Cancer Council Queensland offers the following five New Year’s resolutions to inspire your good intentions.
1. Achieve a healthy weight.
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is good for your overall wellbeing, but we know from The Health of Queenslanders Report 2018** that this is a challenge for many Queenslanders, with two in three adults overweight and obese. For adults, a quick way to check weight status is your Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist measurement. Balancing physical activity with a nutritious diet will not only help your waistline but reduce your risk of illness and chronic disease. In 2019, establish a lifelong system of staying accountable, such as keeping a food and physical activity diary.
2. Quit smoking.
If you smoke, your body is constantly working to try and repair the damage done by regularly inhaling more than 7000 toxic chemicals. There are so many good reasons to quit and the sooner you do, the more you can reduce your cancer risk. Benefits include improvements to your health, your looks, your sense of taste and smell, your fitness and finances. And if someone you love smokes, encourage them to do the same, remembering that secondhand smoke can be just as lethal for you, your friends and family members. Call Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) for free information, practical assistance and support to quit.
3. Cut back on alcohol.
Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of alcohol-related cancers and other chronic diseases. If you choose to drink alcohol, stick to the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines for alcohol consumption of no more than two standard drinks per day. Keep in mind that many alcoholic drinks are kilojoule heavy, so cutting back on alcohol could also help with maintaining a healthier weight.
4. Get up-to-date with your screening.
Is there a screening test that you’ve been putting off? The New Year is the perfect time to set a date and get checked – it just might save your life. Find out about the three national screening programs for bowel cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer at http://www.cancerscreening.gov.au.
5. Get to know yourself.
When it comes to cancer, in most cases the earlier it is detected, the better. This is because finding cancer early can increase the likelihood of successful treatment. Without fretting or worrying, make it another resolution to get to know the regular look and feel of your body, keep an eye out for unusual changes, and commit to seeing a GP if you notice any changes. Now you have it – your cancer resolution guide.
This January & February, put your health first and put steps in place to learn about cancer and reduce your risk. More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at https://cancerqld.org.au/ or via 13 11 20.