10 things women can do to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

10 things women can do to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

Last year alone, there were more than 2 million new diagnoses of breast cancer around the world. Next to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women and a leading cause of cancer deaths. While men are able to get breast cancer, its occurrence is much greater in women.

The cause of breast cancer seems to be a complex combination of environmental factors, lifestyle, hormones, and your genetic makeup. Until science discovers exactly why some breast cells begin to grow abnormally and a cure is found, women of all walks of life, around the globe, will continue to battle breast cancer.

There’s no sure fire way to prevent breast cancer, but there are things women can do to lower their risk of the dreaded disease. Here are a few.

Get Regular Screenings

The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more likely treatment will be successful. Talk with your doctor about when you should begin to get yearly mammograms and clinical breast exams. Some medical organizations recommend women start getting mammograms at age 40, others recommend age 45 or 50. High-risk women may need a baseline mammogram at an earlier age.

Do Self-Exams

It’s important for women to be familiar with the way their breasts feel so they can recognize any changes or lumps. Once a month, women should perform a breast self-exam. Call your doctor if you notice any new or unusual changes.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer. Postmenopausal weight gain is especially dangerous. If you’re overweight, take the necessary steps to lose weight. Get more exercise and reduce the number of calories you consume.

Drink Less Alcohol

Your risk of breast cancer goes up the more alcohol you drink. Current recommendations encourage women to drink no more than one drink a day. One drink is equal to 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

Get More Exercise

Living an active lifestyle reduces your risk of breast cancer. Besides being active throughout your day, plan to get at least half an hour of moderate intensity exercise five days a week. Include cardio as well as strength training exercises in your routine.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking increases your risk of developing various types of cancer, including breast cancer. Women can reduce their risk of all kinds of diseases by not smoking. So either put down the cigarettes today or if you don’t smoke, don’t start.

Breastfeed

Women who breastfeed their babies are doing not only their babies a favor but also their breasts. For some reason, breastfeeding seems to have a protective effect on the breasts.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a Mediterranean diet lowers your risk of breast cancer. This healthy eating plan includes mostly plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil. Fish, rather than red meat, is a main source of protein.

Limit Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy for postmenopausal women has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. With that in mind, hormone therapy should be used to relieve the unpleasant symptoms that accompany menopause only in rare cases. If hormones are used, go with the lowest possible dose for a limited amount of time.

Chemoprevention or Surgery

Other preventative measures may be recommended for women with a very high risk for breast cancer. This includes women with a family history of the disease and a precancerous breast condition. Chemoprevention medications block the effects of estrogen and may reduce a woman’s risk of cancer. Surgery to remove the breasts and avoid cancer is a last resort option, but some women have taken this extreme step.


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Do these 7 exercises to improve your posture

Do these 7 exercises to improve your posture

Proper posture doesn’t just make you look taller and more self-assured. It also reduces low back pain, boosts energy levels, builds lung capacity, improves digestion, and relieves neck and shoulder tension.

When you hold your body upright, your spine is in a neutral position and there’s less strain on the muscles and ligaments that support your body. Unfortunately, good posture doesn’t always come naturally. You have to train your body and build strong muscles to hold you upright.

In order to improve your posture, plan to incorporate the following exercises and stretches into your regular workout routine.

Plank

Good posture is easier when you have strong muscles supporting your spine. The plank is an exercise that helps strengthen your core and back. For a plank, get on all fours on the floor. Straighten your legs and arms and raise your body up so it’s in a straight line. Keep your head in line with your heels and look down at the ground. Hold this pose for up to a minute. To make a plank slightly easier, bend your arms and hold your body up on your toes and forearms.

Bridge

The bridge is an exercise to strengthen your lower back, abdominals, and glutes. Lie on your back and bend your knees so your feet rest flat on the floor. Keep your arms down by your sides. From here, tighten your core and glutes, keep your shoulders and arms on the floor, and lift your hips and torso off the floor. Hold this position, slowly lower your glutes back to the floor, and repeat.

Neck Stretches

Relieve tight neck muscles and improve your posture with neck stretches. While standing, slowly lower your chin toward your chest. Then lift your head and let it slowly fall back as your chin lifts in the air. Raise your head and slowly lower your right ear toward your right shoulder and then your left ear toward your left shoulder.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a simple stretch that helps lengthen your spine, hamstrings, and glutes, relieving tension in your back and neck. Get on the floor, tuck your legs under you, and sit on your feet. Your big toes should be together and your heels pointing out toward either side. Now bend your upper body forward and bring your forehead down to the floor. Press your hips downward and extend your hands above your head or down by your sides. Hold this pose and relax as you feel the stretch.

Downward Facing Dog

Include the downward facing dog Yoga pose in your stretching routine to help strengthen and align your back muscles and improve posture. Get on the floor on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Support your body on your hands and toes and slowly lift your hips toward the ceiling. Slowly straighten your legs and press into your palms and heels until your body is in an upside down V shape.

Shoulder Rolls

Relieve tension in your neck and shoulders by doing 5 to 10 shoulder rolls each day. Sit or stand with your hands down by your sides, raise your shoulders up toward your ears and hold for a few seconds. Then, roll your shoulders back, bringing your shoulder blades together, and then lower your shoulders to their starting position.

Seated Twist

Do a seated twist to stretch your back while sitting at your desk. Hold your desk or right arm of your chair and twist your upper body toward the right. After a couple of seconds, return to forward facing. Now, twist to the left and hold. Repeat.