Cancer Council NSW and the University of Newcastle have released the results of a nutrition and physical activity trial for cancer survivors. The new data, published in the American Journal of Health Behaviour, show that trial participants who had completed the nutrition and physical activity intervention were able to maintain lifestyle improvements. Results showed weight and BMI remained stable and participants kept up increased levels of physical activity in the 12 months post trial¹.
“Both of those factors – physical activity and a healthy weight – have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence, and improve the psychosocial health of cancer survivors, so those results are really promising,” said Annie Miller, Director of Cancer Support Services at Cancer Council NSW.
“We found that twelve months after the trial, 67 percent of participants continued to improve their level of physical activity, 63 percent maintained increased levels of moderate-to-vigorous exercise, and 46 percent maintained their weight,¹” Ms Miller continued.
Because cancer survivors face many physical and emotional challenges after treatment, Cancer Council NSW offers its own lifestyle program for cancer survivors: ENRICHing Survivorship.
ENRICHing Survivorship aims to inform, motivate and encourage participants to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Physical activities and nutrition information are coached in two-hour sessions, over an eight-week period.
Healthy lifestyle sessions are co-facilitated by an exercise specialist and dietitian. Sessions contain a mix of resistance and cardiovascular exercise as well as healthy eating knowledge and skill development. The program also includes a yoga and mindfulness session, taught by qualified tutors, and a peer support session, led by volunteers, which provide practical information and support.
“We encourage all cancer survivors in NSW to join the ENRICHing Survivorship program to help them move towards and maintain a healthier lifestyle, which will reduce their risk of cancer recurrence, and increase overall wellbeing,” Ms Miller continued.
“Maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy weight after cancer is one of the most important things you can do. Physical activity can improve muscle strength, stamina, self-esteem, quality of life and reduce common side effects of cancer treatment such as fatigue, nausea, pain, anxiety and depression. It’s never too late to implement healthy habits into your daily routine,” Ms Miller concluded.
To view upcoming programs in your area and register your interest in attending the ENRICHing Survivorship program, visit www.cancercouncil.com.au/ENRICH.
Source: Cancer Council NSW