A large part of being healthy is taking preventative measures in an effort to ward off the unhealthy. These measures can include anything from exercising to maintaining a healthy diet to getting enough sleep at night. One often overlooked measure is performing routine checks and self-checks. Keep reading for five health checks you should be doing regularly.
Blood Pressure Screening
As you age, high blood pressure becomes more and more of a cause for concern, as having high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Your blood pressure can rise with age, with stress, with weight gain, and in addition, high blood pressure can and often does run in the family. The recommendation for blood pressure screening is every one to two years, after the age of 18.
Perhaps one of the lesser anticipated of the health checks is the dreaded pap smear. This simple procedure is used to detect early signs of cervical cancer and is pertinent for any woman who is sexually active. It is recommended that women go in for this procedure every two years.
Regular skin check ups, performed by a medical professional, are relatively straight forward in execution and are used to detect skin irregularities that may indicate the possibility of skin cancer. Skin examinations should be done yearly, particularly if you have a personal or family history of skin cancer.
Bone Density Test
As you age, your risk for developing osteoporosis heightens and the preventative measures you can take (such as sufficient calcium and potassium intake and regular exercise) become less effective, which is why it’s important to regularly monitor your bone density so you can employ tactics to strengthen your bones as soon as possible. Bone density tests are done using X-rays and the frequency for which you should get check depends on injury and how high of a risk factor you are.
Unlike the majority of the aforementioned health checks, doctors recommend women perform routine breast examinations themselves. Catching breast cancer early on could be the difference between life and, worst case scenario, death. Checking for lumps and inconsistencies can be done as frequently as you like, but the recommendation is once a month.