Nutritious diets and routine exercise are two hallmarks of a healthy lifestyle. Combining the two can lower people's risk for various diseases and contribute to a high quality of life. But food and physical activity are not the only things people should do to improve their chances of living long, healthy lives.
Preventive care is important. One of the most effective principles of preventive care is to schedule an annual checkup with a physician. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, routine health exams and tests can find problems before they start. During annual check-ups, doctors may notice some red flags, such as high cholesterol, that men and women won't detect on their own. These warning signs could be increasing people's risk for disease and/or discomfort. Many of these red flags are undetectable without proper screenings, which is why annual checkups are integral to maintaining one's health.
Annual checkups also serve as a great time for adults to be screened for certain cancers. The American Cancer Society notes that cancer screenings are used to find cancer before a person develops symptoms. That's a vital benefit of annual checkups, as cancers caught in their early stages are more easily treated. In addition, catching cancer before it has metastasized greatly improves patients' prognosis.
Another reason to schedule annual checkups is that they make perfect opportunities for patients to discuss their family histories with their physicians. This is especially important for adults over 40, as age and family history are significant risk factors for a host of conditions and diseases. Men and women concerned about conditions and diseases that their family members have had can discuss those concerns with their physicians during their annual checkups. Physicians can then recommend ways for patients to balance their risk, calming patients' concerns and giving them a road map to reduce their risk for conditions and diseases that seem to run in their families.
Annual checkups are as vital a component of a healthy lifestyle as nutritious diets and routine exercise. By scheduling annual checkups with their physicians, adults can closely monitor their overall health and potentially uncover issues before they escalate into major health risks.