With a new year approaching, Cancer Council Queensland encourages all Queenslanders to set goals to become healthier in the new decade.
Research by website Finder* found that the top two resolutions made by Australians in 2019 were to lose weight and eat healthier.
Setting these goals around the new year can be exciting and challenging, but it’s important to remember how you will go about achieving them.
Setting a goal that is unspecific and unattainable can put you back at square one. Making too many changes at once can lead to initial setbacks and the easy choice of resuming old unhealthy habits, which is why Queenslanders should make small, simple changes all year round to become healthier and happier.
Cancer Council wants all Queenslanders to achieve their health goals, as at least one-third of all cancer cases are preventable with simple lifestyle changes, including limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, keeping active, and being sun smart.
Here’s Cancer Council Queensland’s top ten New Year’s resolutions for Queenslanders to try in 2020.
1. Try for two and five
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends eating five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day, however as many as 93 per cent of Queensland adults are not eating reaching this amount. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, can help to maintain a healthy weight, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Make getting your fruit and veg in every day a priority for 2020!
2. Be sun smart
It’s no surprise as the ‘Sunshine State’, Queensland has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. This new year, protect yourself and reduce your risk by actively being sun smart, and don’t forget to slip, slop, slap, seek, and slide.
3. Get up to date with your screening.
Cancer screening can help to detect cancer early before it develops, or symptoms appear. There are three national cancer screening programs in Australia including breast, bowel and cervical. If you are eligible for these programs, make it a top priority in 2020 to participate, if you are unsure about your eligibility, talk to your GP or visit Cancer Screening.
4. Be active every single day
Cancer Council Queensland supports Australia’s National Physical Activity Guidelines which recommends adults participate in 2.5 – 5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week, which equates to half an hour of exercise each day (e.g. going for a 30-minute walk). Rather than setting a dreaded challenge for yourself, start by incorporating simple active changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
5. Become familiar with your body
Some cancers have screening programs available to detect them, but for many other cancers being aware of what is normal for your body and seeking medical advice if you notice any changes is crucial for early diagnosis and successful treatment. Make one of your New Year’s resolutions to get to know your body and learn about what signs and symptoms to lookout for.
6. Plan out your meals
One of the simplest ways of eating healthier is by planning your meals in advance. Head to the supermarket with a grocery list to limit impulsive purchasing and prepare your meals at the start of each week to reduce the chance of buying unhealthy take away meals during the week.
7. Limit sugary drinks
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to drink more water, then
this goal goes hand in hand with the plan to limit consumption of
unhealthy drinks. Instead of pushing yourself to add more water to
your daily intake, simply switch out your lunchtime soft drink for a
glass of water and voila – more water, less sugar.
8. Quit smoking
If you’re looking for a reason to quit smoking in 2020, we’ve got plenty for you. Not only will it reduce your cancer risk, you’ll see improvements to your health, your looks, your sense of taste and smell, your fitness and finances. Call Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) for free information, practical assistance and support to quit.
9. Take time for yourself
Working towards a healthier lifestyle isn’t just about looking after your body, your mind needs just as much caring for. A great way to have some time out for yourself is by getting some fresh air and moving your body.
10. Take time for your loved ones
Spending quality time with loved ones boosts happiness levels, which in turn increases quality of life and healthier choices. This new year make a conscious effort to spend extra time with those close by and far away.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland and healthy living is available at cancerqld.org.au.