Health & Fitness

Mind & Body

Boot Camp Challenge

Bring your family to Donnelly Park in Turlock Saturday for the inaugural Family Boot Camp Challenge. The event is free and all you need is a comfortable pair of shoes. Check-in for the Boot Camp Challenge begins at 10 a.m., with a start time between 10:15 and 10:45 a.m. Participants will take part in fitness challenge stations that include cardio drills, strength training, flexibility and much more. Upon completing the Challenge, participants will receive a prize, goodie bags and refreshments. The Challenge will take about 30 minutes, and then families can stay and participate in the Fall Funtastic Celebration, which begins at 11 a.m. at the same location (Area F, near the woden play structure). For more information call 668-5594.

Lower your risk

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here are some choices women can make, based on current research, to lower their risk of developing breast cancer:

Eat more fruits and vegetables -- The American Cancer Society recommends we eat at least five servings (3 or more cups) of fruits and vegetables every day. Plant foods contain substances that actively protect cells from damage that can lead to the growth of cancer cells. Cruciferous vegetables -- those with crosslike stems such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage -- contain particularly potent cancer fighters. Choose to eat less fat -- Watch those breakfast scones, ladies. Although studies have not been clear on the effect of fat intake and breast cancer incidence, diets high in fat are usually high in calories that can lead to weight gain. And putting on too many pounds -- especially after menopause -- is strongly associated with an increased risk for breast cancer.

Find ways to be more active -- Evidence is growing, says the American Cancer Society, that physical exercise reduces breast cancer risk.

Drink less alcohol or don't drink at all -- According to the American Cancer Society, "use of alcohol is clearly linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Compared with nondrinkers, women who consume one alcoholic drink a day have a very small increase in risk." And the risk goes up from there. (Remember, one "drink" is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1 ounce of liquor.)

What about soy? Like four women trying to decide the best route to drive home, no definitive conclusions have been drawn about the relationship between soy intake and breast cancer risk. There seems to be more of a benefit in women who have consumed soy foods from a young age -- such as women in Asian countries -- rather than those who begin to eat more soy products after menopause.

-- Monterey County Herald