Springtime with Cancer - NFCR Blog


Springtime with Cancer

Spring is nearing its end, and summer is nearly upon us.

As the season of beginnings approaches its end, let’s recall the effortless, fresh and optimistic tone which it inspires in so many of us. It is always possible to connect to the reality of the beautiful nuances and cycles that continue to unfold within the environment. Just as the seasons continue to change, so too can the human physiological processes which underpin health be impacted by these fluctuations.

Let’s take advantage of the benefits as we may!

Spending time outdoors, for example, actually has been shown to reduce some of the stress hormones thought to promote cancer. This is because breathing in fresh air has the amazing capacity to relax the central nervous system. It can also help connect emotions, thoughts and breath. This has the powerful ability to evoke moments of gratitude and, even, joy; which, are considered two of the most desirable emotions. These emotions are actually correlated to cancer survival, studies have shown.

When you combine this with healthy outdoor exercise, you’re really taking steps to improve your health and well-being. Spending time outside is often undervalued and underappreciated. Springtime is the perfect reminder of the real potency which it holds, especially when it comes to mental and physiologic health.  

In addition to the warming temperatures, the springtime offers a multitude of new smells, colors and sounds, all of which seem to symbolize the onset of new life and the connections which come along with it. Such vibrancy can be the substance of inspiration for social connection. It can help to improve relatability and increase social engagement, both of which are shown to increase longevity. This, and the added vitamin D, could be partially why cancer survival rates improve as the weather does. It is recommended that every cancer patient have a solid and diverse support system. There is no better time than spring to reach out to the community for support, advice and connection. If you currently don’t have this support in your life, allow the singing birds to inspire you to seek out more connection.

The freshness of spring often ignites a desire to consume healthier foods. This is partially because springtime generally offers an expanding availability of healthy local fruits and vegetables. It can make seasonal eating much more enticing. Whether you live on the U.S. West Coast and have exposure to apricots, the East with exposure to arugula, the North, with exposure to asparagus or in the South, with exposure to eggplant; take the time to explore what fresh and local foods are available to you. Then, check online for new and easy recipes you can use to create something new with your local ingredients. This can provide you with the antioxidants, phytonutrients and micro-minerals which are beneficial for immune and metabolic health. Both of which are important when fighting cancer and dealing with some of the more destructive aspects of cancer treatments.

Allow the spring—and approaching summer—to inspire healthy exercise, a new mental outlook, meaningful social engagement and tasty seasonal eating.

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