When I asked my doctors what can I do to give myself the very best chance of long term survival, I was told the following:
- Eat a heathy balanced Mediterranean style diet – plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least 5 portions a day)
- Eat whole grain foods
- Exercise often, 5-6 times a week for at least 30 minutes
- Reduce stress; practise mindfulness to help with this. Take up an activity that totally absorbs and relaxes you.
- Sleep well to allow your body to repair and recover
- Limit alcohol to only a couple of units over a week or none. (Latest research from the World Cancer Research Fund highlights the increased risks associated with alcohol consumption)
- Reduce red meat consumption
- Reduce processed foods and sugar intake
- Keep your weight within the ideal BMI range, stay on the lean side
My initial reaction to hearing this extensive list was to feel slightly overwhelmed, but I gave up drinking alcohol that day and embraced every aspect of the medical advice.
Of course I’m not perfect, but I plan my meals and aim to have at least 6 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. I do a variety of sports and exercise, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts, swimming, tennis, dancing, and dog walking, to get my exercise quota up. I practice mindfulness meditation and throw pottery to reduce stress and help me relax. I’m also working hard to reduce my weight further. It’s a challenge, but overall I can really feel the difference that following this advice has made to my wellbeing.