Reduce Your Risk is demonstrating how simple it can be to change your lifestyle, live healthier and reduce your risk of cancer.
#smallchanges is a strategy by which you can make a massive difference to your health with only a minor alteration to how you live your life.
The single most important lifestyle change you can make. Smoking causes more than 1 in 4 UK cancer deaths, and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases as well as a range of other diseases.
#smallchanges tip - Get help to quit from your local stop smoking clinic nth.nhs.uk/services/stop-smoking-service
Keep a healthy weight
1 in 20 UK cancers are linked to weight. Make sure your diet is balanced with not too much red and processed meat.
#smallchanges tip - Try keeping a food diary to track what you are eating. Eat fish, turkey and chicken instead of red meat and only have processed meat like sausages and ham a couple of times a week.
Get your 5 a day
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables has been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre.
#smallchanges tip - Aim to add at least one more portion to what you are having now. Add fruit to your porridge or cereal or add extra beans, mushrooms or chopped peppers to sauces and casseroles.
Drink less alcohol
The less alcohol you drink, the lower the risk of cancer. No type of alcohol is better or worse than another, and drinking and smoking together are even worse for you.
#smallchanges tip Have more alcohol-free days a week. If you do drink, swap every other alcoholic drink for a soft one – starting with your first drink, or look at low alcohol alternatives like swapping a pint of cider for a single spirit and mixer or a mocktail.
Be sun smart
Over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer. In the UK more than 8 in 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented by enjoying the sun safely and avoiding using sunbeds.
#smallchanges tip Enjoy the sun safely – use sun cream with a protection level of at least SPF15 and 4 stars, spend some time in the shade, keep your eyes protected with sunglasses and wear a hat and stay away from the sunbeds.
Regular physical activity, in addition to helping to maintain a healthy weight, has been linked to improving hormone levels and ensuring the body functions to prevent certain types of cancer.
#smallchanges tip Anything counts as exercise if you are up and moving about (and if you get a bit warmer and slightly out of breath even better!) Having a good old boogie to your favourite song, playing football with the kids, going for a walk, gardening, star jumps in front of the tv during the ad breaks! Try and add in what you can every day.
Make a #smallchanges pledge today!
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