Nutrition and Physical Activity Are Key to Good Health
Surviving a bout with cancer can change how you see the world. Almost 14 million cancer survivors know this first-hand, and virtually every one of these individuals wants to do whatever he or she can to avoid going through the experience again.
You probably already know that eating well and staying active can promote overall health and a sense of well-being. But did you know that making those same changes may also help keep your cancer from returning?
Scientific study of the nutritional needs of cancer survivors is still in a very early stage, and there are no guarantees. But when AICR’s experts reviewed the available science on diet and survivorship, they concluded that following a few simple strategies that help prevent cancer may also help guard against its return.
- Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (particularly processed foods high in added sugar, or low in fiber, or high in fat).
- Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
- Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
In addition to adopting a healthy eating plan, growing evidence shows that incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine can benefit most cancer survivors. Becoming more physically active can make you feel more energetic, and also offer long-term benefits such as bone and muscle strength, and improved circulation and mood.
Talk to your doctor about beginning a physical activity program, and when you get the go-ahead, start off by doing easy movements for short periods of time each day. If you can, get started under the guidance of a physical therapist or certified fitness trainer.
For more information on the importance of nutrition and survivorship, download our brochure, Nutrition and the Cancer Survivor. And to learn more about why becoming physically active is essential to your healthy recovery and survival, download a copy of Surviving Cancer with Physical Activity.
Published on June 3, 2013