April is Cancer Control Month
A healthier life style will reduce your cancer risk.
Thinking of cancer in relation to your own health can
leave you feeling fearful and wondering about what you can do to prevent
That sounds like a big order, but doctors at the Mayo
Clinic say there are changes in your life style that can move you away
from risk. Some changes are small.
1. The big number one change: quit smoking. If you
smoke, that's the most difficult change. You may only fear lung and
mouth problems, but smoking increases your risk of cancers of the
bladder, esophagus, kidney, pancreas and other organs.
2. Step two is a little easier, because eating a
variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is also recommended for
preventing heart disease. You should be doing it, but try to do it
3. Be physically active and control your weight. It
will do your heart and your brain a favor too. Take this advice
seriously, starting now.
4. Avoid skin cancer by protecting yourself from the
sun. Sounds easy, but apparently not enough people do it. This is the
most common cancer.
5. Get immunized. Some cancers associated with viral
infections, such as hepatitis B, can be prevented.
6. Avoid risky personal behavior. Use a condom and
limit your number of sexual partners. People with HIV or AIDS have a
greater risk of several types of cancer. Never share needles.
7. Get screened. Many tests available to men and
women that can detect cancer in its early, curable stage.
Ask your doctor which screenings or immunizations you
Here's how to stretch effectively
Whether you are going to play a sport, lift weights
at the gym or do an exercise routine, you'll be better at it if you warm
up first and you'll be less likely to hurt yourself or strain a muscle.
One caution: Stretching is not warming up. Before you
stretch, warm your muscles with a low-intensity activity, such as
walking, while gently pumping your arms. For a specific sport, use the
muscles and joints involved, moving in slow, circular movements both
clockwise and counterclockwise.
End the warm-up with a few minutes of aerobic
activity before stretching.
Realize that it takes time to lengthen tissues
safely. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds or up to 60 seconds
for a really tight muscle. If you hold the stretch for this period of
time, you only have to do it once.
Here's how to start.
Do an easy stretch for the first 15 seconds. Stretch just to the point where you feel a mild tension. The tension should be comfortable, not painful, for these 15 seconds.
Then stretch a fraction of an inch farther until you feel the mild tension again. If you feel pain, you have stretched too far. Back off to the point where the pain is gone and hold your stretch there.
Remember to breathe. Exhale as you go into the
stretch. Breathe slowly and evenly as you hold it.
If you do the warm up and the stretches correctly,
you'll get more out of your game or your exercise routine.
Good for the lungs: fiber
Your oatmeal and your whole wheat bread may help you
breathe well and avoid COPD.
Researchers quoted in the American Journal of
Epidemiology found that, among men and women ages 44 to 66, those who
consumed 26.7 grams of fiber per day from fruits and whole grains
performed better on lung function tests. They were less likely to
develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) over the 10-year
study than people who ate 9.5 grams per day or less.
The benefit was found both in smokers and
non-smokers, but smokers benefited somewhat less.