Being proactive about your mental and physical health is important. Use this guide as a jumping-off point.


Life is unpredictable: Marathoners can fall ill with respiratory viruses, and nonsmokers can still get cancer.

But do those outcomes mean you shouldn’t bother with preventive care?

That shouldn’t be the takeaway. Many people get physical and mental health benefits from taking control of their well-being where possible. Here are some basics everyone should prioritize.

Annual Physical
A yearly medical evaluation may help you catch issues early when you may not have noticed something was wrong. During your physical, the doctor will:

  • Listen to your lungs and heart.
  • Check your nose, throat, eyes and ears.
  • Order and review bloodwork.
  • Answer any questions you have about your health.
  • Recommend vaccinations, boosters and screening tests.

Your physician can also refer you to specialists for issues they can’t treat and help you renew prescriptions where necessary.

Dental X-Rays and Cleanings
Twice-daily brushing and flossing correctly can limit the number of fillings and crowns you need. But even with great, consistent dental hygiene practices, you still need a professional cleaning and exam once or twice a year. Your dentist can also screen you for issues and ensure your medications or health problems aren’t harming your teeth and gums.

Annual Eye Exam
Clear vision can help you avoid injuries and car accidents, not to mention read the scoreboard at sporting events. Your eye doctor can also screen you for several cancers and problems that can lead to pain and blindness, like glaucoma and cataracts.

Preventive health care isn’t fun, and it takes time. But in the long run, it can keep you from getting seriously ill — and give you more time to enjoy your favorite people and activities.

If you need help understanding how your health insurance covers preventive care, reach out to get a walk-through of your policy.

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