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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

Physical activity from home #thenewnormal

While the ‘stay at home and work at home if you can’ restrictions imposed by Government apply – we have to think of new ways of doing some daily activity.  The need for daily activity has been emphasised by the prime minister and the Chief Medical Officers and it is clear that when we are confined to our homes and daily travel routines are removed we will probably have a lot less everyday activity and more sedentary time.  This little blog is aimed at helping you find some activity to do that keeps the body health and the mind alert.

There are at least two groups that each of us  might fall into.

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COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) home test kits​ – caveat emptor!

There has been immense publicity in the last few days that one million home testing kits for coronavirus could be sent out in a matter of weeks. These kits are based upon the analysis of a small sample of blood, taken by finger prick, to detect the immunoglobulins IgM and IgG, antibodies that arise some time after symptoms appear. So, because the tests are detecting the immune response and not the virus itself, they inform if a person has had the condition, if indeed there is a period of immunity after having contracted the disease.  It might be, then, that those who have had the virus could return to their normal routines. 

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A New Normal

It is not the time to be badgering people about healthy living, it’s just about living! It is also time to help create a new normality – maybe not forever, just long enough to make a difference. That difference has the potential to impact upon our family, friends and neighbours and might just help us get to grips with these strange and challenging times.

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Finding a path to less meat: better for you, better for the planet

Processed meat was classified in 2015 by the World Health Organisation as a group 1 carcinogen. Additionally, there is robust evidence from the World Cancer Research fund’s Continuous Update Project that consumption of meat, fish and dairy products can influence cancer risk. There is convincing evidence processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer, with red and processed meat potentially increasing the risk of lung, pancreatic and nasopharynx cancers. Similarly dairy products can reduce the risk of some cancers, however may increase risk of prostate cancer. 

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Kindness at work: not always a piece of cake

We’ve just had Valentine’s Day and today (17th February) it’s Random Act of Kindness Day (or Random Act of Kindness Week, depending on the website you look at). Whether you’re a cynic or a softie, these events bring the glow of love and kindness to a gloomy month when coronavirus, flooding and tragedy pervade the news

But kindness isn’t just for February and it’s not just for loved ones; it’s valuable for society and our health, including at work.  Research shows that people who perform acts of kindness are more satisfied with their lives (1), happier (2, 3), and have higher peer acceptance and well-being (4). So, with workplaces increasingly focused on health and well-being, kindness definitely has a role. 

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The power of prevention – stacking the odds in favour of a longer disease-free life

What would you give for an extra ten years of healthy life? A recent BMJ study showed that sticking to just five healthy habits in middle age – not smoking, regularly exercising, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, and limiting alcohol – can earn you an extra ten years of disease free life. This is especially significant given that we are all living longer – but often that longer life is accompanied by one or more chronic health conditions.

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#RecipeForAFuture: a summary

Thank you to all SCPN friends who have shared tasty recipes with us during January and our #RecipesForAFuture campaign. In case you missed any here are all the tasty meat-free recipes we have shared during the campaign:

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Reflections on 31 days of a new decade – one drink at a time

Somewhere in a busy life, someone says ‘try something new’. The someone is me, telling myself ‘Slow down, look around at what you see and think hard about what the next decade could bring – do life differently’.

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Nut Roast with Veggie Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed/olive oil
  • 225 g mixed nuts, i.e. peanuts, walnuts, cashews
  • 100g Wholemeal bread
  • 300 mls Vegetable stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs or one teaspoonful chopped rosemary
  • I dessertspoon peanut butter
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