How important are Annual Health Checks for young adults?

How important are Annual Health Checks for young adults?

Health checks, when taken at regular intervals, can identify early symptoms of underlying health issues. Subsequently, identifying such problems early often means higher chances of effective treatment.

The importance of regular health checks

Even when one feels relatively healthy, it may be a good idea to visit a doctor at regular intervals. Regular health checks can:

  • Check for any present or underlying medical problems
  • Assess the risks of any future medical issues
  • Prompt action towards maintaining a healthier lifestyle
  • Help update one’s vaccinations

Factors that play a role in frequency of health checks

Health checks are usually an integral part of routine medical care. Doctors often make patients undergo these checks even when they’re consulting for other health conditions. Doctors usually recommend a certain frequency of health checks depending on the patient’s current health condition.

Regular health checks also offer a chance to re-examine one’s lifestyle to see what can be improved. This might mean lifestyle changes that one can do on their own, or something that must be discussed with a doctor or healthcare professional.

Health checks and doctor consultations at home

Basic health checks can help one to review their health with regard to:

  • Oral care - Regular teeth cleaning and eating a diet low in sugar helps lower the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and loss of teeth. It is advisable to schedule annual visits to a dentist or other oral health professional for a dental examination and professional cleaning.
  • Healthy diet - A healthy diet improves one’s overall health & well-being. Ideally, 2 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables should be consumed on a daily basis.
  • Physical activity - Regular physical activity improves one’s mental health, heart health and skeletal health, and can help prevent various diseases. One should set a target of 30 minutes to an hour of moderate physical activity per day. This takes some effort but still allows one to hold a conversation (e.g. brisk walking, swimming, badminton).
  • Smoking - Smoking raises the risk of many health issues, including heart disease, strokes, lung issues and brittle bones. If you smoke, quitting as soon as possible helps reduce the harmful effects of the habit.
  • Healthy weight - Maintaining one’s weight within a healthy range can help lower the risks of long-term “lifestyle diseases”, such as diabetes and arthritis.

Basic health checks can help one to review their health in following ways

Why regular health checks matter for adults

Frequently undergoing health checks can often help in identifying early warning signs of certain diseases before complications occur. Heart diseases, diabetes and some forms of cancer can often be detected in the early stages, leading to more effective treatment.

During a typical health check, the doctor will discuss your medical history, your family’s history of diseases and any genetic conditions, and your current lifestyle. Your diet, weight, frequency and intensity of exercise, and habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol or consumption of recreational drugs may also be discussed.

If you have factors that point to a higher risk of diseases - such as a family history of a particular condition - you may be more susceptible to that particular disease. Regular health checks can (and often do) help doctors pick up on early warning signs for many such diseases.

In closing

While we have discussed the importance of health checks, this information is only as good as our implementation of it. If we are to live healthier, “fuller” lives with our loved ones, it is of utmost importance that health checks become a routine feature of our lives. Just like exercise, good nutrition and healthy habits, scheduling health checks 1-2 times per year can help us maintain our health and well-being, and catch warning signs for possible diseases quickly.

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