Tag Archives: New Year’s Resolutions

Rethink Powerful Strategies for Cancer Prevention in 2017

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

LoveHope 2017_Std.The holiday season is over and the new year started. Many of you probably have set some exciting goals or resolutions already. In reality, early or later, some folks would probably fall “off the wagon”? How would you do differently?

CancerPreventionDaily has provided plenty of practical advice, resources, and useful links on powerful strategies for cancer prevention over the years. Instead of reiterating those strategies here, I’d like to highlight a tool of “RETHINK”.

First, let’s cherish HOPE by celebrating recent scientific and medical advances in cancer treatment! Cancer Immunotherapy has been put on the spotlight – a therapy based on the principle of unleashing the body’s immune system to attack cancer. In addition, remarkable advances in other therapies (e.g. chemotherapy, targeted therapy, surgery and radiation therapy) all improved clinical outcomes, especially lives of people battling cancers.

Equally significant is advance in cancer prevention, specifically, HPV vaccine. As the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the major cause of cervical cancer – infected by passing the virus during sex, and the disease is preventable.

Now let me dive in a bit deeper on “Rethink”.

Consider Uber or Zipcar. Whether through Uber (providing you with a car and a driver) or Zipcar (providing you with a car), you can reach your desired destinies – a different approach from using traditional or old fashion rental cars. Note: These are good examples of innovation or rethinking, not paid Ads! :)

Next, how to rethink with regard to health?

Take weight loss as an example. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the top powerful strategies for cancer prevention, as scientific evidence clearly indicate that obesity is a risk factor for several types of cancer in both men and women, needless to say risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Many folks are struggling with losing weight for various reasons. If one lesson we can learn from “Santa” to apply here, it is to lighten our load.

So, get motivated, get rid of all unhealthy baggage in all possible ways – dispose of fats, throw away junk foods, abandon extra sugar and extra salt, dispense or burn off some calories, thereby getting rid of “unwanted” pounds, consequently you will reach your goal of weight management. Certainly, you can discover creative ways that work best for you along the journey.

Rethink about cancer and prevention: Instead of fearing “Big C”, treat it as a life or health project with “small pieces”. This is because cancer is the mass (of tissues) on the surface but a collection of complex and multiple diseases in the hub, therefore, you need to tackle it with multiple approaches from genetic medicine, lifestyle to environment and early detection.

So, you got the idea.

In summary –

Rethink, Re-envision, Re-tweet, Re-evaluate and/or Re-calibrate, whatever works for you, so that you gain new perspectives and new approaches, which will help your new year’s resolutions stick, and reap your health benefits in the long run.

May more happiness and better health be all of yours throughout the year 2017!

 

Image credit: mozakdesign.com and CancerPreventionDaily

Resolve to Get Healthier and Happier

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

2015 HappyHealthy_CPDWe all love a fresh start in the new year, right? It’s time to expect great things and to make various refreshing resolutions. So, let’s jumpstart the 2015 with some New Year’s Resolutions for Health.

What’s your top health resolution? Lose weight? Get in shape? Eat healthier? Whatever health challenge you face, whatever fitness goal you set, this year can be your year and your victory!

Unfortunately, it’s also easy to fall down the slippery slope with your New Year’s Resolutions, which happens to many by the middle of February and is often referred to as “falling off the wagon.” One of the primary reasons for this is that many people set unrealistic goals without including specific and attainable actions within a time frame. So, I’m here to help you stay on the wagon throughout the year with a lighthearted yet fully conscious approach.

Here are some suggestions that you can start with and then develop into whatever works best for you.

1.      Stick to a fitness routine. Sounds boring? Well, keeping healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Find a way to set a fixed time, implement a novel technique, alternate your regimens, or create some new motivations. But by all means, keep things interesting!

2.      Try something new. That’s always fun! Take up a new sport, start a new habit, or read a new book on health. Engaging in volunteer work is one way you can keep physically active.

3.      Say YES to kale. And certainly, you can also say YES to other green leafy vegetables. As for kale, it’s rich in health-promoting compounds; it’s also an anti-cancer agent because it can protect DNA from damage by free radicals. Personally, I’ve made this resolution and have already had a couple of dinners with kale this new year.

