Lots of Americans will be wearing pink this month in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Awareness also includes doing your part to learn more about how a healthy lifestyle can help prevent breast cancer, and many other types of cancers.
Here are four tips you can incorporate into a healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer and live a healthier, longer life:
Exercise reduces the risk of many chronic diseases and cancers. Physically active women are 25 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those who are inactive, since weight gain after menopause is a known risk factor.
Movement protects against injury and disease and makes life more enjoyable, so incorporate more movement into your routine. Have fun with it! Try out new classes like Glow Yoga to mix things up and keep exercise fun so you’ll look forward to your workouts.
Drink less and eat the rainbow
Alcohol can increase the risk of many cancers, including breast cancer. Even low levels of consumption increase risk, so limit your alcohol intake as much as possible to reduce your risk. Also, enjoy a variety of colorful foods. Some studies have shown that a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products may have a cancer-protective benefit.
Heading into the holidays, eating right can be a challenge that sometimes lasts months. Mercy Clinic Dietitian Lori Manning can help you devise a Plan for Healthy Holidays at her October 28 seminar. Bring a friend and join us to learn more about how essential nutrition is for good health.
Focus on self-care
Take time for yourself and stay connected with your body and aware of any changes that might signal a health challenge. You’re the foremost expert on what feels normal for you. Anytime you’re just not feeling well, you’re suffering from unexplained fatigue, or you just have a nagging sense that something isn’t right, see your doctor. List your symptoms and their duration, plus any stresses or other changes to your diet or daily routine.
Relieve stress and reduce its impact on your health with regular self-care, like that new yoga class, educational seminar, or a massage. Also, talk with your doctor about which tests and screening exams are right for you based on your age, lifestyle, and risk factors. Prevention and early detection are two things that nearly 3 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. will tell you are worth your time, effort and some brief discomfort.
Mind your mindset
Connection, community and support are invaluable for their positive effects on your mental and overall health and wellbeing. Invite friends to participate in healthy activities—like working out!—and participate in community-building events like our October Pink F.I.T. classes, where we can all show our colorful support for breast cancer awareness, education, prevention and early detection.