You inherently understand the connection between your lifestyle and your health, and as a naturopath, it is the core philosophy of my practice.
None of us exist in a vacuum, which means that our environment, our relationships, and our day-to-day choices impact our health now and in the future.
Choosing the right lifestyle practices will help you feel better now, and prevent disease in the future, including cancer.
Top 4 Lifestyle Tips For Cancer Prevention
I’ll keep this short. Everyone knows that staying active is the key to a healthy body and mind – the trick is actually doing it.
Those who exercise regularly and keep their weight at a healthy level greatly reduce their chronic disease and cancer risk. The bottom line is that leading sedentary lives is downright dangerous.
My advice is to try as many activities as you can until you find something that you enjoy. Join an amateur sports league, go to the gym, take up jogging or pole walking, trail hike, ski, dance, take the dog on long walks, yoga, tai chi… the list goes on and on.
There are very, very few truly valid excuses to avoid exercise of some sort. 20 minutes a day, not negotiable.
Promote lymphatic flow
The lymphatic system acts as the clean-up and distribution route for the cardiovascular and immune systems. It creates and carries fresh immune factors around the body, takes away immune waste, and cleans up debris such as bacteria and cancer cells.
This tip is a bit more specific for breast cancer but can certainly be generalized to all other types too.
Going bra-less is seen as a bit taboo in our society, and when women find themselves working in a professional environment or the public, they may feel like they don’t have a choice.
If that’s the case, at the very least, avoid constrictive bras in other areas of your life as they tend to impede good lymph flow to the breasts.
At the end of each workday, take that bra off and try some Armpit & Breast Exercises. Make the movements smooth and brisk.
- Straighten arms to the side, and do 10 arm circles in each direction.
- Connect your palms in front of chest as if praying, raise them up, separate wide and circle out and down, back to prayer. 10 times
- Raise one arm and rest palm on should blade to expose your armpit. Use the opposite palm and fingertips to gently “pump” the flesh of the armpit, then moving down onto the side of the breast, the bottom, and in between the breasts. Switch sides and repeat 3 times.
- Lean forward (like a forward bend in yoga), and allow your arms and breasts to hang freely for a little while.
Get stress under control
Chronic stress suppresses healthy metabolism, fouls your mental-emotional health, impedes healthy digestion and immune function, and promotes inflammation. All these factors open you up to a greater possibility of developing cancer.
The best way to deal with stress is to resolve and avoid it. That’s certainly easier said than done, but the rewards could be worthwhile.
Adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, and Siberian ginseng can help your body cope better with chronic stress if you find that you can’t avoid it. Good nutrition, exercise, a healthy support network, and sufficient “you” time can go a long way too.
I tend to recommend trying yoga and mindful meditation – both based on connecting to the breath, which I believe is the ultimate manifestation of “the present”.
Avoid toxic compounds
There are many compounds in our products and environment that can disrupt hormonal balance and burden the liver. As much as possible, try to avoid the following:
- Microwaving plastic and Styrofoam
- Using plastic food and beverage containers
- Parabens and phthalates
- Harsh, toxic cleaning products with heavy scents
- Pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables
- Conventionally raised meat
Check out the Environmental Working Group’s consumer guide for more info on safe cosmetics, home and body products, and which foods are worthwhile to buy organic. You can also download the Green Beauty Guide.
Note: This post is not intended to diagnose. Please be sure to consult your own doctor before beginning any treatment.