Can putting yourself first be considered an unselfish decision? When it comes to your health, the answer is yes. By putting your health first, you’re not only staying well for you, but also for your loved ones.
One in three women will develop cancer in her lifetime, but about 50 percent of cancer deaths could be prevented if women maintained a healthy weight through diet and regular exercise, avoided tobacco products and got recommended cancer screenings, according to the American Cancer Society. Yet, women are often so busy taking care of others that they struggle to make their own health a priority. In fact, a recent survey by the American Cancer Society showed that while 95 percent of women feel the need to improve their health, approximately three out of five admit they put others’ health before their own.
In the constant struggle between family, work and self, how can you put yourself first? Whether sticking to your New Year’s resolution, preparing for swimsuit season or simply wanting to live a healthier lifestyle, here are six tips to help reach your wellness goals:
• Eat right. Healthy eating is difficult in today’s busy world. To help you meet your goals, take time to record your intake in a food journal. A diet that is low in fat, high in fiber, with lots of fruits and vegetables, has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing cancer.
• Get active. Exercise often gets neglected, but just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, even diabetes. If possible, exercise before work or during lunch, so you can spend time with your family or indulge in “me-time” once you get home.
• Get recommended health screenings. Prevention and early detection are two of the most powerful tools you have for your health. Make visiting a doctor for preventative care a regular part of your health regimen, and set reminders to schedule important appointments and screenings.
• Quit smoking. Smoking causes one in five deaths in the United States, and a myriad of health problems. There are many tools and resources available online that can help distract you from your cravings and show you just how much those packs of cigarettes cost you over time.
• Protect your skin. A majority of skin cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S. are considered to be sun-related. When in the sun, wear protective clothing, sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15 or higher and sunglasses that block UV rays.
• Choose you. Commit to making healthy living and early detection a priority by making a Choose You Commitment, a movement developed by the American Cancer Society to help women put their health first to help reduce cancer risk. This online program provides tools and support to enable women to commit to, and achieve their personal health and wellness goals.
For more information on how to make your personal health a priority, visit www.chooseyou.com.