January 1st is often accompanied by a long list of unrealistic New Year’s resolutions that can leave you feeling like you have failed.
This year, it’s time to change and make your resolutions achievable for a happier and healthier 2023 and beyond!
Here are our top five easy healthy habits you can do to reduce your cancer risk.
1. Eat more fruit and vegetables
Vegies and fruit are important for health and should form a major part of your diet. They are the true ‘superfoods’ and are packed full of fibre, 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. Don’t forget frozen or canned fruit and vegies, they are just as nutritious as fresh produce. When choosing canned fruit or veg, go for the no added salt or sugar varieties.
New year challenge: 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 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.
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.
New year challenge: Drink a glass of water at the beginning of each day.
New year challenge: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. 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.
New year challenge:Break up sitting time with a short stretch, a few exercises or a short brisk walk around the block.
This March, you can smash your fitness goals while telling cancer where to go. If you would like to sign up for The March Charge, call the Cancer Council Events Team on 1300 811 248, or visit The March Charge webpage.