Did you know that World Cancer Day is Feb. 4? It's a global event to unite the population against cancer. It's primary objective is to raise awareness and educate the world about the life-threatening disease, teaching individuals how they can take action toward preventing cancer in the future.
An unfortunate 8.8 million people pass away from cancer every year. And while many think this is an unavoidable condition, you can make numerous lifestyle choices to reduce your chances. Factors that increase your risk of developing cancer at some point, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, include being overweight or obese, following a diet high in red and processed meats, eating minimal fruits and vegetables, consuming too much salt, fat and sugar, smoking and neglecting to exercise.
With World Cancer Day just 48 hours away, now's the perfect time to learn more ways to mitigate your risk by improving your everyday habits. Based on the most common risk factors for developing cancer, here are a few lifestyle tips for reducing your risk:
1. Prioritize Physical Activity
Being overweight or obese isn't caused by only following a poor diet. Physical inactivity is also to blame, keeping you from maintaining a healthy, stable weight. But making a change isn't impossible; implementing exercise into your daily routine is the easiest way to start shedding pounds and get down to a more manageable, healthy weight.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended adults spend at least 150 minutes a week dedicated to moderate-intensity aerobic activity, with two days of muscle-strengthening moves. This regimen can sound intimidating for someone who has never exercised a day in his or her life, but rest assured that you should start slow and work your into this normal routine. Begin spending 10-20 minutes at the gym every day, and then push yourself to stay for an extra 10 minutes as exercise becomes more of a habit. A simple 30 minutes every day meets the weekly requirement!
2. Avoid Tobacco Use
While most understand that smoking comes with bad connotations, those who still follow the bad habit may not realize just how debilitating it is. According to the CDC, smoking causes over 480,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. Additionally, it increases one's risk for developing coronary heart disease by two to four times, stroke by two to four times and lung cancer by nearly 25 times for both men and women.
But that's not the only type of cancer caused by smoking tobacco. The bad habit can cause the debilitating disease in just about any part of the body, including the bladder, cervix, colon, esophagus, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas and trachea. Unfortunately, the list goes on.
Thankfully, once you quit smoking, your risk for having a heart attack decreases drastically just after one year. And once you make it to the 10 year milestone, your risk for developing lung cancer, among multiple other cancers, cuts in half.
3. Follow the Hallelujah Diet
It's no surprise that obesity and consuming too much salt, fat, sugar and red meats go hand in hand, but this fact shouldn't be ignored – especially when it comes to your chance for developing cancer. Why not eliminate all risk factors and start following the Hallelujah Diet instead? Inspired by God's Original Diet from Genesis 1:29, our healthy eating regimen derives from only the natural, plant-based sustenance He provided for us, not the fake, refined junk many refer to as "food." Consuming more greens and vibrant vegetables is the easiest way to absorb healthful antioxidants, improving your immune system and repairing cells that are already damaged.
This lifestyle can have a large impact on your overall cancer risk and well-being, but it can be intimidating to start. Let us help you find your way on the path to better health by taking small steps with these helpful tips. Soon enough, the Hallelujah Diet will become second nature, and you'll start living your life to the fullest, just as God always intended for you. Take back control of your life and follow us on our journey to optimal wellness today!