Wellness

How To Check Yourself For Health Issues Before Symptoms Appear

2 Mins read

 

Your family doctor wants you to stay in the best physical health possible.

Sure, you’ll be in to see your family medical practitioners when you develop injuries, or symptoms of illness – and you’ll get a thorough check-up at your clinic at that time.

But your doctor will tell you there are many things you can do to keep tabs on your own health and wellness, between illnesses – and these habits will likely make those illnesses less frequent (and less severe).

If you’re doing a reasonable job of maintaining good daily health habits – watching what you eat, exercising regularly, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and taking at least one good multi-vitamin supplement – you’re already ahead of the game.

But don’t wait until symptoms appear to learn things are getting a bit off track.

Your family doctor would prefer you keep checking yourself, on a regular and consistent basis, to make sure your health regimen is doing what it should for you.

Between Check-Ups At Your Family Medical Practice?

– There are several ways you can “check yourself” to make sure you’re on a healthy path.  Here are some tips:

  • Keep a health journal.  Many people find it extremely valuable to write down what they ate and how they exercised each day. When problems arise, such as an unexpected illness or weight gain, you can often look back through your journal and see that you might’ve anticipated the trouble.
  • Check your weight regularly.  If you’re trying to lose weight, most experts would say you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day – slight variations and slow progress might be discouraging.  But stepping on the bathroom scale once a week is a great idea.  Even if you’re just hoping to maintain a healthy weight, a sudden change in the scale’s reading might tip you off to unwanted changes in your health.
  • Monitor your exercise heart rate.  Check with your family doctor for the right range for your heart rate (pulse) when you’re working out, and make sure you keep tabs on it during every workout. Some gym equipment, like treadmills and ellipticals, have built-in heart rate monitors.  For other types of exercise, it’s handy to have a simple, inexpensive monitor for your wrist or chest.
  • Look at your blood pressure regularly.  You can get a fairly inexpensive blood pressure cuff for home use or, you might notice that you walk by a free blood pressure tester at the supermarket on a regular basis.  Take a seat, and take a reading.  Changes in blood pressure readings can be a clear sign of changes in your wellness.
  • Give blood regularly.  Typically, when you donate blood, they’ll run some tests – for free – that might help you detect changes in your overall health.

Don’t Forget To Schedule Regular Check-Ups At The Clinic

Even if you aren’t prone to illness, you’ll want to visit your family medical practitioner on a regular basis just to get everything checked out.

Annual or semi-annual check-ups are often the key to a longer life with more vitality.

And the older we get, the more important these periodic check-ups are.  The number of diseases that can be caught early through regular check-ups is reason enough to keep those visits on your calendar.

Spend a little time at your family medical clinic when you don’t have to – it could mean less time at the doctor’s office later in life, when you will have to spend time there!

Each of us is ultimately in charge of our own health and wellness.  Your family medical practitioner is here to help, but you can make their job much easier if you develop some simple self-checking habits you can use every day or week.  And the peace of mind you get from knowing “all is well” is helpful to your wellness, too.

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About author
Anthony is a National Health Service Corps Scholar moving to Colorado to finish his scholarship obligation. This obligation was for two years serving in a Health Professional Shortage Area (Rocky Ford, Colorado and the Federal Correctional Center). He is currently working at Founders Family Medicine
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