Cancer risk another reason to eat better, exercise

Food is fuel for your body to walk, run and think, but too much of the wrong kinds and not enough exercise can lead to obesity and sometimes cancer.

“There are 13 kinds of cancers associated with being overweight or obese,” said Minnie Taw, a medical weight management physician at WellSpan Medical Weight Management. “They include meningioma, which includes cancer of the tissue lining the brain and spinal cord, also cancer of the thyroid gland and multiple myeloma, which is cancer of our blood cells.”

Doctors say a combination of exercise, diet, and lifestyle change is key.

“The first step is looking at your diet,” Taw said. “I am a big fan of eating whole foods, real foods, foods found in nature.”

Eating better requires better planning.

“Preplan your meals and snacks,” Taw said. “Keeping a food log might be helpful in the beginning and when you’re maintaining weight.”

How much should you exercise?

“It is recommended that adults engage in moderate physical activity of 150 per week or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity,” Taw said. “If you’re new to exercise, you can accomplish that three days a week, 20 minutes per session, or it can be done in five to 10-minute increments two to three times throughout the day.”

Think outside the gym.

“It can be done at home. You can use your own body weight for strength training exercises such as crunches, squats, pushups, pull-ups,” Taw said. You can use resistance bands.”

Talk to your primary care doctor to measure your height, weight and body mass index and find a plan that works for you.

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