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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

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Physical Activity

Active #Staycations

A summer break is an ideal time for recharging your batteries and getting some well-deserved R&R. In our previous blog, we highlighted that holiday time was a great time for investing in yourself. It’s recommended that you do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, and although we might tend to slow things down a bit whilst on holiday, it is still possible to achieve enough active time.

But how easy is it to stay active whilst on a #staycation? We have a few practical tips from Dr Christos Theodorakopoulos, sports nutritionist and exercise professional to help us plan for active and healthier holidays;

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We are all in this together

For some people body image, self-esteem and eating habits can be a struggle all year round – and even more of a strain on the lead up to summer holidays and planning a #staycation. 

A new YouGov survey conducted around the world has reported that 46% of Brits have gained weight during lockdown. More than half of people globally indicated they wanted to lose weight, with 51% reporting that they are trying to lose weight. 

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Walking from home

I’ve now officially been working from home for 15 months. Like many people, initially I embraced the extra free time that working from home gave me; during the first lockdown my activity levels were the best they had ever been. I was spinning each morning as a mock commute, following online yoga classes and using resistance bands to grow stronger. But winter came and with that my mood and motivation plummeted. I’d been stuck in a very big sedentary rut since January – starting the year off in another lockdown is not what my mental health needed. Averaging around 4,000 steps per day I knew I needed to re-calibrate.

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Celebrating Gardening week

During last years lockdown, more people than ever before started gardening and here we are in spring again, ready for planting. Gardening provides a great break from indoor work or sitting too long, amazing relief for the mind and life’s stresses, and that was before the Coronavirus outbreak. Gardening really has been a huge benefit during hard times. Breathe deep and enjoy!

As a celebration of #Gardeningweek, here are some of the tasks that can be enjoyed. Even a few minutes invested can result in lots of joy as plants grow or produce amazing vegetables. Move towards your five a day to help reduce cancer risk and personally I don’t think anything ever tastes better than home grown!! 

Annie S. Anderson.

Some great suggestions from SCPN friend Wendy McCombes from Coupar Angus (and other local growers)

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Nanette Mutrie MBE of PAHRC gives her thoughts on a better world ahead

Professor Nanette Mutrie MBE is Director of Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC) at the University of Edinburgh. She has been a key supporter of the SCPN and reminds us of the many reasons why Physical activity can turn our lives around and impact on planet health.

Could COVID-19 have precipitated actions that might save the world? What a thought! As we experience the reality of social restrictions and economic downturn it is not easy to think that the world could benefit in some way.  Along with that thought must go first and foremost our heartfelt sorrow for the distress and loss of life that the virus has created.  But given the directions to think forward for this blog, this is what happened to my thinking...

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What we CAN do for our wellbeing during the pandemic

Alison Douglas Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland   

Beyond our professional roles we also need to see a way into 2021 that remind us of what we can do (however small) for our sense of wellbeing in this very big and challenging world.

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STOP, Swap and GO!

Autumn – the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – a season for reflection and preparation for the winter ahead.

October – the month to Stoptober, Go Sober and look out for #scpnswaptober

There is never a wrong time to quit smoking, reduce or quit alcohol and make changes for a healthy lifestyle. October is as good as any month to reflect and review, and this year there are even more reasons to do everything we can to build our resistance to illness. Lots going on with the Nation’s emotional and mental wellbeing, but being able to make one important change (whether it is stop or a modest swop) provides an opportunity to remember we do still have some control in our lives. 

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Little changes form better habits

Chats in the Zoom office this week, inspired by Kellie Anderson’s blog on personal prevention strategies sparked sharing of our own little changes we might have made for the better against all the strange WFH/Lockdown/Covid odds.

Annie S. Anderson, SCPN Co-director

It started with the lockdown garage clear out where we discovered our mothers’ old tea sets. Memories of teacups and saucers from our childhood homes which were saved in glass cabinets and taken out only for special visitors (e.g. the minister or visiting aunts from Canada). 

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The causes of cancer: implications for policy and practice

Professor Richard Martin, University of Bristol

Around 1 in 2 people in the UK will get cancer in their lifetime (Cancer Research UK). Over 40% of cancers are linked to a combination of 14 major lifestyle and environmental factors that are potentially preventable. The Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Programme (ICEP) uses cutting edge statistical methods and genetic data on 10s to 100s of thousands of people to provide high quality evidence on: the causes of cancers; factors influencing the progression of cancer; new ways to predict who will develop or die from these cancers; and new ways to prevent cancer and its progression. 

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