Eating healthfully is of the utmost importance in maintaining overall positive health and in preventing some cancers; yet, there are other actions that can also maintain a good, positive health status. Some of these include ongoing self-education, physician-approved exercise, and socialization.
Ongoing self- education
Self-education represents an important self-directed action that can result in improved health. Self-education can help promote one’s confidence in achieving optimal health goals [i]. Ongoing education also increases knowledgeable about proper nutrition and health and clarifies the ways to optimally achieve these goals. By staying updated, one can stay abreast of new advances in cancer treatment and make more educated choices when it comes to decisions related to medical care and treatments.
It is important to perform physician-approved exercise. Physical activity strengthens the immune system, and enhances and supports digestive system activity. In addition, a number of studies have demonstrated reduced cancer risk and improved quality of life and survival rate in cancer patients who engage in regular exercise [ii][iii]. It is recommended to begin with 30 minutes of moderate activity each day. If fatigue or side effects of treatment inhibit the ability to include regular physical activity, it is encouraged to do so in small, manageable amounts. Even a brief slow walk can provide benefits. It is important to always consult with your doctor before doing any new exercise routine or vigorous activity.
Socialization is a natural part of life and is often used as a measurement of quality of life. Activities such as exercise are found to be correlated with improved social functioning. Healthier lifestyle practices that include socialization can help improve overall quality of life and health status [iv]. For example, participating in social events and being active in social environments can help support the adoption and maintenance of nutrition and physical activity behaviors to help people maintain health and well-being [v].
What you can do:
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals rich in cancer-fighting plant foods rich in phytonutrients.
- Stay educated to help you keep abreast of new information that can help you to make better decisions regarding your health.
- Include regular physical activity, even in small amounts, to help improve overall health and prevent chronic disease.
- Remain involved in social activities with friends and family in order to promote healthier lifestyle practices and enhance well-being.
[i] Rager, Kathleen B. “The Self-Directed Learning of Women with Breast Cancer.” Adult Education Quarterly 53.4 (2003): 277-93.
[ii] Zoeller, R. F. “Lifestyle in the Prevention and Management of Cancer: Physical Activity.”American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine 3.5 (2009): 353-61. Print
[iii] “Be Physically Active for at Least 30 Minutes Every Day.” American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR): Recommendations_02_activity. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2012. <http://www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/recommendations-for-cancer-prevention/recommendations_02_activity.html>.
[iv] Mosher, Catherine E., Richard Sloane, Miriam C. Morey, Denise Clutter Snyder, Harvey J. Cohen, Paige E. Miller, and Wendys Demark-Wahnefried. “Associations between Lifestyle Factors and Quality of Life among Older Long-term Breast, Prostate, and Colorectal Cancer Survivors.” Cancer 115.17 (2009): 4001-009. Print.