Reduce cancer risk by taking a walk

Dec. 30, 2011 at 12:03 AM
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BOSTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Cancer experts at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston suggest ringing in the New Year by adopting a new health habit -- the easiest of which is walking.

Dr. Jeffrey Meyerhardt, a Dana-Farber gastrointestinal cancer specialist, says staying fit and healthy can be as simple as lacing up a pair of sneakers and going for a walk. Several studies show moderate to intensive aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of recurrence of several cancers, including colon and breast.

"You don't have to be a marathon runner, but the more you exercise, typically the greater the beneficial effect," Meyerhardt says in a statement.

Meyerhardt suggests there are several inexpensive ways to workout, such as taking an exercise break or quick walk at work and using a stationary bicycle or treadmill while watching TV, but consult a doctor first.

Stephanie Meyers, a nutritionist at Dana-Farber, suggests walking past the cookie section of the grocery store and proceeding to the produce section.

"Taking that little detour can provide many health benefits. A diet low in processed sugars, red meat and calories, but high in fruits and vegetables and loaded with antioxidants is one of the simplest ways to help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of certain cancer," Meyers says.

The overall key is to look for colorful produce like pomegranates, tomatoes, eggplant, grapes, cherries and turnips, because the brighter and richer the pigment, the higher the level of nutrients, Meyers said.

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