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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

Staycation eating: ways to stay healthy and develop helpful habits

What are the essential ingredients for a holiday? Sun? Swimming? A change of scene? A lie in?  It’s different for everyone but many of us would consider ‘special’ food and drink an important part of a great holiday.  But as we know, typical ‘treat’ foods are usually the foods which don’t do our health any favours – the ultra-processed foods high in sugar and refined starches, confectionery, cakes, biscuits and ice cream. Fizzy and alcoholic drinks are on the same list. 

So, is there a way to do holiday food without the downside of weight gain or getting into habits which are hard to break when the holiday’s over? Here are a few ideas;

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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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#Staycation hydration

People can find it easier to be active and eat better on holiday, thanks to the break from routine and extra free time. However, holidays also come with lots of temptations, distracting our eyes from our normal healthy lifestyle behaviours. Of course you’re going to treat yourself (you’re on holiday!) but be mindful of how often you might do this. Holiday time is the time for feeling good, time to invest in yourself, so why not make a few little changes for an extra boost? One habit that most of us are prone to letting slide is keeping well hydrated (I’m not talking about alcohol here!).  

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‘Does giving up booze mean that life is cancelled?’

In 2020, life was cancelled. Covid meant we all had to stop and endure lockdowns, instead of the world vomiting out events and people to meet. We had to – (and for good cause) – amuse ourselves! I wouldn’t say that it is just because the pubs were shut or because Netflix didn’t release new shows fast enough but the restrictions did force me to think about drink; what is it that I actually want to be doing with my spare time? What will actually make me feel good?

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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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Cancer in men living in Scotland – let’s think wellbeing for Men’s Health Week

May 2021 brought the latest report from Public Health Scotland on Cancer Incidence and Prevalence in Scotland

The good news is that over the last decade, the risk of developing cancer in Scotland fell by 5% in men. However, in the decade (from 2019) there were significant increases in rates of cancers of the prostate (up 11%), thyroid (up 42%), liver (up 24%), and kidney (up 21%) and malignant melanomas (up 21%) in Scottish men.

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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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Ready for Re-Entry?

If I asked you how you’re feeling about returning to normal life post-Covid, would you say that you can’t wait or that you’re feeling a bit apprehensive? 

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Taking care of our whole health #MentalHealth

As well as championing Cancer Prevention, the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network is also committed to taking care of our whole health. We have been whipping around the zoom-room asking some of our staff and supporters for how they manage daily stress and sharing ideas for keeping a healthy body and mind.

Continue reading “Taking care of our whole health #MentalHealth”

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