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Joseph Feaster’s code about staying healthy is simple: “I don’t worry about what I can’t control, but I’m going to take charge of what I can control.” Nowhere is that more evident than his focus on physical wellness. A prostate cancer diagnosis more than a decade ago was a wake-up call to become more active and to improve his diet. His walking routine and better eating habits have paid off. At 65, he’s a model for other cancer survivors on how to take simple steps toward wellness and how to play an active role in your own care
Improving physical wellness can:
Move More: This does not mean undertaking an intense exercise program. In fact, starting slow is the best course of action.
Listen to your body. Physical comfort is important for wellness, so if you are feeling sick from treatment, or are in pain, talk to your doctor before taking part in physical activities.
According to experts, a program to become more physically active has three main parts:
Stop Smoking: If you smoke, try to stop. Talk to your doctor about medications and counseling to help you quit smoking. Most health insurance covers the cost of quitting smoking for as many times as you need.
You can also call the free Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Eat Better: Improving your diet is one of the most important parts of improving physical wellness. Maintain a healthy weight by:
These are general guidelines. Talk to your doctor, or a nutritionist if you have special dietary requirements based on your unique situation.
Get Enough Sleep: According to the National Cancer Institute, upwards of 50% of cancer patients report some trouble sleeping. Getting rest is very important to cancer survivors who often feel tired because of the physical or emotional effects of the illness or treatment. Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping. Getting enough sleep can improve the quality of your life before, during, and after your treatment.