Get healthy, fit and feeling great this season with these tips from Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to stop in your living area – it can extend to your health.
Here are some simple tips to help you revitalise your wellbeing for the new season.
One, clean up your diet. Conduct an audit of your eating habits to see which areas can be improved. Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, indulge in the healthy foods you can enjoy, such as sensational seasonal produce. Consider planning your meals in advance, if you don’t already. A plan can save time and ensure you are incorporating a wide variety of nutritious foods and the five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day you need to stay healthy. Spring is a great time for light soups, veggie-rich stir-fries and nourishing salads.
Two, spring into shape. As the weather warms up and the sun stays out for longer, it’s the perfect time to change routines for the better, with extra daylight providing more time to work on your fitness. Take in the sunshine and fresh air with a daily afternoon walk; just remember to stay SunSafe and on top of your hydration levels. Or try out a new form of physical activity, and ask a friend to join you – it will feel much less like a chore if you are having fun!
Three, clear out clutter from your mind. A mental spring cleaning gives us the opportunity to get rid of habits that don’t serve us and plant seeds of positivity. Learning ways to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation exercises or meditation, helps many people cope with challenges that life brings.
Four, schedule screenings and appointments. What do you need to organise to stay on top of your health check-ups for the rest of the year? Check to see what cancer screenings you are eligible for on our website and take the time to understand the look and feel of your body so you can report any changes to a GP. Finding cancer early greatly increases the chance of survival. There are national screening programs for breast, cervical and bowel cancer.
Five, smarten up your sedentary activities. Spending a lot of time on the couch often doesn’t do your body or mind any favours. Instead of zoning out to television solo, a consistent weekly viewing party can provide steady social time. You could also do stretches and body weight exercises while watching your favourite shows, to increase your physical activity for the day.
Six, start writing it down. Keeping a wellness journal or taking advantage of the many tracking apps available, is an effective way of analysing your eating habits, physical activity and mental health. Writing down what you eat and drink may help you shed unwanted kilojoules, identify foods that don’t agree with you and make you more aware of certain habits, such as munching mindlessly. Diarising exercise can help ensure you reach the recommended 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week. Plus, something as easy as writing down three good things that have happened in one day can have an impact on happiness levels.
Remember, at least one third of all cancers cases can be prevented through simple healthy lifestyle changes, including being active, eating well, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, staying SunSmart and participating in cancer screening programs.
A new season is a great time to try new things and develop new habits, in an effort to get healthier – so I hope these six tips help add a spring to your step!
More information about Cancer Council Queensland, cancer screening and healthy living is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.