New Year’s resolution: Reduce cancer risk (the easy way)

December 15, 2013 | by

In addition to toasting, feting and feasting, another tradition of the holiday season is taking stock of the year about to end, and making plans for the one about to begin.

Jeanette DePatie, a.k.a. "The Fat Chick," encourages people of all sizes to embrace exercise and its many benefits. She will join City of Hope for a tweet chat on getting started with fitness goals on Dec. 18 at 11 a.m.

Jeanette DePatie, a.k.a. "The Fat Chick," encourages people of all sizes to embrace exercise and its many benefits. She will join City of Hope for a tweet chat on getting started with fitness goals on Dec. 18 at 11 a.m.

Often, these happen in the form of the New Year’s resolution, which often begins as a lofty good intention and becomes an afterthought before the calendar flips to February – especially those promises to ourselves to exercise more and drop a few (or a few dozen) pounds.

City of Hope scientists have linked exercise and healthy weight to a lower risk of diabetes and cancer. Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., professor and director of the Division of Cancer Etiology at City of Hope, published her first paper linking physical activity to lower cancer risk nearly 20 years ago. Since then, study after study has backed up Bernstein’s findings, linking increased physical activity to a reduced risk of breast, colon, uterine and advanced prostate cancer.

Excess weight has been  linked to an increased risk of cancer, including breast cancer, colon and rectum cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer, esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer.

But where to begin?

That’s where Jeanette DePatie, a.k.a. The Fat Chick, comes in. The certified fitness instructor specializes in helping people of all sizes and ability levels take their first steps toward fitness. She’s joining with City of Hope in a tweet chat on Jan. 2. The topic: “New Year’s Resolutions That Won’t Make You Sick, Crazy or Dead.”

DePatie will focus on smart tips for setting reasonable, achievable goals and constructing a plan that will lead to a healthier 2014.

A few tips to consider:

  • Find your starting point. You can’t ramp up until you know where you are. If you haven’t exercised regularly for a long time – or ever – check with a physician.
  • Create a ramp-up plan. Once you establish your starting point, gradually and safely move ahead. Don’t pick advanced exercises immediately; that’s the road that leads to injury – and away from your fitness goals.
  • Just get up off the couch. You don’t have to become a marathon runner or a triathlete. Even an hour a week – less than 10 minutes a day – can increase lifespan by up to two years, according to National Institutes of Health research.

Have questions about staying fit in the new year? Check out our TweetChat.

For more tips, or to share your suggestions and your goals, please join the Tweet Chat Thursday, Jan. 2, at 11 a.m. by following @cityofhope and @thefatchicksings and hash tag #COHChat.