4.      Give a second thought to genetically modified (GMO) foods and fast food. These foods are characterized by too much salt, refined sugars, and saturated fat. They damage your heart, kidney, other organs, and immune system. Impaired immune function means a weakened natural defense against cancer. More dangerously, any poor dietary choices are encoded into our gut, our genes, and passed on to our offspring.

5.      Reduce stress by practicing a screen-smart solution (i.e., a “Digital Detox”). We are in an age when internet addiction is a real and serious problem, and it affects the health and social connections of many people, especially kids. Things you can do to reduce stress include – but are not limited to – not bringing your cell phone to your bedroom or having your iPad next to your pillow. You can also reduce email checking, as well as Facebook and Twitter time. By spending smart-screen time, you can make more time for your family.

6.      Get a health screen and/or cancer screen. Check your critical numbers and be aware of your body. For example, know your blood sugar level to prevent diabetes. If you’re over 50, get a cancer screen to detect any pre-cancerous growth early.

7.      Give yourself a pat on the shoulder, a treat, or a high-five as a reward.

It’s important to remember: Look up, look forward and move on, but don’t look back and look down. Resolve to get healthier and happier. You can do it!

 

Image credit: partial contribution by ba1969

10 Strategies to Keep a New Year’s Resolution: Staying Active

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

Yoga-1199543-mDid you make any New Year’s health resolutions? I assume many people have by now. A new commitment to being healthy can mean different things to different people – quit smoking, lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, or something else that will make for a healthier lifestyle.

Keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions once they are made can be the hard part. Having an ambitious New Year’s resolution but then falling off the wagon can be like getting in the car and driving along without a roadmap, then ending nowhere you want to be.

Today, I want to help you achieve your health goals by making one important change – Become More Physically Active. The following 10 strategies show you how to stick to a New Year’s resolution of doing just that.

1.      Be clear why you are doing it.

Sedentary behavior is an important risk factor for cancer and other serious chronic diseases. Why is staying active important to you? Is it because of an effort to lose weight? A measure to prevent obesity, heart disease, and cancer? A way to boost energy? Or a therapy to reduce stress? Knowing why you are doing something means you will more likely stick to it.

Evening Jogger_4488221416_fe9be2eb7a_n2.      Set a realistic, attainable goal.

One physical activity guideline for adults is to aim for moderate exercise or activity 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.  If you are rarely physically active, you may start with breaking it down to 10 minutes each time, 3 times throughout the day. You should choose activities that fit your abilities. If you cannot run, consider jogging or walking faster when you are going somewhere on foot.

3.      Set a time for it. Make it your priority.

If it’s hard for you to find time, do it the first thing in the morning before the rest of your day starts. Then you’ll feel good when you are done.

4.      Have a system and make it work.

It could be “walk 20 minutes a day, do it after dinner, repeat it each day, reward myself at the end of month”. Or it could be “sign up a fitness program or a yoga class AM or PM, walk up-and-down stairs more during the day, and garden during the weekend, then repeat.” You get the idea.

5.      Little moves add up and small steps count.

With modern technologies and today’s lifestyle, we sit more and move less, as I have discussed in previous blogs. You can incorporate “sit less, move more” choices into your everyday life with little effort. For example, you can:

  • get off the bus or train a stop or two earlier to walk home or to work.
  • walk up stairs without using the elevator or escalator.
  • park the car farther away from stores, malls, or buildings you are going to.
  • spend more time on active interests, such as gardening or golfing.
  • walk to nearby stores instead of driving.
  • clean the car yourself.
  • do more chores such as vacuuming the house.
  • play more with the kids.

6.      Do it as much as you can and as often as you can.

There is no such thing as exercising too much as long as your health condition allows it. The opportunities are endless.

7.      Try something new and make it fun.

Whether it’s learning a dance, practicing yoga, or joining a community sport team, find something that motivates you and excites you. Make it fun, not a burden.

