Tips for Staying Active on Vacation

Preparing for a much-anticipated vacation? When planning a trip, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the excitement and neglect to account for your fitness routine. However, vacation is the perfect time to take your fitness regime to the next level. As you pack for that getaway in the mountains or escape to the beach, be sure to remember your hiking or running shoes. Not convinced that summer vacation is the time to prioritize your health? Consider this:

Physical Activity and Heath Risk

While most of us understand that regular physical activity contributes to our long-term health, did you know that recent research indicates a link between regular physical activity and a reduced risk of certain types of cancers? [1] Researchers at the University of Vermont, Burlington concluded that physically fit men, in their midlife, are at a reduced risk level of cancer-related death as they age. [2]. Additionally, there is some evidence that increased activity in men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer may lead to improved outcomes[3] Simply put, staying fit just makes sense for your long-term health. What better time to prioritize your health than when you have extra leisure time on your hands?

  • Take a Hike
    No matter where your summer travels take you, chances are there is a hiking trailhead nearby. Check out the local tourism board’s website or ask locals for tips on popular hikes in the area. No matter your fitness level, you can find a hike that will challenge you and give you an energy boost for the rest of the day. Make it a point to check out a variety of trails, you are sure to enjoy taking in your vacation destination from this vantage point.
  • Take a Walking Tour
    Taking a simple walk can do wonders for your health. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society, adults should get at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity exercise, such as walking, each week, or one and a quarter hours of vigorous intensity exercise each week. Research found that those who achieve this level activity, lowered their risk of death by 31%, while those who got 3 to 5 times the recommended amount lowered their risk of death by 39%. [4] Looking into guided walking tours while on your vacation destination can be a great way to get in some exercise while taking in the sights and sounds of your surroundings.
  • Get in a Workout Before You Start Your Day
    If you prefer to get in your workout early in the day, consider some circuit training. If you have a gym available to you, take advantage of it. Otherwise use the space available to get your metabolism moving. Jumping jacks, pushups and squats are just a few examples of exercises you can complete in a small space without the need for equipment. Get creative and start your day off on the right foot.

Rather than allowing your fitness routine to take a backseat during your next vacation this summer, why not make it a priority? Your body will thank you for it. If you are not currently active and are ready to get back into shape, use your time away as an opportunity to kick-start a new routine, and take the steps today to ensure your long-term health.
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1) National Cancer Institute. Physical Activity and Cancer. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet#q8. (Accessed June 27, 2016)
2) JAMA Oncology. Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Incident Cancer, and Survival After Cancer in Men. Available at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/fullarticle/2203829 (Accessed June 27, 2016)
3) National Cancer Institute. Physical Activity and Cancer. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet#r9. (Accessed June 27, 2016)
4) American Cancer Society. Study Shows Walking an Hour a Day Achieves Greatest Longevity Benefit. Available at https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/study-shows-walking-an-hour-a-day-achieves-greatest-longevity-benefit.html. (Accessed July 20, 2017)

Happy New Year! How Your Resolution Can do More than Trim Your Waistline

Are you resolving to get into shape this New Year? If so, you are not alone. According to a 2015 Nielsen study, 37% of those surveyed listed staying fit and healthy as their New Year’s resolution while 32% were focused on weight loss. [1] As we move into 2017, it is safe to assume that these goals remain among the most common resolutions of the New Year. If you hope to improve your health in the coming months, we applaud you! After all, a healthier lifestyle not only makes you look and feel better, it can reduce your risk factor for a multitude of health problems.

Body Mass and Cancer Risk [2]

The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that roughly 20% of cancers diagnosed each year in the United States are linked to preventable health issues – including excess body fat, lack of physical exercise, excess consumption of alcohol, and/or poor nutrition.  While all of these variables may contribute to one’s cancer risk, excess body weight seems to have the strongest correlation, contributing to as many as 1 in 5 of all cancer-related deaths.

Carrying excess body weight is linked with an increased risk of many types of cancer including breast cancer, endometrium cancer, esophagus cancer, colon and rectum cancer, pancreas cancer, and kidney cancer. In addition, being overweight or obese may potentially raise one’s risk of developing aggressive forms of prostate cancer, gallbladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, liver cancer, multiple myeloma cancer, cervix cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Health in the New Year

Studies tells us that carrying excess body fat is not only hard on the heart, it can contribute to your cancer risk factor, being all the more reason to set health goals in 2017 and resolve to stick to them. Carve out time each week to exercise to help you stay fit, and make a conscious effort to eat a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients.

