Body weight & exercise

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Quick tips:

  • Keep your body weight under control
  • Try to take 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day

What is the link between body weight, exercise and cancer?

Being very overweight increases your cancer risk. A sensible diet and some exercise will help to keep you at the right weight.

Remember you need a balance between the two - if you do not exercise at all, even eating healthily may mean you put on weight.

Research has shown that many types of cancer are more common in people who are overweight or ‘obese’. Obesity is when a person is carrying too much body fat for their height and sex.

Obesity is not just a problem that affects adults. At least a tenth of six-year-olds and almost a fifth of 15-year-olds are now clinically obese. Recent figures suggest that in the North West, 30% of boys and 32% of girls under 15 years old are either overweight or obese.

Childhood obesity should not be dismissed as 'puppy fat' - it is a strong indication that the child will be obese as an adult and is likely to lead to serious health risks in later life.

What can I do about it?

Try to keep your body weight under control. Just 30 minutes of moderate activity a day, five days a week, can have a positive effect on your health. And the more active you are, the more you can reduce your risk of cancer.

It is important that you try to balance the amount of calories you eat with how much exercise you do. If you eat more calories than your body uses up you will become overweight.  

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is currently used as the most accurate and reliable way of measuring how overweight you are. A person is considered obese if they have a BMI of 30 or greater.

Use this online calculator to check your BMI. If you are overweight, you can reduce your BMI by being more physically active.

Top Tips:

  1. Make physical activity part of your normal daily routine (Just walking more or taking the stairs instead of the lift can make a difference)
  2. 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week will improve your general health
  3. This can be split into three 10 minute sessions each day
  4. Limit TV, games console and computer use to two hours per day
  5. Turn off the TV and encourage other activities that will use more calories!
  6. Leave the car behind for short journeys; why not walk or use a bike instead?

You can get contact details of local NHS services that can help with nutrition, diet, health and fitness here.

Staying active over 60...

Where can I get more information?

For more information on local services that can help you lead a healthier lifestyle, you can speak to your local NHS Trust.

Or, if you would like to read some more general information now, you may find these suggestions helpful:

I Love Me – Obesity
Information and advice website brought to you by the Association of Greater Manchester PCTs and the Manchester Evening News – challenging everyone in the area to live a healthier life.

NHS choices – Loose weight
Information, real-life stories, videos and support around loosing weight from the NHS healthy living website.

NHS choices – Fitness
Information, real-life stories, videos and support around keeping active and fitness activities from the NHS healthy living website.

Greater Sport
The website of the Greater Manchester Sports Partnership. Their vision is to ensure that everyone in Greater Manchester has opportunities and choices to participate in sport and physical activity according to their interests and abilities.

Change 4 Life - "Make a change"
Making a change doesn't need to be difficult. With a little help, it can be really rewarding and fun! Here are some suggestions for small, easy steps you can make to help put you and your family happily on your way. Click the link above for more information and tips about getting moving and encouraging children and adults to do 60 minutes of fun exercise a day. 

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