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Happy new year - Cancer reducing lifestyle tips

Home Happy new year - Cancer reducing lifestyle tips
  • Lifestyle
  • 3 Jan 2021

January is a traditional month for making new habits (join a gym etc.) but this year, daily habits that you can integrate at home are more important. I often get asked about ‘the most effective way’ to reduce cancer risk but leave people a bit disappointed as my advice is less exciting than the miracle seeds, oils or superfoods they see on social media. Once you have filtered out the noise, you may not be blown away by the advice, but do we really do all the easy things we can? I hope this advice serves as a reminder of the simple things that can be done and integrated into daily habits. The good news is that this will help prevent heart disease, enjoying better sleep and generally improve your physical well-being. Measure Health wishes you a healthy 2021!



1. Don't smoke

This includes cigarettes, cigars, shisha or vaping (unless it is a part of a programme to help you stop smoking). 



2. Manage your weight, keep a high fibre low sugar diet 


There are too many headlines about the link between certain cancers and food, that leave people confused. A good definitive study is hard to find, but some common themes emerge.

  • Have a high fibre diet with plentiful vegetables

  • Avoid highly processed foods (low quality ingredients and too many additives and salt) 

  • Desserts and sugary snacks wreak havoc with your blood hormones, so eliminate them as much as possible.

Being overweight, particularly very overweight is associated with a higher incidence of 13 cancers. There is so much information (often conflicting) about how to lose weight. The success of a diet is being able to stick with it. So choose between restricting some foods all of the time (e.g. low carb), all food some of the time (intermittent fasting) or generally counting your calories (e.g. using MyFitnessPal). 


3. Exercise frequently


Yes diet first and exercise second - you cannot out-train a bad diet. The recommendation is for 25 minutes per day of moderately vigorous activity e.g. jogging or cycling that increases your heart rate. Youtube has so many good workouts these days, that you can make yourself a weekly programme in the comfort of your own home at minimal cost.


4. Keep a lid on your alcohol intake


It is particularly difficult to reduce alcohol right now (with the prospect of homeschooling!), but if we are honest with ourselves alcohol is a socially acceptable poison. 14 units a week (equivalent to one glass of wine per evening) is the maximum consumption recommended for men and women. Some of the effective reduction techniques are to count the calories (7 glasses of wine in a week is around a 1000 calories) and to find something to do that relaxes you when you would previously have had a drink (have a bath, watch a film, go for a walk).  


I wish you a healthy 2021 and encourage you to actively reduce your cancer risk.


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