Another factor that can contribute to cancer risk, including prostate cancer risk, is family health history. Don’t miss our recent post to learn more about genetic predispositions for developing cancer. If you or a loved one have reason to believe that you are at an increased risk of prostate cancer, we encourage you to remain vigilant.  By regularly visiting your doctor and undergoing blood tests, you can assess your risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. The 4Kscore is an advanced blood test that predicts a man’s risk percent of having aggressive prostate cancer in a biopsy on a scale of <1% to >95%.

Setting Your Health Resolutions

As we kick off 2017, we encourage you to resolve to live a healthier lifestyle – not just by trimming your waistline, but also by talking with your family about your health history, visiting your doctor regularly, and reducing your disease risk. And if you’re a man with an elevated PSA, check your risk for aggressive prostate cancer with the 4Kscore test.

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  • This Year’s Top New Year’s Resolution? Fitness!! Available at https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness.html. (Accessed December 11, 2016).
  • American Cancer Society. Does body weight affect cancer risk? Available at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/dietandphysicalactivity/bodyweightandcancerrisk/body-weight-and-cancer-risk-effects. (Accessed December 11, 2016)

This Season, Give the Gift of Information

With so much to consider this time of year, from holiday shopping to social engagements, it’s easy to lose focus of our health. What if you could give a thoughtful gift this year, that shifts focus to your health and that of your loved ones? Rather than getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday commercialism, why not give the men you love peace of mind for their prostate health with information about the 4Kscore.

Peace of Mind for Prostate Health

Prostate cancer risk factors impact us all. Research tells us that 1 in every 7 men will develop some form of prostate cancer in their lifetime. Even if you are not at risk of prostate cancer, chances are someone you love is. This is why we encourage you to share information about the 4Kscore test this season. Whether you choose to have a conversation with your physician about prostate cancer yourself, or you encourage a loved one to do so, you will be giving a gift that doesn’t expire – knowledge about prostate cancer risk and test options.

How Does the 4Kscore Test Work?

If you, or a loved one, have been concerned with prostate health, chances are you are familiar with the PSA test. Unlike the 4Kscore, PSA tests do not clearly differentiate between aggressive prostate cancer and less serious health conditions. Because of this, men with high PSA results may be subjected to unnecessary medical procedures.

The 4Kscore is a follow up test after an abnormal PSA result, and is more specific for aggressive prostate cancer. The 4Kscore combines the values of four prostate-specific kallikreins in the blood (Total PSA, Free PSA, Intact PSA, and Human Kallikrein 2 (hK2)), with age, digital rectal exam results and prior biopsy history to arrive at a personal risk score for each patient. The resulting 4Kscore predicts a patient’s risk of high grade prostate cancer on a scale from <1% to >95%, and the long-term risk of developing metastatic prostate cancer. The 4Kscore has the potential to dramatically increase the accuracy of prostate cancer diagnosis, and provide men with peace of mind for their prostate health.

Give a Gift that Shows You Care About His Health

If a loved one has an abnormal PSA, the 4Kscore can provide them with peace of mind for their prostate health. This season, give your loved ones the gift of information about their prostate cancer risk and the 4Kscore test. Encourage them to contact their physician, ask the right questions, and get tested at a 4Kscore test laboratory.

Would you like more tips and information on prostate health? Subscribe to our blog for insights and information on the risk factors, diagnosis and prevention of prostate cancer.

The Importance of Staying Fit During the Holidays

For many, the holiday season symbolizes a time to give thanks, spend time with family, and to reflect on the past year. The winter months are also full of indulgence and celebration. While we all try our best to stay on track during the holidays, it is not uncommon to pick-up unhealthy habits while allowing some of our healthier habits to momentarily take a backseat.

Holiday Weight Gain

According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, holiday weight gain is an issue in America and abroad. It found that the American participants experienced a 0.2% increase in weight over the Thanksgiving holiday followed by a 0.4% increase over Christmas.  Our German counterparts experienced an increase in body weight by 0.6% over Christmas and an incremental 0.2% over Easter. Finally, Japanese participants saw a 0.5% increase in body weight over Christmas and 0.3% boost over Golden Week, a period which includes four national holidays.[1]

It’s Not Just About the Scale

The ramifications of over indulging and allowing your fitness routine to slip during the holidays can go far beyond a few pounds on the scale or an extra notch on your belt. There are a myriad of health risks associated with sudden weight gain. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, being overweight can put you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, certain types of cancer and more.[2]

Physical Activity May Reduce Cancer Risk

The list of benefits of physical activity goes on and on; helping to maintain a healthy weight, producing natural endorphins, fighting heart disease and more. To add to those benefits, research findings have reported a link between regular physical activity and a reduced risk of certain types of cancers.[3] A study completed by a team of researchers at the University of Vermont, Burlington, found that physically fit men, in their midlife, have a reduced risk level of dying of cancer-related deaths as they age.[4] Medical research not only tells us that exercise can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in men, but that it may also help to keep it at bay. Another study found that regular vigorous physical activity may help to slow the progression of prostate cancer in men age 65 and up.[5]

Battle the Bulge this Holiday Season

Rather than simply allowing yourself to gain a few extra pounds this holiday season, get moving! Make the commitment now to stick to your workout and/or activity routine. Hit the gym a little harder the day before and the day after a major holiday splurge and consider skipping the occasional sweet or cocktail – or opt for healthier food options. By taking a few measures now, you will be doing yourself and your body a lot of favors.

