A diet high in fruit and veg can help reduce the risk of some cancers

A diet high in fruit and veg can help reduce the risk of some cancers

**We’ve updated and reposted this for 2010 here**

Christmas means different things to different people. But it’s probably fair to say that to most, it can be summed up very eloquently in one phrase – ‘my eyes were bigger than my belly’. It’s traditionally a time when we eat more than we would ever usually eat, drink more than we would ever usually drink, and, perhaps no wonder, collapse on the sofa more than we would ever usually collapse.

Thank goodness, then, that Christmas is followed by New Year and the chance to start afresh.

Resolutions are a big part of any New Year and when we make them, we often have our health in mind. But how many of us realise just how much good we’re doing? In this post, we’ll find out how familiar resolutions can help to dramatically reduce our risk of cancer.

Smoking – so last year

Quitting smoking is the best present you can give yourself

Here’s one we’ve all heard – “In the New Year I’m going to quit smoking”. How many of us would have been thinking about cancer when we made it? Probably not that many. Maybe, we were thinking about trying to get rid of a cough instead or being able to get to the top of the stairs without being out of breath.

Stopping smoking can certainly help with these problems, but on top of that, it also means reducing the risk of 12 different types of cancer – huge added value by anyone’s standards!

Post-Christmas waistline

Keeping active can help prevent cancer

If carving the turkey was the most activity you got all Christmas, you might resolve to do more exercise now the New Year’s here, maybe to look a bit more toned or build those muscles. But keeping active, not just at the gym but at the ice rink, around the house or at work, can also help to reduce the risk of two of the most common cancers, breast and bowel. And it doesn’t even have to cost any money – gardening, brisk walking and other small bits of activity could be enough.

Not only that, being active helps in maintaining a healthy bodyweight – great news since a whopping 13,000 cases of cancer could be avoided each year if everyone had a healthy weight. Keeping to a healthy weight isn’t easy, but we can help you to do it.

Too much pudding?

Alcohol increases cancer risk

Eating and drinking healthily is another big post-Christmas concern. It’s perhaps little wonder that, after the excess of Christmas pudding and mulled wine, cutting down on alcohol and eating more fruit, vegetables and fibre is really appealing. But resolving to eat more healthily can also help to reduce the risk of a range of different cancers.

It’s your year

Who would’ve thought that the resolutions we hear so often around this time of year have the potential to do us so much good? Of course, turning the resolutions into reality is no easy task. But if it doesn’t happen on the 1st of January, don’t give up. Keep working at it. Any day can be the day to start afresh. Make 2009 your year.