Preventing Breast and Colon Cancer with your Feet

December 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Health

Whatever ‘new’ discovery about cancer prevention comes along (like a daily aspirin), there are certain well-established principles that we need to remember first. Once you have sorted out a healthy diet that you will stick with and reduced environmental and emotional stresses in your life then 10,000 cancers a year could be prevented in the United Kingdom alone if people took several brisk walks a week, according to a report from the World Cancer Research Fund.

“You don’t have to be an athlete to reduce your cancer risk,” said Henry Scowcroft of Cancer Research UK. “There’s solid evidence that certain cancers — including breast and bowel cancer — are less common in people who do regular, moderate exercise such as brisk walking.”

Nor are we talking about marathon effort here as the report found that an average of just 45 minutes of moderate exercise per day could prevent roughly 4,500 cases of bowel cancer in the United Kingdom each year and approximately 5,500 cases of breast cancer. That is more than 10 percent of the current cancer figures so that has to be worth paying attention to.

Walking is something everyone can fit into their life, whether it’s not taking the car down to the local shop for the paper, or getting off the bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way. If walking doesn’t appeal then any moderate exercise that you enjoy will fit the bill so dust off the dancing shoes, set to in the garden, go for a swim and it even includes vigorous housework like vacuuming. Just ten minutes a time, done regularly is better than slogging away for an hour every other week, and surely such a simple change to reduce your cancer risk has got to be worth it.

Exercise is effective for cancer prevention because cancer cells are typically oxygen-deprived, and exercise is a direct way to deliver extra oxygen to cells throughout the body and to improve the immune response. Exercise can also regulate the production of certain hormones that, unregulated, may spur tumour growth.

Get out those walking shoes, and if it’s still too slippy out there put on some music and dance!

Walking For Health – and Holidays!

August 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Fitness & Sport, Health

As my regular readers know, I am all in favour of exercise provided it is enjoyable! So although you will never find me working out in a gym I do appreciate walking in a number of environments. The health benefits of walking are well-known and indeed I couldn’t put it better than this quote: “Walking is by far the best prescription for the 21st century”, says Professor Sir Muir Gray, Chief Knowledge Officer of the NHS and Director of the National Campaign for Walking.

New statistics released by online service NHS MidLifeCheck reveal that 49 is the age when men are most likely to start taking stock of their diet and lifestyle and the results certainly indicate that as well is taking stock they need to take immediate action as these statistics show:..

• 63% of men are overweight with 21% considered to be obese.

• 31% did just 0-30 minutes of brisk physical activity in the previous week.

• 29% admit their emotional (mental) wellbeing is poor, with varying combinations of depression, high stress levels and pessimism.

• The average man is over 2 stone overweight and carries around a whopping 37-inch waist.

Just in case you’re feeling smug ladies it seems that we also need to be paying more attention to our health as a recent piece of research in Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that heart disease amongst women is also rising and walking is an excellent cardiovascular workout which in turn, burns fat.. Walking of course has far more benefits than just helping us lose weight and lower blood pressure because if performed in green, open spaces – rather than on a treadmill at the gym — it is clinically known to reduce stress, alleviate muscle tension and significantly improve mood and self-esteem.

If you want to combine those benefits with a holiday that takes place in a peaceful environment with stunning scenery then you might want to investigate Upland Escapes who offer several different locations (including France, Italy, Austria and Gran Canaria) to give the you exactly that. They are an award-winning company (Best in a Mountain Environment – Winner – Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2009) whose stated aim is to help you rejuvenate body and mind by offering walks to make your soul sing and who wouldn’t want that!

On an Upland Escapes walking holiday, there are no fixed itineraries and no timetables, so you can design your own day and go at the pace that suits you best. In each Upland destination there are a variety of activities on offer, such as horse-back riding, mountain biking and canoeing, which provide variety for those seeking more physical exercise and are ideal for families. Another bonus — at least for me — is the fact that they also provides nutritious and delicious deli-style packed lunches, full of healthy, organic local ingredients, chosen to compliment the season, so that your goal to eat more healthily can be worked towards, even on holiday.

If you can’t spare a week – or don’t fancy putting yourself at the mercy of the airlines — then they also offer one day walking experiences in England. For more information visit or call 01367 851 111

Cholesterol and Exercise – getting it right

October 27, 2007 by  
Filed under Fitness & Sport, Health, Lifestyle

Being recommended to take more exercise is usually what happens if you talk to your doctor about lowering your cholesterol levels. However, what they may not tell you is that what makes the difference is not how hard you exercise, but how long you do it for. A Japanese study has shown that working out extra hard has no effect on cholesterol, but exercising for at least 40 minutes several times a week raised the levels of HDL (beneficial cholesterol) by 2.53 points. It’s particularly important for women as for each point the HDL level increases means that our risk of heart disease gets reduced by 3 per cent. And don’t think 35 or 39 minutes will do, apparently it takes a full 40 minutes to activate an enzyme called LPL, which helps raise HDL levels. Anyone for a long walk?