every organ and organ system in the body. It can also cause 14 different types of cancer. If you are a current or former smoker, your risk of developing lung can be up to 25 times higher than someone who never smoked. Quitting reduces your risk, even if you’ve smoked for years.