Healthy Living After Cancer Treatment

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A healthy lifestyle is not only important during treatment but it is also crucial when your cancer treatment is completed. However, research has shown that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent any cancer recurrence and other health issues by 70%. Since staying healthy is unquestionably of vital importance, here are some tips to help you live longer and feel better.

Nutrition recommendations

During treatment, some of the side effects can make you eat less and lose weight, but some can potentially make you eat a great deal. Therefore, once the treatment ends, you better off starting with a healthy diet.

  • Devise a nutritious, balanced eating plan with your dietitian
  • Include a variety of healthy foods in your meals. Eat plenty of citrus fruits, dark-green and deep-yellow vegetables and high-fiber foods like whole-grain bread and cereals
  • Limit the consumption of fat and red meat to no more than three to four servings a week
  • Avoid salt-cured, smoked and pickled foods
  • Choose low-fat milk and dairy products
  • If you drink alcohol, have no more than 1 small glass a day

If you are overweight, pay attention to the amount of calories of the food you consume and cut it down as low as possible.

Physical activities tips

An active lifestyle can increase your physical and emotional well-being, build strength and endurance, improve self-esteem and promote healthy weight. There are 3 levels of activity – light, moderate and vigorous that you can do anywhere – at home, in the park or in the gym.

  • Light activities make you move (walking slowly, doing house chores, etc.)
  • Moderate activities make you breathe fast (canoeing, gardening, ballroom dancing, walking, etc.)
  • Vigorous activities make your heart beat faster, breathe heavily and sweat (jogging, jumping rope, swimming, etc.)

It is recommended that you should be active regularly. Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity can help reduce the risk of cancer. Include strength training such as weight lifting or other muscle-building types of exercise would help you increase your endurance and strength. Break your exercise session into short ones of about 10 minutes and start increasing the length and intensity of your exercise as you progress.

Here are some tips to help you stay active:

  • Add exercise to your daily routines like walking to your work-place or to the supermarket, taking stairs instead of using elevators
  • Find an exercise partner who can support you
  • Combine exercise with other leisure activities such as watching television or listening to music.

Other helpful tips you should consider

  • Stay in touch with your healthcare provider or doctor for regular check-ups
  • Learn to cope with difficult feelings by meditating or joining support groups
  • Quit smoking or stay away from second-hand smoke
  • Protect your skin from the sun
  • Relax

Making positive lifestyle changes after treatment can help prevent a recurrence or second cancer. Talk to your care provider and your healthcare team to receive suggestions for improving your health and quality of life.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

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