10 Winter-Friendly Activities for Preventing Cancer

January 04,2022 |
Mom and daughter building snowmen

Winter is often associated with eating plenty of comfort foods while getting cozy to enjoy your favorite holiday movie with a glass of eggnog or hot chocolate. While these activities are fine in moderation, winter shouldn’t be an excuse to abandon your healthy lifestyle. There are plenty of ways that you can continue to live your life in a healthy, enjoyable manner, even as the temperature begins to drop. Rather than waiting until the New Year to solidify your resolutions, here are 10 winter-friendly activities for preventing cancer, staying healthy, and getting the most out of your holiday season.


  1. Try New Plant-Rich Recipes

    Finding healthy, plant-rich recipes can be difficult, especially if you’ve been making the same holiday dishes for years. Winter is the perfect time to experiment with new recipes and ways to transform bland vegetables into delicious, heart healthy recipes that are good for your body, mind, and soul. Try roasting fresh vegetables or adding them to a stew with leftover turkey or ham bones from the holidays. Add in some lean meats and potatoes for a hearty, yet nutritious meal that will keep you warm and help improve your health. Some vegetables that are high in cancer-fighting nutrients include broccoli, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, grains, and beans. You’d be surprised at what you can do with a little time and effort. Plus, vegetables are packed with nutritious fiber to fill you up and keep you satisfied so you don’t snack on unhealthy alternatives throughout the day.


  2. Eat Immune Boosting Foods

    In conjunction with your plant-rich recipes, try to focus on eating immune boosting foods. Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against illness and infection and can help keep your T-cells strong to fight off harmful cells and prevent cancer. Keep variety in your diet and try to eat balanced meals filled with plenty of whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Some of the best immune boosting vitamins and minerals include vitamin C, which is in almost all fruits and vegetables, zinc, and iron. Nuts, seeds, and animal products provide a good boost of zinc while meat, beans, lentils, and spinach are packed with iron. Avoid over-processed food and when possible, make a recipe from scratch using fresh ingredients. The fewer processed foods you consume, the healthier you’ll be.


  3. Experiment with Winter Sports

    Individuals who live in cold climates often find themselves stuck inside during harsh winter months, but there are ways to stay active. Consider joining a recreational winter sporting league such as hockey, broomball, snow golf, or even regularly scheduled snowball fights. There are several cold weather activities that can provide you with tons of entertainment while boosting your heart rate and giving you the same benefits as exercise. Even just bundling up and going for a brisk walk during the winter months will do wonders for your body and immune system, so don’t use the cold as an excuse. Whatever vitamin D you can get during the winter can help you stay healthy and improve your overall mood, so getting outside when it’s sunny is especially important. Just make sure that you’re adequately covered to avoid frostbite or negative effects from the winter weather and always discuss new activities or exercise regimens with your doctor.


  4. Join an Online Class

    If you can’t stand the cold and would rather stay inside, consider joining an online class. Online classes are the ultimate winter-friendly activity, as you can complete them without having to leave the comfort of your home. There are thousands of instructor-led home exercise classes, yoga routines, and dance lessons available on streaming platforms like YouTube, so find something that works for you and make it a part of your daily schedule.


  5. Perform Self-Assessments

    Self-assessments are an important part of every proactive health routine, but they’re even more important during the winter. This is especially true if you tend to schedule your annual doctor’s appointment in the spring. By performing self-exams on your testicles or breasts, you’ll be more likely to notice irregularities, changes, or any lumps that have formed. Make it a habit to perform self-assessments at least once a month throughout the year and always contact your doctor at any sign of an abnormality. 


  6. Strengthen Your Mental Health

    Winter months can be hard on our mental health, especially when it starts getting dark at 4:30 pm. To combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and keep your spirits high, don’t neglect your mental health. Give yourself time to rest and do things that bring you joy. While it might get dark outside earlier, try to stay active and continue socializing with friends or family. Eating a healthy diet and having a consistent exercise routine will also help you elevate your mood and keep you motivated throughout the season. If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, reach out to a loved one or a licensed professional for help.


  7. Quit Smoking

    Smoking negatively affects every system in your body while drastically increasing your risk of certain types of cancer. Lung cancer is most commonly associated with tobacco use, but smoking is also responsible for more than half of the U.S. cases of bladder cancer. There are several different smoking cessation tools available to help you along your journey, so talk to your doctor if you’re ready to quit smoking and improve your longevity today.


  8. Decrease Alcohol Consumption

    While some people associate the holidays with an increased consumption of alcohol, doing so can leave you feeling stressed, run down, and more susceptible to winter illness. Even if it feels counterproductive to surviving time spent with relatives, try to limit how much you drink. Alcohol has a negative effect on your mood, sleeping schedules, energy levels, and overall health. It can increase the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, and even cancer. You don’t have to completely abstain to reap the benefits, but you should avoid drinking in excess. Drink water to stay hydrated and if you need help limiting your drinking or stopping altogether, ask your doctor for resources or support groups in your area.


  9. Discuss Family History

    Knowing your ancestry and family medical history is an important part of creating a preventative health plan. If there are high rates of prostate cancer or breast cancer in your family, you’ll likely want to begin screenings at a younger age. The same mentality should be applied to heart disease, dementia, and other health conditions that begin increasing in prevalence with age. Since many families get together over the holidays in the winter, it’s a perfect time to get clarification regarding the health of your ancestry. The more you know about yourself and your genes, the more you can prepare with your doctor.


  10. Schedule an Annual Wellness Exam

Undergoing annual wellness exams are essential in proactively monitoring your health and catching problems early. Due to digital rectal exams and PSA testing, prostate cancer has one of the highest five-year survival rates, even though it’s also the most prevalent. Men over the age of 40 should begin seeing their urologist yearly to undergo these screenings—earlier if you have a history of prostate cancer. If you experience any signs or symptoms of a urologic problem, see your doctor or urologist for the proper diagnosis.


Having a urologist that you see regularly is vital, especially for men over 40. Undergoing preventative exams and evaluating your overall health is the best way to be proactive as you get older. The sooner that you catch and address any problems, the better your outlook. This is especially true for urologic cancers such as prostate cancer and bladder cancer. If you’re under the age of 40 and are experiencing urologic problems, schedule an appointment with your urologist. Symptoms of urologic conditions should not be ignored and addressing them swiftly can help you find relief from your symptoms by treating the underlying cause.   

If you need any urologic supplies or additional educational resources, visit Byram Healthcare’s educational support page or our product selection guide. Byram Healthcare is proud to offer full-service urologic care with the high-quality urologic supplies that you need. All of your orders can be discreetly delivered to your home, at any time of the day. If you have any questions or need personalized, confidential services, our team of knowledgeable urologic customer service specialists are here to help.