Are you protecting yourself to the fullest from cancer? While cancer prevention is not an exact science, there are some things you can do that will decrease your chances of forming cancers. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to cancer prevention and treatment, but at the top of the list, living a healthy life and getting early screenings are consistently mentioned by doctors and researchers. As noted by the American Cancer Society, more than HALF of ALL cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices like not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right, keeping active, and getting the recommended screening tests.
These seem like common sense points, but millions of American women find themselves constantly dealing with weight control, finding a healthy diet, and not exercising enough. Here are some reasons why living a healthy life-style is important:
1 – Quit Smoking
As you can image, this is ALWAYS number one! There’s not much more to say that hasn’t already been said about the perils of tobacco, so if you are smoking, you most likely know it causes a lot more problems than is solves. If this isn’t enough to convince you, here is some more research about smoking and the link to breast cancer “Study Links Smoking to Breast Cancer Risk“.
2 – Find Your Healthy Body Weight
Excess body weight may affect cancer risk through a number of mechanisms, some of which may be specific to certain cancer types, but according to the American Cancer Society excess body fat might affect your:
- Immune system function and inflammation
- Levels of certain hormones, such as insulin and estrogen
- Factors that regulate cell division, such as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)
- Proteins that influence how the body uses certain hormones, such as sex hormone-binding globulin
If you’re not sure what a healthy weight is, you can use a BMI (body mass index) reading, which gives you a score based on a relationship between your height and your weight. There’s a handy chart and calculator on the Cleveland Clinic website, where you can get your BMI score.
To reduce cancer risk, most people need to keep their BMIs below 25. Ask your doctor what your BMI number means and what action (if any) you should take.
Of course, reducing or maintaining your BMI also involves regular exercise. Finding a regular routine that involves raised levels of cardiovascular activity and strength training, combined with healthy eating habits can get you to your weight control goals.
3 – Eat Healthy – Meal Planning
Eating healthy foods is an important part of not only controlling body weight, but also giving your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs for building a strong and healthy system. Finding a balance for the food on your plate is the start of giving your body everything it needs to keep your amazing human body healthy and stronger against diseases like breast cancer.
Taking proactive action with exercise, healthy meal planning, and keeping yourself motivated are some of the main keys in cancer prevention. If you’re looking for a plan that has all of these elements, then be sure to contact your local Northwest Curves about our “10 for 10” offer. We can put you on track for a healthy lifestyle and help keep you there.