Getting healthy can seem next to impossible when you’re stuck in a busy schedule or battling illness. Cancer patients often struggle with staying healthy when they’re busy fighting pain, fatigue and high stress. But, when you’re feeling your worst, your body can benefit the most from improving small aspects of your health. A healthy body has increased resilience to handle stress and heal itself from disease. Check out these low-effort tips for getting healthy so you can enjoy greater wellness in your day to day life.
1. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are convenient, but they cause all sorts of chaos in your body. Foods loaded with sugar have an adverse effect on your metabolism and can lead to harmful cholesterol. Even pre-packaged health foods are full of artificial ingredients including preservatives, colorants, and flavors. These foods are often high in calories and low in nutrients, filling you up without providing your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs. Instead, try to load up on natural whole foods including fruits, vegetables, and meats.
You can make it easier on yourself by preparing meals ahead of time, using your microwave for quick cooking, and taking advantage of frozen veggies for faster meal prep. Just make sure you check that any pre-packaged fruits and veggies are free from added salt and sugar! If you’re trying to lose weight, portion control is an important part of reducing calorie consumption. Use digital scales, measuring cups and eat on smaller plates to help yourself stay on track and keep your serving sizes accurate.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
According to University Health News, drinking enough water each day can help you think better, prevent disease and lose weight. Water plays a key role in our body functions, transporting nutrients and helping our bodies get rid of waste. Some research even suggests that drinking water protects against certain cancers. Women should be drinking around 2.21 liters per day while men need about 3 liters. The best way to ensure you’re drinking enough water is to keep a water bottle close by you all day so you can sip from it regularly.
3. Be More Mindful
Practicing mindfulness is a great way to reduce stress, help you cope with chronic illness and decrease feelings of depression. Mindfulness involves maintaining a nonjudgmental awareness of your thoughts and emotions in real-time so you can avoid being overactive or critical of yourself. If you’re interested, set yourself up in a quiet place to meditate and practice listening to your body. Yoga Outlet recommends focusing on one sensation or object such as your breath or a candle, so you can keep your mind from wandering. If your mind drifts onto other thoughts, gently bring your awareness back to your breath. Mindfulness is particularly good for helping cancer patients deal with distressing thoughts and feelings of hopelessness.
4. Try Complementary Medicine
Although you should always use modern medicine when you need it, complementary therapies may be a great way to supplement your healthy lifestyle. Acupuncture can be helpful for people fighting cancer, reducing nausea and vomiting caused by conventional cancer treatments. It may also be effective for pain control and sleep problems, helping patients minimize the use of medications that have nasty side effects. Other complementary therapies including chiropractic care, naturopathy, yoga, and massage can help support your whole-body health and provide a way to customize your own health care needs to fit your wellness values. In addition, regular physical activity is an important part of coping with illness as it helps build up your body’s resilience to heal, fight anxiety, and relieve pain.
Being healthy doesn’t have to involve getting on a killer workout routine or committing yourself to a strict diet plan. In fact, it might be as simple as increasing your awareness of the foods you’re eating and the thoughts that automatically pop into your head throughout the day. Start making small health-minded changes to your regular routine and try to develop habits out of any activities that make you feel good.
This article was written by Scott Sanders, He is the creator of CancerWell.org, which provides resources and support for anyone who has been affected by any form of cancer.