Your Checklist for Health
The most important things adults can do to stay healthy are:
- Get regular checkups and recommended screening tests
- Be tobacco free
- Be physically active
- Eat a healthy diet
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Drink alcohol only in moderation
Screening tests can find diseases early when they are easier to treat. Talk to your health care provider about which guidelines are right for you.
Breast Cancer Screening
Consider starting at age 40 or earlier. The greatest overall benefit is seen with mammograms every 2 years between age 50 and 74. Talk with your health care provider about when mammograms are right for you.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Women ages 21-65 years old should have a pap smear every 3 years.
Have a test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. Your health care provider can help you decide which test is right for you. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be tested earlier.
Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. If you have felt “down,” sad, or hopeless over the last 2 weeks or have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things, you may be depressed. Talk to your health care provider about being screened for depression.
Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity. (BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.)
High Blood Pressure
Have your blood pressure checked at least every year. Ideal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower, and high blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.
Men should have their cholesterol checked regularly starting at age 35. If you are a younger man, or a woman, talk to your health care provider about whether to have cholesterol checked if:
- You have diabetes or high blood pressure
- Heart disease runs in your family
- You smoke
Talk with your doctor to make sure you’re up to date on your immunizations.
Women 65 years and older (younger if high risk) should have a bone density test.
If you’re 65 years or older and have fallen or are worried about falling, talk with your health care provider about how exercise and Vitamin D supplements might reduce your risk.
Adults born between 1945 and 1965 should be checked for Hepatitis C, and all adults should be checked for HIV (AIDS virus).
Vision & Hearing Checks
After 65 years of age, men and women should report any hearing or vision problems.