Exercise through sport or dancing to stay healthy. (J. Morgan Edwards Photography)

World Health Day: What Steps Will You Take to Stay Healthy and Cancer-Free?

Charlotte Hofer

April 7, 2013 is World Health Day. As part of the movement to promote healthy living, what steps will you take to stay healthy and cancer-free? 

The American Cancer Society has five easy suggestions that will help keep you healthier and reduce your risk of cancer at the same time.

Get off the couch and get on the treadmill. Or on the stair stepper. Or on the elliptical. Whatever the case, get active! Now that Spring is finally here, you don’t have an excuse. Grab a loved one and go for a nice evening walk outside. The American Cancer Society recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily for adults, so get moving!

Eating fresh produce regularly may reduce your risk of cancer. Avoid drinking in excess. If you drink, limit alcohol to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. The American Cancer Society has found that drinking damages body tissue and increases the risk of cancer. Is the extra drink really worth the risk?

Watch your waistband. Arlene St. John Black Bird, program director for the Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (BCCEDP) at Cheyenne River Health Center in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, offers some dietary advice: “Research shows that poor diet is strongly linked to cancer. To stay healthy, limit red meat and avoid processed meat. Instead, try lean proteins like chicken or turkey. Making small changes to your diet can actually make a big difference.”

Get regular cancer screenings. If you have a family history of cancer, you should talk to your doctor about getting screened at an early age. Statistics show that early detection saves lives.

Be tobacco free. Tobacco use accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths and 87 percent of lung cancer deaths. By smoking, you’re not only putting yourself at risk—you’re also jeopardizing your loved ones. Each year, about 3,400 non-smoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing secondhand smoke. Quit today and keep yourself and your loved ones cancer-free.

Did you know that 2/3 of all cancers are preventable? That means following the American Cancer Society’s guidelines will reduce your risk of cancer and, potentially, save your life. 

With statistics like that, it seems like a no-brainer: This World Health Day, commit to healthy living. 

For more healthy living suggestions, contact the American Cancer Society at 1.800.227.2345 or www.cancer.org.

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