According to WHO, “Health is a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Good health demands a healthy lifestyle, which involves nutritious food, healthy weight, physically active and stress-free life.
A healthy lifestyle improves the quality of life of cancer survivors. The after-treatment lifestyle changes for cancer patients can be difficult but necessary. Cancer survivors shall be more particular about what they do and what don’t, regarding their post-treatment lifestyle.
Lifestyle of cancer patients
The impact of cancer and cancer treatment is immense and related to many long-term psychosocial and physical sequelae. In one of the research studies it is found that healthy lifestyle behaviour (healthy diet, regular exercise, smoking cessation, and weight management) significantly associated with reduced mortality and morbidity in cancer survivors.
Today, cancer patients understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and want to adopt a completely healthy lifestyle to be fit and disease-free. This adaptation of a new lifestyle brings many questions in their mind. The most asked questions by these survivors are based on food choices, nutrition, suitable exercises, and dietary supplements.
Let’s understand these new lifestyle adaptations in the life of a cancer patient:
Mental balance of cancer patients
There are a range of stressors, for instance, psychological, social, physical, and existential associated with cancer treatment. These stressors can cause distress among cancer survivors. Distress is a term devoted to certain psychological responses like anxiety, fear, anger, depression, sadness, trouble sleeping or panic. Many survivors get recovered from this problem, however, some others hardly recovered due to distress.
Therefore, the very first habit that should be in the life of cancer survivors is to leave the stress and related distress.
What to do to reduce mental stress after cancer treatment?
1. TALKING TO LOVED ONES
Talking about your experiences and problems with your family members, friends or concerned people can lower the stress levels. You can also talk to your health care provider or join the support groups, where you can share your feelings with the people of similar experiences.
Yoga is not just a practice of exercising. It also involves the techniques which help to lower your anxiety levels and stress. It also improves your oxygen and blood circulation throughout the body. You feel fresh and your concentration improves. Therefore, yoga for cancer patients can be really helpful.
3. KEEP YOURSELF BUSY
Don’t sit and think. Indulge yourself in progressive works, indulge yourself in at least one of your favourite activity every day, and have patience.
4. TAKE PROPER SLEEP
A night of sound sleep helps to calm the mind. An 8-hour sleep every day can help to reduce the distress and makes you newfangled.
Follow these rules and get yourself out of the chaos of anxiety and stress.
Nutrition for cancer patients
Cancer and associated therapies can exert a great negative impact on your body. It can affect your process of digestion, absorption, and even your eating habits. Further, it also exerts adverse effects on your health and recovery process. So, make sure you are having adequate nutrition.
Follow these nutrition goals while you are recovering from cancer:
Make sure your calorie and body nutrients requirements are being fulfilled by your diet.
You are not losing muscle mass and your weight is healthy.
To meet these goals, contact the oncology dietitian or qualified nutrition professional. You can also contact your cancer care team.
Warning: To accomplish your nutrient need, don’t take nutritional supplements by yourself due to the risk of taking an inappropriate amount of these supplements.
A healthy weight for cancer patients
Overweight and obesity can increase the risk of health issues like cardiovascular, osteoporosis, diabetes, and affect your recovery. Therefore, being in a healthy weight category should be one of the prime goals of a cancer survivor.
How to know that your body lies in the healthy weight category?
Know your body mass index (BMI) to know your right weight. This index tells your body weight as per your height.
•Underweight: BMI is less than 18.5
•Normal weight: BMI is 18.5 to 24.9
•Overweight: BMI is 25 to 29.9
•Obese: BMI is 30 or more
Healthy ways to control your weight
•Eat low-calorie foods.
•Avoid having beverages with added sugars or high-fat content.
•Stop consume fried or oily food at all.
•Do physical activities on daily basis.
•Have enough water intake.
Diet for cancer patients
•Include 2½ cups of fruits and vegetables daily in your diet:
>Include a variety of fruits and vegetables and try to add in every meal.
>Change your oily-fried snacks with fruits.
>Consume 100% juice if you are having fruits or vegetables in the form of juice.
>Avoid having dips, creamy sauces, and dressings.
•Reduce the processed meat and red meat intake
>Consume less processed meats, like hot dogs, sausage, bacon, or luncheon meat.
>Have meat in smaller portions and with lean cuts.
>Change red meat with beans, poultry, and fish.
>Note: Don’t fry or charbroil your meat, prepare these using techniques like poaching, baking or broiling.
•Consume whole grains instead of refined grains:
>Include whole-grain bread, pasta, oats, and barley.
>Prefer brown rice over white rice.
>Avoid taking pastries, candies, high sugary foods.
Take dairy products having non-fat and low-fat.
•Include nuts and olive oil in your diet.
•You can have fibres (such as beans, whole grains, and nuts) in your diet.
To know more about the diet for cancer patients, you can read here!
Physical activity for cancer patients
According to many studies, it is found that being physically active has a significant positive impact on the cancer survivors’ quality of life. Cancer patients must do a routine workout to being fit and healthy.
Try to do exercise for 150 minutes a week with 2 days of strength training per week. However, if you are not indulged in physical activities in your past, slowly increase the level and time of your exercise sessions.
Moderate-intensity exercises include:
Walking, dancing, yoga, bicycling; sports like golfing, badminton, double tennis, volleyball, or baseball; home chaos like mowing the lawn and at work exercise like walking or lifting light weights as a part of a job.
Vigorous-intensity exercises include:
Swimming, jogging, running, fast bicycling, martial arts, aerobics, or circuit weight training; sports like single tennis, lacrosse, soccer, basketball; home works like masonry, carpentry, digging, carrying and hauling.
These healthy habits viz. good mental health, being physically fit, accurate weight and a healthy diet are the life mantras to get recover from the after-effects of cancer and associated treatment.