8.      Exercise with the season.

You can plan monthly or quarterly actions or activities. With the Winter Olympic Games around the corner, enjoy ice skating, skiing, and other outdoor activities. With cold weather in winter, you can choose some indoor exercises, fitness program(s) at the gym, walking in the malls, or visiting museums. In the spring and fall, hike and/or bike while getting pleasure from nature’s beauty. In summer, swim at the local Y or go to the ocean and do beach activities.

9.      Review, Revise, and Reward.

Having a written goal and taking action toward it are initial steps. Re-examine your goal from time to time to see if it is effective and the steps toward it are attainable. If not, revise it. If you’ve made progress, celebrate it and reward yourself.

10.  Get support from family members, friends, fitness buddies, classmates, and even online pals or social media.

Share your plan with people. Letting others know your goal publicly can increase the chance that you stick on it.

Conclusion

Overall, you don’t need to struggle or make a huge change in your lifestyle in order to boost your physical activity. Consistently following these strategies, you’ll see the results. To become a healthier, fitter, happier, and better you, also integrate more fruits and vegetables into your diet and drink a lot of water. In due course, you can reap considerable benefits.

 

Image credit: By shed; and Thoursie

10 Simple Things You Can Do to Get Back on Track

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Are you falling off the wagon? Whether it’s a “New Year’s Resolution”, a “Weight Loss Diet”, or a “Fitness Program,” you are not alone. Do you want to get back on track and reach your goal? If you are serious about it, you can do it. Here are 10 ways to help you reconnect with your New Year’s Resolution or health program, and gain your momentum back.

1. Believe in yourself. It’s about your mindset. Attitude is small thing that makes a big difference. You have your goal, and you can achieve it. Remember it’s a journey, and set-backs are just challenges along the way. The main thing is, don’t give up. As a Japanese proverb says, “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” All you have to do now is to get back up, dust yourself off, and move forward again.

2. Acknowledge your setbacks, and realize it’s normal. Don’t feel bad or practice self-sabotage, and don’t use excuses either, because none of them help. Laugh at yourself, or at me. Hey, I fell off from my blog wagon! Now I’m back on it, typing away.

3. Re-visit and revise your written goal. First, a written goal is a must. It’s so simple and has proven to be so powerful. A goal without being written is simply a wish. If you have written it, great! But don’t forget, you’re not writing it on a stone tablet. Re-examine your goal to see if it is realistic and the steps toward it attainable. If not, revise it.

4. Take action. Start today. Starting is not always easy, but in the end, your actions will be rewarded. Just by driving to the gym you will be more likely to hop on that treadmill; one step will lead to more, and you’ll feel great as your brain releases endorphins. Just remember: Small steps count, even if it’s just a walk to the local grocery store or around the neighborhood. Movement brings joy.

5. Dig for the causes of falling off, target it with solutions. What exactly holds you back? Time? Overloaded work? Boredom? Laziness? Be honest with yourself, be reasonable, and take responsibility.

6. Set a time for it, no matter how long or how short, whenever it is. By scheduling time, you make it priority. Then meet your “appointment”. This is not only about self-discipline but also a solution to “finding time.” By not having a schedule, it’s easier to fall into the excuse-trap of “I have no time for it”? No time for your goal? Well, squeeze 10 minutes, if not more, from your daily life.

7. Make a switch, change your routines. Sometimes people stop or get stuck simply because of boredom or repetition, or worse, lack of progress. A change can bring excitement, momentum, and even results. Challenge yourself to do something completely different.

8. Have fun! If you dread the idea of working in the gym or eating something you aren’t enjoying, just don’t do it. Create a variety of ways to achieve your goal, whether it’s diet or exercise. You’ll be amazed with the results. For example, try a new recipe, do 5 minutes of squat-jumps, or put on some energetic music to cheer you up while exercising. Alternatively, learn something new.

9. Find connections, get support. Whether it’s a family member or friend, a fitness buddy, a club, or online resources (forums, blogs, favorite sites), you have someone to share experience and get inspiration. At least, you have me here on your journey.

10. Reward yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back or a treat for the progress you make.

In closing, by practicing any of these 10 strategies, you can keep moving forward and achieve your goal!

What else would you add to the list to share your experience and help others?

Photo credit: mckaysavag