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Lifestyle changes can help maintain, restore health after a cancer diagnosis

01 January, 2024

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) released tips on how individuals can restore their health during and after cancer treatment by using evidence-based therapies. 

The therapies include: 

  • Whole food, plant-predominant diet
  • Regular physical activity
  • Restorative sleep
  • Stress management
  • Avoidance of risky substances
  • Positive social connection.

Primarily, distance yourself from stressful situations and find a relaxing activity to help reduce stress. This could include practicing yoga, meditating, spending time in nature, or doing anything else that helps you remain calm. 

Additionally, be mindful of your diet. Reducing meat, processed foods, and refined sugar from your diet can be beneficial. ACLM experts advise, “Choose fiber-filled, nutrient-dense whole plant foods to fill half to 3/4 of your plate.”

Another tip is to spend less time sitting. A way to build physical activity into your life is to park further away from your destination and walk in, or to take the stairs instead of the elevator. 

Avoid isolating yourself from loved ones — especially when you’re feeling down. Spending time with your friends and family is essential. 

To get better sleep, avoid screen time at least 90 minutes before bed. Develop a nighttime routine to help you relax. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep.

Finally, reduce or cut out alcohol, smoking, and vaping. Find other activities that can take their place and talk to your physician if you need help.

“Being mindful of your food choices, managing your stress, being physically active, avoiding risky substance use, getting plenty of sleep and having a strong emotional support system in your life — are ‘just what the doctor ordered’ to powerfully prevent, treat, and, often, even reverse chronic disease,” ACLM experts say.

For additional tips, visit the American College of Lifestyle Medicine here.

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