4 ways to cut your cancer death risk

by Robert Warren Hess

A study published recently in the journal JAMA Oncology showed that simple lifestyle changes can reduce lung cancer and colorectal cancer in women by 85% and 60% respectively, and 90% and 50% for men. That’s a huge reduction.

Some of the needed changes are pretty easy and others will take some dedication. Here’s what you need to do . . .

  1. Stop smoking – Hard, but not impossible. I went through the process 17 years ago. It seemed impossible at the time. Now I don’t even remember I ever smoked.
  2. Get down to a healthy weight. I went through this process, as well. I found that it was just a matter of having the right foods in the house and retraining my tastebuds, which, incidentally, completely renew themselves every 10-14 days. Most of us can do anything for 14 days.
  3. Drinking less alcohol – This may be easier than you think. A full 30% of Americans don’t drink at all, and 80% have less than one drink per day [Click here to see how you measure up]

Changing these first three habits may seem impossible, but it’s really just a matter of changing your mental outlook and then making some simple daily adjustments, like what you put in your cart at the grocery store.

What’s the 4th way of reducing your cancer risk?

You guessed it; it’s just exercise. The goal is 75 minutes of intense exercise each week or 150 minutes of moderate exercise. Break those numbers down by the days of the week and you only need 21.42 minutes of moderate exercise each day.

We’re all busy, we all of us can carve out 21.42 minutes per day. You don’t need a gym membership and you don’t need to run. You just need to open the door and walk for 21.42 minutes. It’s that simple.

Need some motivation to exercise?

  1. Another person is diagnosed with cancer every 19 seconds. We just read that exercise is a key element in cancer prevention.
  2. There are more than 14 million people living with cancer in the United States. Exercise will help you to not join those ranks.
  3. You will look and feel better. And people will notice the change.
  4. You will be with your family longer!

What’s the best kind of exercise to prevent cancer?

The simple answer is that it is any kind of exercise you enjoy and that you will continue to do. It could be walking with your friends or your dog; playing basketball with a league or just a pickup group; tennis; or one of a myriad of sports. The key is to enjoy it and do it for 75 – 150 minutes per week. For life!

My favorite sport is bicycling. I’ve been riding for almost 30 years and I never get tired of it. I started out riding around the neighborhood. Then I began riding century rides. Finally, I wound up competing in amateur events in the velodrome.

There are thousands of local bicycle shops around the country and almost all of them have friendly bicycle clubs associated with them.  Just click on this link to find a bicycling club near you.wpid-ScottSteveRobertSolvang2013_opt-2013-03-13-06-50.jpg

Join Us on Strava.com

There’s nothing like setting goals and one of my favorite tools for setting and tracking my cycling goals is Strava.com.

I’ve ridden the distance around the world – 26,901.6 miles – since my cancer treatment in 2003. I had such fun that I created the Around the World Cycling challenge for prostate cancer awareness. You can read about the program and join it at Around the World Cycling Challenge.

If you decide to use Strava.com, please join our Strava group @ Around the World Cycling Challenge on Strava.com and ride around the world with us.

What’s your favorite cancer prevention tool?

If you are a cancer survivor, we’d love to hear what you are doing to control your cancer or prevent it’s return. Cancer is a tough and resourceful enemy, but together we can beat it.

Stay Calm and Ride On!

Warm regards,