Healthy lifestyles and reduced cancer risk in people and pets
By Carmen Lau
Research shows that leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing cancer and other health conditions in both people and dogs. A pet’s health can reflect that of its owner, so living alongside your pet in a healthy way can help you both thrive.
A healthy and balanced diet should form part of a healthy lifestyle for both you and your pet
According to the Cancel Council, eating a healthy and balanced diet reduces your risk of developing cancer. You can have a more healthy and balanced diet by:
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You could replace red meat with fish, poultry or vegetarian options such as tofu, beans or lentils, but if you are eating red meat try to choose lean cuts and eat small servings instead. Limiting alcohol also reduces your risk of developing cancer.
Similarly for dogs, watching what they eat and how much they eat is important to reduce their risk of developing cancer and other health conditions. Look for high quality, complete and balanced dog foods that are rich in nutrients, and feed your dog according to their size, breed, age and level of exercise. If you’re unsure, your vet can weigh your dog and give you advice on your dog’s body condition and dietary needs.
Regular exercise for both you and your pet also promotes healthy lifestyles and lowers the risk of developing cancer
According to the Cancer Council, lack of exercise increases your risk of developing certain types of cancers, such as bowel cancer and breast cancer, and probably contributes to many other cancers. Lack of exercise also contributes to weight gain, which could lead to obesity or being overweight that also increases the risk of developing cancer.
The Cancer Council recommends that adults do 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate exercise or 75 minutes to 2.5 hours of vigorous exercise every week to reduce the risk of developing cancer. Ways that you can be more active every day as part of a healthy lifestyle include:
- Making time for a walk
- Doing simple exercises at home (such as stretches, sit- ups or lunges)
- Using active transport (walking or cycling) for all or part of your way to the shops, work or taking the kids to school
- Increasing incidental exercise (such as taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalators).
Other health benefits of regular exercise include improving energy levels and feelings of wellbeing.
Dogs also need regular exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle regardless of their breed or size. Most dogs will need exercise at least once a day. You can exercise your dog by talking them for walks, swimming, running, playing fetch or throwing a frisbee. Factoring your dog’s exercise into your daily routine will not only allow you to bond with your pet, but also bring exercise into your day and help you to lead a more healthy lifestyle.
By combining a healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise and a healthy weight, you can reduce the risk of developing cancer and other health conditions for both you and your dog.