Studies have shown that 80 per cent of us don’t stick to our New Year’s resolutions will let them slide… by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around! But according to a new study, you can reduce your risk of cancer by simply sticking to those healthy promises you’ve made at the beginning of the year.
In a study out of the UK, researchers collected data on nearly 350,000 people and identified the frequency of five healthy behaviours that also happen to be common New Year’s resolutions:
1) not smoking,
2) eating a healthy diet,
3) exercising regularly,
4) maintaining a healthy weight, and
5) going easy on the alcohol.
After five years of follow-up, it turned out that those who stuck to all five of healthy habits slashed their risk of cancer by a thisrd, compared to those who followed just one or none of them.
And even those who didn’t hit all five marks still benefited from making some amount of change. In fact, each additional resolution they stuck to was associated with an 8 per cent reduction in cancer risk.
Now, I’ll never say that following through on new healthy habits is easy, but fortunately there are some tricks that may stack the deck in your favour:
- You might be tempted to try one of those medicated patches, or “vaping,” to get off of cigarettes — but then, you may end up swapping one habit for another. Your best bet is to go cold turkey. And if you need something to curb those cravings, try acupuncture.
- When it comes to the other cravings — that is, for sugar, carbohydrates, and other treats that can pack on pounds — a healthy diet that’s high in fibre and protein like the Paleo will fill you up and make it less likely that you’ll reach for junk. It can even hold your blood sugar steady.
- Getting regular exercise is easier than you think. You don’t have to run for miles or pump iron — because even everyday activities like cleaning the house, gardening, and taking a stroll can get your heart rate up and your blood flowing.
- And if you can stick with numbers 2 and 3, you’ll naturally find yourself maintaining a healthy weight… or even shedding a few excess pounds!
- As for alcohol, savouring your drink of choice with a meal can help you sip more slowly and absorb the alcohol into your system more gradually. The food will help keep your blood alcohol levels in check, making it less likely that you’ll fill your glass one too many times.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Reduce your risk of cancer – 10 Ways to a healthier you, published online, wcrf-uk.org/sites/default/files/ten-ways-to-a-healthier-you-guide.pdf