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Holiday weight gain impacts people worldwide. What are you doing to avoid it in 2016? #BattleTheBulge Click to tweet

A recent study revealed that Americans gain an average of 0.2% body weight over Thanksgiving & 0.4% over Christmas. Don’t be a statistic! Click to tweet

  • New England Journal of Medicine. Weight Gain over the Holidays in Three Countries. Available at https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1602012. (Accessed November 15, 2016).
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Health Risks of Being Overweight. Available at https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/weight-control/health_risks_being_overweight/Pages/health-risks-being-overweight.aspx. (Accessed November 16, 2016).
  • National Cancer Institute. Physical Activity and Cancer. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet#q8. (Accessed December 1, 2016)
  • JAMA Oncology. Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Incident Cancer, and Survival After Cancer in Men. Available at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/fullarticle/2203829 (Accessed December 1, 2016)
  • National Cancer Institute. Physical Activity and Cancer. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet#r9. (Accessed December 1, 2016)

Tips for Hosting a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving

There are many nutrient rich foods that can make your Thanksgiving meal healthy, and all that much more enjoyable. This holiday, be sure to add these to your menu and rest assured that your meal is both delicious and nutritious.

  • Sweet Potatoes: A superfood and a popular Thanksgiving staple, sweet potatoes contain a variety of nutrients. Packed with beta-carotene as well as vitamin A and C; a serving of sweet potato contains 57 calories, two grams of dietary fiber and one grams of protein. [2] Serve up your favorite, low-calorie sweet potato dish this Thanksgiving and indulge in that extra serving.
  • Pumpkin: Another superfood, pumpkin is also packed with beta-carotene. A one cup serving of pumpkin contains just 30 calories, along with one gram of protein and one gram of dietary fiber. [2] Pumpkin can serve as the perfect substitute for high fat liquids and dairy products in many of your favorite holiday treats.
  • Brussels Sprouts: One of those vegetables we often learn to love, Brussels sprouts are a great addition to your Thanksgiving meal. A single serving of Brussels sprouts contains just 38 calories, three grams of dietary fiber and three grams of protein. [3] Serve up Brussels sprouts this year and add some greens to your menu!

For many Americans, Thanksgiving not only is a time to give thanks, but also serves as the ultimate cheat meal. Even those of us who are vigilant about our diet throughout the year will often overindulge on Thanksgiving. Let’s take a look at some of foods and products you should avoid this holiday.

  • High-Fat Dairy Products: According to the American Cancer Society, men who consume lots of high-fat dairy products have a slightly higher chance of developing prostate cancer. [4] It’s important to keep this in mind year round. Steer clear of dishes that are prepared with high fat-dairy products.
  • Refined Sugar:The human body depends upon glucose, a natural sugar, to survive. Glucose occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables and other natural food products. The dietary fibers that are also contained in these foods assist with digestion and overall health. Refined sugar however is often added to processed foods to improve the flavor profile while not adding any of the health benefits associated with fruits and other natural food products. [5] Keep this in mind as you outline your Thanksgiving menu. Select recipes that contain natural foods and avoid refined sugars whenever possible.

Happy Thanksgiving!

While Thanksgiving is a time to indulge, it is also a time to give thanks for our health. Keep these health tips in mind as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast, and throughout the year. From all of us at 4Kscore, BioReference, and GenPath — we wish you and yours a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Would you like more tips and information on living a healthy lifestyle? Follow our blog for insights on the health issues that impact you and your loved ones!

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References:

  1. Sweet Potatoes and Yams. Available at https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce/sweet-potatoes-and-yams. (Accessed November 14, 2016).
  2. Pumpkin. Available at https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce/pumpkin. (Accessed November 14, 2016).
  3. Brussels Sprouts. Available at https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce/brussels-sprouts. (Accessed November 14, 2016).
  4. American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer Risk Factors. Available at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-risk-factors. (Accessed November 14, 2016).
  5. National Institutes of Health. Sweet Stuff How Sugars and Sweeteners Affect Your Health. Available at https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/oct2014/feature1. (Accessed November 14, 2016).