Healthy At Any Age
There’s a misperception growing that only young people can be healthy. While health does tend to deteriorate as we age, there are a number of things we can do to maintain our health so we can live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
The first thing you need to know is what screenings you need and when you need them. Relying on your doctor to remind you is probably not the best strategy as primary care doctors are seeing more patients per day than ever therefore decreasing the amount of time they spend with their patients. That reduction in time can lead to missed opportunities to discuss what preventive screenings you are due for within the next year. For a list of preventive screenings and the timeframe to consider screening, click here.
Next, make sure you take preventive and maintenance medications. Staying on your recommended drug regimen will reduce your risk of developing health complications or, in some cases, developing a chronic condition. Not only will you have improved health outcomes, but also, staying on top of your health saves you money. For example, if you stop taking your medication to save on the prescription cost but end up with a hospital stay due to the negative effects of not taking your medication, you have ended up spending more than if you had paid for the prescription and avoided the hospital stay. In this same vein, make sure you get immunizations at the proper times, if appropriate.
Finally, do what you can to lead a healthy life. Make healthy food choices. Be physically active in any way you can. Be tobacco free, or if you are not, try engaging in a cessation program. If you drink alcohol, try to limit your intake. Don’t forget all the resources available through the Wellness Counts program to help you on this journey. There are numerous programs and activities to help support your efforts. No matter where you fall on the health continuum, a coach can give you a personalized approach to reach your goals.
Sources: http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/prevention/lifestyle/index.html and annual aggregate plan report provided by Cigna.