Cancer is one of the most notorious causes of death in the world with only an average survival rate of 65.5% across all ages and race. Nevertheless, there are survivors and they’ve triumphed over such a terrible manifestation of sickness. Despite a happy result, most people think cancer survivors end up living miserable lives because of their physical limitations but we all know that’s not true. Sure, it’s harder but it’s not impossible. If you survived cancer, then you can probably do anything and that includes living a normal and happy life.
To help you with that, I want you to explore 5 awesome ways for you to live after cancer. If you or your friends are in doubt at what cancer survivors can do, just show them this article and watch their faces nod in absolute excitement.
1. Eat Healthy No Matter What
The first and foremost step in living a healthy life is improving your diet. Improving your diet has plenty of health benefits on its own such as having adequate nutrients and antioxidants to prevent cancer cells from growing and boosting your immune system. It’s all about choosing what will replenish your body and if you eat the right kind of food every time then your body might even become healthier than before the cancer.
According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, cancer survivors must focus on the following food items:
- A minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables every day
- Whole grains such as brown rice and barley
- Lean protein such as poultry, fish, and tofu
- Aim for variety; create a balanced plate
- Fatty fish such as salmon and sardines
2. Find Ways To Exercise
After diet comes exercise. You can’t separate these two even if you want to and especially now that you’re a cancer survivor. Don’t worry, I won’t force you to lift barbells, do 100 push ups, or anything like that. I understand your body’s not exactly in its fittest so what is recommended are the following:
- Walk whenever you can.
- If you can do anything while walking or standing up, do it.
- Clean the house, tend the garden, rearrange furniture.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator if you’re only going one floor up or down.
After you get some of your health back, maybe it’s time you try some traditional exercises such as jogging, squats, or any of the basics you can do at home. Stretching type exercises are also healthy for those who can’t perform “active” movements.
If you find difficulty in doing basic exercises don’t fret; everything takes time even regaining lost strength. Just remember to never give up but take reasonable breaks. I want you strong, not tired!
3. Quit Bad Habits
It’s no secret bad habits are, well, bad. If we take drug abuse out of the way, the worst of the worst is smoking. Just check out some of the diseases you can get just by being an organic chimney:
- Lung cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Heart disease
- Eye Problems
So smoking is bad and everyone knows it but what about alcohol consumption? It’s not the drink or two that is as detrimental to your health (for those who choose a glass of wine) but it’s the binge drinking you have to worry about. Believe it or not, some cancer survivors become alcoholics because they can’t cope with their new life especially if the treatment they underwent turned them to an invalid.
I would not influence or encourage you to drink, however if you’re ever going to drink alcohol and determined to, you should either limit your consumption or choose to drink red wine instead. Red wine has greater health benefits especially due to its resveratrol content. Resveratrol has been shown to act as a sort of magic health pill due to its benefits particularly on protecting your cells from free radical damage, various cancers, and maintaining cardiovascular health.
4. Protect Yourself From Pollution
Pollution, especially air pollution, is a definite cause of cancer and death. The World Health Organization says around 7 million people die, one in eight total global deaths, as a result of air pollution. This is due to how air pollution causes cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, stroke, and permanent brain damage.
It goes without saying that cancer survivors would be better off staying away from polluted places or at least apply some sort of protection against pollution. Your immune system might not be as strong or your body might be more vulnerable to pollutants than most. Here are a few ways to protect yourself:
- Avoid outdoor exercise when your area is polluted or has high levels of smog.
- Do not exercise near high-traffic areas. Go for parks instead.
- Avoid causing smoke such as when burning garbage or wood.
- Do not allow for indoor smokers.
- Wear masks when possible.
5. Stay Happy
The last piece of advice is to find reasons to be happy. You survived cancer and not a lot of people can do that. If you end up sad and miserable then think about how fortunate you are to have come out of such an ordeal alive. And you know what? Science says being happy helps to extend your life. It does so because being happy helps reduce stress and we all know the impact of stress on our bodies.
Being a cancer survivor doesn’t have to be a chore and a bore. You survived because you’re a strong person surrounded with people who love and care for you. The least you can do for them, and for yourself, is to live life like cancer never happened. Who knows? You might just find life to be a lot better after cancer.