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There are many ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Plain and simply – follow these 5 rules.

1) Know your BMI (body mass index) score. Find your weight and your height and click on the link to calculate your score to find out if you are within a normal weight range.

Do not let this number discourage you, no matter what it is! Allow it to only serve as a guideline to how you need to start making changes and better decisions in your daily life.

2) Participate in 30 minutes of physical activity everyday.

Did you know that house-cleaning is considered a physical activity? Yes it is a chore, but scrubbing floors can burn some calories! So not only are you contributing to your activity level you can finish with a sense of productivity and satisfaction of a job well-done which can help to relieve stress.

3) Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

You do not have to be a genius to know that when you get a good night sleep you feel better, eat better, are more alert and can concentrate fully on tasks. Feeling rested helps facilitate healthy lifestyle choices. Make sure that sleep is a priority in your life.

4) Drink 8, 8 oz glasses of water a day.

Your body loses water when you sweat, breathe, move and relieve yourself. In order for basic cell process to work and function at 100% your body needs to be hydrated. It will also help you fell fuller, which will help cravings and portion control.

5) Finally, make sure that you try to feed your body well with fruits and vegetables as outlined by the USDA. Portion control is key when trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Making sure that you are providing your body with vitamins and nutrients in their purest form is vital to cancer prevention as well.

And if we may, we like to add a 6th element to living a healthy lifestyle. Try to visit your doctor at least once a year. Regular visits to a physician help you stay on track and keep you knowledgeable about your body. You may be diligent about getting the oil in your car changed every 3,000 miles but do you make sure that you get your blood pressure checked regularly?

Talk to your doctor always before starting any major lifestyle changes.

Physical Activity Cuts Polyp Risk

Posted by Kate Murphy on March 22nd, 2011

The reason that regular exercise reduces risk of getting colon cancer may be because it also reduces polyps.

An analysis of 20 studies of adenomas — precancerous polyps that raise risk for colon cancer –  found that regular physical exercise reduced polyp risk by 16 percent.  More important, exercise cut back the number of the most dangerous large and advanced polyps by almost a third.

It didn’t matter whether exercise was recreational or job-related. Jogging, biking, and swimming helped, but so did walkingon the job, lifting, and digging.

The analyzed studies focused on colon cancer, which exercise has been shown to prevent.  There hasn’t been a similar exercise reduction in rectal cancer.

Lead study author Kathleen Y. Wolin, Sc.D., assistant professor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine said,

What’s really compelling is that we see the association between exercise and lower colon cancer risk regardless of how physical activity was measured in the studies.,That indicates that this is a robust association and gives all the more evidence that physical activity is truly protective against colon cancer.

previous meta-analysis of 52 studies by Dr. Wolin found that exercise reduced colon cancer by about 25 percent, with similar effects in both men and women.

Several ways that exercise might affect polyps and the development of cancer include reducing inflammation, enhancing immune function, increasing vitamin D levels, and reducing insulin levels and insulin resistance.

Dr. Wolin and her team concluded,

This study confirms previous reports of a significant inverse association of physical activity and colon adenoma, and suggests that physical activity can have an important role in colon cancer prevention.

SOURCE: Wolin et al., British Journal of Cancer,Volume 104, pages 882-885, March 1, 2011.