For a decade now, Kent Bicycles and Susan G. Komen have helped women take charge of their health by being active and living a healthy lifestyle. In honor of their 10-year partnership, Kent Bicycles is supporting Komen’s mission to save more lives by making a donation for each bicycle and helmet sold through Dec. 31, 2023.
Kent is committed to developing products that encourage a healthy lifestyle through activity and provide an avenue for bonding and togetherness – because life is better when we all Pedal Together!
Everyone can do something to improve their health, which may reduce their chances of developing disease, including breast cancer. Here are 10 ways you can take action and improve your health and wellness today.
1. Stay Active
Physical activity has many health benefits and can be as simple as walking or biking in the neighborhood. Regular physical activity lasting as few as 30 minutes a day can lower a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by about 10-20 percent. So, lace-up your athletic shoes and get going!
2. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Weight gain, especially after menopause, can increase a woman’s risk of developing certain health conditions. Being overweight or obese after menopause can increase a woman’s breast cancer risk by 30-60 percent compared to those who are lean. That’s because after menopause, fat cells make estrogen and higher levels of estrogen are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.
3. Limit Alcohol Intake
Women who drink alcohol should limit intake to less than 1 drink a day and men to less than 2 drinks a day. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. Women who have 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day have about a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer than women who don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol can change the way a woman’s body metabolizes estrogen which can cause blood estrogen levels to rise.
4. Stay Hydrated
Everyone should stay hydrated! You should drink more if it is hot outside and when you’re physically active. Water is the best source to stay hydrated. Fruit juices, tea, sodas, milk and other drinks should be consumed on occasion and should not replace water.
5. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Studies show eating fruits and veggies may improve your overall health while decreasing your chances of developing cancers. Eat produce high in carotenoids, the natural orange-red food pigments found in melons, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash. Studies show women with high blood levels of carotenoids have a decreased risk of some breast cancers. In general, fruits and vegetables are the best sources of carotenoids (rather than supplements) as supplements may have some health risks.
6. Limit Saturated Fats and Trans Fats
Foods such as red meat and full-fat dairy are high in saturated fat and contribute to weight gain. Similarly, foods such as baked snacks and processed foods may also increase breast cancer risk. Opting for healthy unsaturated fats found in foods such as nuts, seeds, olive and canola oils, avocados and fatty fish are a good alternative and have many health benefits.
7. Don’t Smoke
Tobacco smoke has at least 250 harmful chemicals, at least 69 of which have been shown to cause cancer. If you smoke, there are health benefits to quitting at any age. Stopping, or not starting, is one of the best things you can do.
8. Breastfeed, If You Can
Breastfeeding has many positive benefits for women throughout their lives. In addition to reducing the risk of breast cancer, especially in premenopausal women, studies show it lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes and ovarian cancer.
9. Limit the Hormones
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the lowest dose possible for short-term relief of menopausal symptoms. But women who take estrogen plus progestin to relieve these symptoms increase their risk of getting breast cancer. Fortunately, when they stop MHT, their risk starts to decline, returning to normal levels within 5-10 years. If you are considering MHT, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits.
10. Prioritize Mental Health
Taking care of your physical health is great, but the same attention should be given to your mental health. Depression can happen to anyone at any age. It might make you feel hopeless or helpless or in pain. If you are going through a difficult time, remember that you are not alone. Talking to a family member, friend or professional is a good way to take care of your mental health.