Many different factors can contribute to the development of cancer.

Genetics, environment, the types of food you eat and your level of physical activity can all play a role in your overall risk for cancer.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce this risk. Three of the most effective strategies are detailed below.

Reduce Cancer RiskMaintain a healthy weight

Being overweight or obese can add to your risk of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, obesity can contribute to the development of gallbladder, thyroid, pancreatic, kidney, rectal, colon, endometrial, breast and esophageal cancers. To reduce your cancer risk, try to keep your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9. To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters. BMI calculators are also available online.

Be physically active each day

Physical activity keeps your body at peak condition. In fact, studies have shown that simply engaging in a small amount of physical activity each day can reduce your risk of developing cancer of the prostate, lung, uterus, colon and breast. Furthermore, engaging in frequent physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight, and it prevents heart disease. For maximum results, try to participate in moderate to intense physical activity, such as jogging or sports, for at least 30 minutes per day.

Choose the right foods

Eating a balanced, nutritious diet reduces your risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity and other dangerous conditions. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you can reduce your risk of cancer by consuming less sodium, limiting your intake of alcoholic beverages, eating only moderate portions of meat, limiting your intake of caloric foods and increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains you consume. You should especially avoid processed foods, such as luncheon meats, hot dogs and bacon.

Though no single action can completely eliminate your risk of cancer, living a healthy lifestyle can lessen the chances of developing these deadly diseases. By eating right, being active and maintaining a healthy weight, you can lower your risk of cancer, as well as other potentially deadly conditions, as much as possible.

Sources:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/obesity

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/physicalactivity