by Sangeeta Haindl — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), and high-street retailer M&S has launched a campaign to help get customers active to prevent the disease. For ‘Spark Something Good,’ the company is teaming up with seven women, all of whom have been affected by breast cancer,. During this month, the store will be donating 10 per cent of all women’s fitness clothing and sports bra sales to the charity, Breast Cancer Now. BBC TV’s, “Strictly Come Dancing” Star Karen Hardy will host ‘Move it in the Park’ to kick start the campaign. The retailer is also encouraging the public to take on a 7 Day Challenge and pledge to be active for 30 minutes a day.
Experts at Breast Cancer Now say women who are active for 30 minutes a day can cut their risk of developing breast cancer by at least 20 per cent. The seven ladies will help motivate M&S customers by sharing video diaries on how to embrace daily activity, while telling their own unique and empowering stories on social media using #letsgetmoving.
The Charity wants women to understand how important it is to get active. That does not have to mean running on a treadmill or a spin class to reduce their risk; there are other ‘less gym, more fun’ ways to get active for 30 minutes a day, from walking to work, to gardening or taking the family out for a bike ride.
Any activity that makes you warmer, breathe harder and makes your heart beat faster counts. That’s why, Karen Hardy, “Strictly Come Dancing” 2006 winner has created a simple dance routine that can help even those with ‘two left feet’ keep healthy and help reduce their risk of breast cancer. There are so many other activities that can get heart rates up. Many of which, we probably already do on a weekly basis. Even simple chores like vacuuming the house or doing the gardening can make a difference. What is important is that by being more conscious in what we do daily, we will be able to see just how easy it is to hit the 30-minute target.
M&S and Breast Cancer Now aim to raise £13 million over five years in a bid to prevent 9,000 cases of breast cancer a year by 2025. The money raised will go towards Breast Cancer Now’s research, to understand the risk factors for breast cancer and how they might use that knowledge to calculate an individual woman’s risk. It is hoped this will lead to the development of a risk assessment tool that will better inform women of the options available to them based on their personal risk of breast cancer in the future.
So, dancing and going to the gym are both just some of the ways forward to keeping fit and helping reduce the risks of getting breast cancer. The national statistics are a sad reminder of the risks of breast cancer: women in the UK have, on average, a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime.
Photo Credit: M&S