Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Maintaining a Healthy Weight to Lower Your Cancer Risk

Another guest blogger, enjoy!

There are many reasons for maintaining a healthy weight, and they're not just related to looking good.  Keeping your weight within a healthy range can help boost your energy level and lead to better sleep.  In addition, it helps prevent all sorts of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

How Does Weight Relate to Cancer?

Numerous studies have investigated the link between body weight and cancer, and the results show that obesity is yet another risk factor that can increase your chance of developing many types of cancer.  Types of cancer that are affected by obesity include esophagus, breast, kidney, thyroid, pancreas, colon, rectum, endrometrium, and gallbladder,  Potential reasons for increased risk include chronic low-level inflammation, the effects of fat cells on other types of cell growth, and the excess production of hormones, including estrogen and adipokenes, that may stimulate cancer growth.

What is a Healthy Weight for Me?

Standards for a healthy weight revolve around your BMI or body mass index.  This number is based on your height and weight, and you can easily calculate it with a BMI calculator. For adults, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.  For people who are 6 feet tall, this is a weight range of 137 to 183 pounds.  A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is overweight and 30 or greater is obese.

Ways to Maintain a Healthy Weight

1.  Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of low-starch vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins.  Ensure that your calorie intake for each day is equivalent to your caloric needs,  which depend on your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level.

2. Limit your consumption of foods high in fat and sugars which both contribute to weight gain.  Try cooking techniques like sauteeing or grilling, which use less fat than frying.  Drink water or milk instead of sweetened beverages.

3.. Exercise regularly, ideally getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week to maintain your weight, or more to lose weight.  A good target is 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.  Some activites you could try include brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and aerobics.

4.  Meet regularly with others who want to maintain a healthy weight to discuss your techniques and progress.  The support from others can help motivate you to meet your goals

About the Author:  Natural Horizons Wellness Centers offers an array of alternative cancer treatments for conditions including lymphoma, myeloma, leukemia, carcinoma, breast cancer and more.