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Preventive Healthcare: Take an Active Role in Your Health

You have probably heard the old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Preventive healthcare is essential to avoiding and limiting complications of many diseases and illnesses.

Trips to the doctor's office aren't just for when you're feeling under the weather. Scheduling regular health screenings and preventive exams can help evaluate your current health and pinpoint any early warning signs of more serious problems. By focusing on prevention, you can help maintain your current health status and possibly prevent disease or illness to live a more healthful life.

In addition to saving your health, preventive healthcare can save you money. According to the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 25 cents of every dollar spent on healthcare in the United States is for treatment of a preventable disease. Catching and treating a disease or illness in the early stages of development is far less expensive—and less dangerous—than treating a serious condition.

Regularly Assess Your Health
Invest in regular health check-ups to help avoid costly treatment down the road.

  • Regular Physicals: Schedule a physical with your doctor or healthcare provider to review your medical history, measure your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, temperature, etc.) and examine your heart, lungs, eyes, ears and throat. Regular physicals can show if your health has changed from previous years, and your doctor or healthcare provider can recommend changes you can make to help ensure positive health and wellness.
  • Gender-Specific Exams: Both men and women should schedule regular exams with their doctor or healthcare provider to evaluate their sexual and reproductive health. Tests can often screen for different types of cancers and help assess risks. Catching diseases and complications early can make a difference in your overall health.
  • Routine Dental Cleanings and Exams: In addition to brushing your teeth and flossing regularly, your teeth can use a deep clean twice a year to fight plaque. Regular cleanings and dental x-rays can help prevent cavities, gingivitis and other issues.
  • Regular Eye Exams: If you wear glasses or contacts, or have found your vision isn't as strong as it used to be, you should schedule annual visits with an ophthalmologist to assess the health of your eyes and adjust your prescription, if necessary.

Maintain Proper Health
In addition to scheduling routine health screenings and preventive exams, the CDC suggests people should adhere to the following guidelines to help reduce the burden of the leading causes of preventable death and major illnesses:

  • Live a Tobacco-Free Life: Quit smoking if you are able to or check with your doctor or healthcare provider to learn ways you can limit your tobacco use.
  • Eat Healthy: Limit your intake of processed foods and stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains instead. For help starting a nutrition plan customized to your lifestyle, join RivalHealth, BB&T's fitness and nutrition program partner.
  • Lead an Active Life: The CDC recommends healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Get started by walking regularly, joining a gym or signing up with RivalHealth for a personalized fitness plan. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting an exercise regimen to ensure that you are healthy enough for physical activity.

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