We hear you, you’re out there wanting to get better at forming healthy habits, often accompanied by a long list of goals and a promise to change your lifestyle in some way.
Often these promises include an array of healthy eating and activity goals that can cost a lot of money (yes we are talking about your nutritional supplements and so-called ‘superfoods’!). And let’s face it, most habits are very difficult to keep up for long, leaving you feeling like you have failed.
This year, it’s time to change and make your goals achievable for a happier and healthier you now and beyond!
Here are our top five easy healthy habits you can practice to reduce your cancer risk.
1. Eat more fruit and vegetables
Veggies and fruit are important for health and should form a major part of your diet. They are the true ‘superfoods’ and contain lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals. They also contain antioxidants and phytochemicals that help protect cells against damage and support your immune system. Choose seasonal produce as it is fresher, more flavoursome, contains more nutrients and is less expensive than imported and out-of-season produce.
Goal: Make fruit part of your breakfast – whip up a fruit salad parfait or keep it as simple as adding a banana to your brekkie. Have a serve of your favourite vegies as a snack – a handful of cherry tomatoes or a few sticks of carrots.
2. Eat less red and processed meat
There is strong evidence that eating red and processed meat causes bowel cancer. Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Australia.
Eating less red meat and avoiding processed meat is a positive habit you can take? make to reduce your cancer risk. You can start small by reducing portion size or swap out a meal for red or processed meat alternatives such as chicken, fish, eggs, legumes or tofu.
Goal: Replace one meal a week that would usually be red or processed meat with an alternative. For recipe ideas check out the Healthy Lunch Box website.
3. Drink more water
Sound too simple? Because it is simple! Water is important to keep you healthy and hydrated, especially during our hot summer days. In Australia, tap water is safe to drink, quenches your thirst and best of all – is free! If you are not used to drinking water – start off small by drinking one glass a day. Find out more about how to stay hydrated over summer.
Goal: Drink a glass of water at the beginning of each day.
Goal: Have at least 2 alcohol-free days each week. If you already have more than 2 alcohol-free days – try more alcohol-free days, the choice is yours!
5. Move more
Being physically active – move more and sit less – reduces your risk of cancer of the bowel, breast (after menopause) and endometrium. Physical activity also helps prevent weight gain. The key to being more active is to plan it into your day – take the stairs instead of the lift, park a small walk away from the shops or go for a walk with a friend instead of sitting at a café. Read more how you can get active.
Goal: Go for a brisk walk around the block each day.