The new year is a great time to reflect on your goals and make a plan to achieve them, and naturally, one of the most popular New Year's resolutions is to get healthy. There are a number of ways you might resolve to live healthier, including eating a balanced diet and starting an exercise routine. In addition to those things, we recommend paying regular visits to your healthcare provider for wellness checkups.
Paying a visit to your provider when you're well can help prevent health issues and detect possible problems early on, thereby increasing your chances of recovery. A "well visit" (also called a "physical" or "checkup") is also a great opportunity to develop a relationship with your provider, talk about your health concerns and ask questions. The following are included in a typical well visit:
- Medical history assessment
- Physical exam
- Health screenings
- Health counseling
A well visit also gives your provider a chance to determine whether you're at risk for diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Attending regular well visits helps your provider know whether you need additional screenings or tests and generally increases your chances of living a long, healthy life.
There are several different types of wellness checkups. While healthy adults between the ages of 18-39 generally only need to make a well visit once every one to three years, your provider will make his or her recommendation based on your general health and risk factors.
Women and men ages 40-64 should have a well visit every one to two years, and men should go every year after age 50. Both women and men over the age of 65 should have yearly well visits. Pregnant women should have physical checkups once a month from weeks four to 28, twice a month from weeks 28-36 and once a week from week 36 to birth.
Visit our Health and Wellness page to learn more about how to get (and stay) healthy in 2016!