There’s No Time Like the Present to Plan for Better Health

There’s No Time Like the Present to Plan for Better Health

Planning your annual exams now will help make your own health a priority.

Time has a way of passing by before we know it. Things you meant to do never seem to get done. That includes taking better care of your health. You can jumpstart that goal by taking time to set up your yearly preventive health exam.

Here are the ones most important for everyone in the family:

For Women

Each year, you should have a well-woman checkup. It gives you and your doctor a chance to focus on your overall health and wellness. It allows you to get a complete physical exam, talk about concerns and work with your doctor to set health goals.

These visits may include:

  • Services, like shots, that improve your health by preventing diseases and other health problems
  • Screenings to check for things like heart disease, diabetes and cancer
  • Education and counseling about your lifestyle, like managing stress, your diet, sleep habits and level of activity
For Men

Most people know the phrase “well-woman exam,” but men have health problems, too. You should get an annual exam as well.

A man’s annual exam includes normal preventive screenings for things like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. You’ll also get any vaccines needed.

Your exam may include a prostate check. Depending on your age and health history, you may also be encouraged to get a colon cancer preventive screening.

Remember, many serious health issues like cancer and heart disease don’t show symptoms in the early stages, when it’s easier to treat them.

For Kids of All Ages

When kids are little, we have them in the doctor’s office a lot. Babies need vaccines. School and sports physicals mean a trip to the doctor’s office. And fever, strep throat, bumps and bruises have you paying the doctor a visit often.

But kids need an annual wellness exam just like adults do. It is sometimes called a well-child visit. Regular exams  help the doctor track our child’s growth and development. They can also catch problems early.

During a well-child visit, your child’s doctor may check:

  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart and lungs
  • Abdomen, glands and lymph nodes
  • Ears
  • Vision
  • Spine alignment

Even older kids need checkups. Some diseases and conditions first show up after puberty. Scoliosis, diabetes and depression are just some of the concerns with school-age kids. So be sure to take them for their annual exams, too.

If you are ready to be healthier, making time for an annual exam is the first step. You can also find good resources online to help you learn more about staying healthy for life. Some good places to start are the American Heart Association,   American Diabetes Association,   American Cancer Society,   and the National Institutes of Health  websites.

What Preventive Care Do You and Your Family Need?

Our wellness guidelines outline the preventive vaccines, health screenings and other wellness steps you should take to stay healthy.

Check out our wellness guidelines for adults in English  or Spanish  and children in English  or Spanish.   

You can also access the latest guidelines any time by logging in to Blue Access for MembersSM (BAMSM). Click the My Health tab and scroll down to Wellness Guidelines.

Source: Parent Plus: Importance of Routine Pediatrician Visits,   American Academy of Pediatricians, 2015
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