Community Supported Agriculture Delivers

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This year’s vegetable season may be nearing its end, but there’s still plenty of ways to add those fresh, cancer-fighting foods to your meals. One popular way is through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. A recent USDA survey found over 12,500 CSA farms.

CSA farms are a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm where growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production. The advantages to signing up for a program like this are fairly straightforward: You get fresh food and know where that food comes from; you’re exposed to new types of vegetables/fruits, and you can try new ways of cooking them. Also, some CSA farms offer a customer visit at least once during the farming season. This way, farmers get to meet who their food goes to and build a relationship with their buyers.

For ideas on ways to cook up or enjoy your box of produce, take a look at the New American Plate. To find a CSA farm near you, check out Local Harvest for listings.

Physical Activity Keeps You Feeling Better

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If you’re visiting this blog, you likely know that getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily can lower your risk for cancer. But did you know about the emotional benefits that being active brings?

Getting up and moving also helps you blow off steam and manage stress, helps stave off depression, raises your self-esteem, boosts your energy, and helps you sleep better.

You’ll feel good, too: When we’re active, our brain releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killers.  Getting your blood moving helps improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs, and that’s a change you’ll feel every time you climb a set of stairs.

New guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine urge cancer survivors, even those undergoing treatment, to get active. Research suggests that exercise can help survivors have more energy, improve their quality of life, and reduce risk of recurrence.

For ideas on how to build exercise into your day, take a look at AICR’s brochure “Moving More.”

Establishing Healthy Habits for Kids

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You likely know by now that being overweight or obese increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. In fact, AICR estimates that over 100,000 cancer cases a year are caused by carrying excess fat.

That’s a sobering statistic, and the latest numbers on childhood obesity suggest that number will keep growing. After all, children who are overweight or obese tend to grow into overweight and obese adults.

But you can help ensure a brighter, healthier future for your kids. How? By treating yourself right.

Think about it: Children model their parents’ behavior, so every time you prepare a healthy meal or make time for getting active, you’re instilling those same habits in your kids.

The Obesity Society recommends that parents keep only healthy foods in the house and choose the restaurants the family visits.

Anyone who’s unthinkingly polished off a bag of potato chips while watching their favorite program knows that eating in front of the TV encourages “passive overeating” – that’s why it’s a good idea to serve meals at the dinner table whenever you can.

Encourage kids to get and stay active any way they can. Planning family activities that revolve around walking, biking, hiking or swimming can help less active kids get their hearts pumping.

First Lady Michelle Obama has launched a nationwide campaign called Let’s Move! to help stop childhood obesity. The website’s got lots of ideas for getting kids interested in health and nutrition.

AICR has our own children’s website called the Taste Buddies, filled with games, quizzes and kid-friendly information to help kids learn that eating better and moving more can be fun.