They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away – but like it or not, you’re bound to get back on the doctor’s chair sooner or later.
Regularly visiting the doctor for checkups and age-appropriate preventative tests is important for good health, according to 1960 Family Practice. Sure, we’re all busy and our health may have fallen off the priority list over the years, but it’s something to always make time for.
To make things easier for you, this article will break down the indispensable appointments that come with each decade.
The 20s: Take Charge of Yourself.
Think preventative treatments in your 20s. Start scheduling annual physicals; remember that the earlier health issues are detected, the better it is for your health and your wallet. Annual dental and eye exams should be part of your routine, too, and check whether your vaccinations are up to date. If you’re sexually active, get the human papillomavirus vaccine.
Other exams should include screenings for problems like gastritis, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and colon cancer.
You’re an adult now and no one is forcing you to go for regular checkups, so take charge yourself.
The 30s: Lay the Foundation of Your Health.
Extra weight can come into your life at any age, but during the 30s, many people, especially women, struggle with weight for the first time. That’s because metabolism starts to really slow down around age 35.
This is where real screenings for diabetes and cholesterol become important, which will significantly lessen your risk of heart disease later on. Have your annual GYN exams as well and perform a self-breast exam every month. In addition, start sneaking exercise into your schedule, avoid smoking, and create good eating habits now.
The 40s: Transform Awareness into Action.
In your 40s, get a full checkup that includes your BMI and sleeping and exercise habits. If you’re a woman, start your annual mammograms. Men, on the other hand, are at a great risk for prostate cancer too especially if this runs in the family, so a PSA test is also important.
As a general rule of thumb, use your common sense and intuition based on your current health and family history, and talk to your doctor for options.
The 50s: Focus on Balanced Meals.
This decade is critical on colon health, so make sure you consume enough fiber and schedule the screenings you need. Colonoscopy should start at age 50, which should be done every ten years into your mid-70s.
High fiber is especially important. That means fruits, vegetables, and whole grains should be on your plate every day.
Continue your annual blood pressure and dental checkups as well, and vision testing every two years.
The 60s and Up: Never Be Afraid to Ask for Help.
People in their 60s are at risk for high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and stroke, so once you reach this age, keep an eye on your blood pressure and sleeping habits as often as before. Pay attention to any changes in your skin, as 60-somethings are also at risk for melanoma.
Get your bone density tested as well, especially if you’re a smoker or have a family history of osteoporosis. In addition, ask your doctor if you’re getting enough nutrients from your diet.
More importantly, never be afraid to ask for help whenever you need it.
It’s never too late – or too soon – to take steps to protect your health. With this decade-by-decade guide, mark your calendar and start giving your health and well-being the VIP treatment.