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Avoiding cancer for life

At least 18% of all cancer cases in the US are related to a combination of poor lifestyle habits. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States, behind only heart disease. People with cancer also often experience physical effects (from the cancer itself and from treatment), distress, and a lower quality of life. Today June 9, 2020 The American Cancer Society has published its updated guideline on diet and physical activity for cancer prevention. Staying at a healthy weight, staying active throughout life, following a healthy eating pattern, and avoiding or limiting alcohol may greatly reduce a person's lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer. These lifestyle habits are the most important behaviors after not smoking that people can control and change to help lower their cancer risk.

Q. What is a healthy body weight? To minimize the risk for cancer and many other chronic medical conditions people are recommend to achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life, and avoid weight gain in adult life. The ACS states that being overweight or obese is clearly linked with an increased risk of several types of cancer, including: breast cancer (among women who have gone through menopause),colon and rectal cancer, endometrial cancer (cancer in the lining of the uterus),Esophagus cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreas cancer, stomach cancer, thyroid cancer, multiple myeloma, meningioma (a tumor of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Being overweight or obese might also raise the risk of other cancers, such as: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, male breast cancer, cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box, aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

Being overweight or obese is largely the result of taking in too many calories (from both food and beverages) and not burning enough calories, although a person’s genes and changes in their metabolism as they age are also factors.

The dietary factors most often linked with excess body fat include sugar-sweetened beverages, fast foods, and “Western type” diets (the Basic American Diet -BAD- is high in added sugars, meat, and fat).

ACE Fit offers a number of free tools and calculators to help you determine everything from your body mass index (BMI) to your target heart rate zone, your blood pressure, body fat composition, daily caloric needs, healthy waist circumference and more.

Q.What is a healthy body composition?

Body composition is a term for the percentage of fat, bone and muscle in the body, of which fat is of greatest interest. Healthy adults males have 6% to 24% fat; healthy adult females have between 14% and 31% fat.

Q. How can I start with exercise safely?

To achieve health, begin with becoming more physically active. Be physically active. the recommendation are for adults: Get 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these). Getting to or exceeding the upper limit of 300 minutes is ideal.

Children and teens: Get at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day. Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching TV, and other forms of screen-based entertainment. To fitness and a high level of fitness include exercise such as resistance training, cardiovascular and flexibility exercise and for older adults to include balance and mobility training.

Q. I have one or more medical conditions, how can I start with exercise safely?

When you have existing medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease, cancer or cancer survivor, elevated cholesterol, osteoporosis etc, a health fitness professional with advanced qualifications such as an ACE Medical Exercise Specialist, ACSM Exercise Physiologist or Clinical Exercise Physiologist help people in ways you never thought possible, utilizing movement as treatment, the exercise specialist guide those suffering from injuries and chronic disease towards a healthier life by designing programs that not only help alleviate the symptoms of chronic health conditions, but prevent them from occurring altogether. The more medical conditions you have and the more severe, the more targeted and specific your exercise program must be to be safe and be beneficial.

Q. What foods are most beneficial for maintaining health and cancer prevention?

The ACS recommends a healthy eating pattern to includes foods that are high in nutrients in amounts that help you get to and stay at a healthy body weight

A variety of vegetables – dark green, red and orange, fiber-rich legumes (beans and peas), and others, fruits, especially whole fruits in a variety of colors, whole grains. The ACS does not include meat or animal products, and specifically states to avoid red and processed meats.

Q. Where do I find more information on plant based foods that contribute to better health?

A certified health coach can provide professional guidance and getting you on the right track. Educating yourself is essential when your goal is to thrive throughout life. Forks over Knives, Drmcdougall health and medical center have many free resources and recipes. Look for local resources in your vegetarian and vegan community, they are usually very helpful. Be careful to avoid vegan and vegetarian junk foods, these are not a good alternative and do not benefit your health and wellbeing. Visit your local farmers market or farm stands for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Living actively and healthfully is like signing your personal declaration of independence.

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