Visiting your health care provider regularly for preventive care is an important part of staying healthy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the top causes of death among women living in the United States include heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory disease. Left undetected or untreated many health problems can escalate into long-term, life-threatening health issues.

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Six Steps to Improve Your Health and Prevent Disease 

Taking an active role in your health can improve your health and help prevent diseases. Here are a few ways you can make an impact on your health.

Find a provider.

Find a provider that you are comfortable with. Start building a relationship of trust so that you can discuss all aspects of your health. Make sure you see your provider on a regular basis.

Understand your family medical history 

A family history of disease increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes or cancer. You cannot change your genes but knowing your family medical history and making positive lifestyle choices can help reduce your risk of developing health problems.

Eat healthier 

Following a healthy diet can help you maintain good health. A healthy diet consists of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy oils. A good rule to follow is to fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits.

Get moving 

Regular physical activity can help improve overall health, maintain weight and reduce the risk of developing disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e. brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e. jogging at 6 mph). You should also incorporate two or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities.

Stop smoking tobacco

Quitting tobacco use is the number one thing you can do to reduce the risk of developing disease and premature death. It’s also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke which can also contribute to health problems.

Limit alcohol intake

Drink only in moderation if you choose to drink alcohol. For women that means no more than one drink a day.

Preventive Exams and Screenings for Women by Age

Even if you feel healthy and are in the best shape of your life, a serious condition with no signs or symptoms may be putting you at risk. Routine exams and screenings are the best ways to detect early warning signs of chronic disease.

Be proactive about your health by staying on top of necessary medical exams and screenings for each life stage. Your health care provider may recommend more frequent screenings based on your personal health history.

In Your 20s

Health focus is on reproductive and sexual health.

Preventive exams and screenings:

  • Blood pressure screening
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Dental exam and cleaning
  • Eye exam
  • Hearing test
  • Immunizations
  • Pap test
  • Pelvic exam
  • Skin screening
  • Sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening
  • Well-woman exam

In Your 30s

Health focus is pregnancy and parenting

Preventative exams and screenings:

  • Continue the preventive exams and screenings from your 20s, adding:
  • Diabetes screening
  • Thyroid test
  • HPV test

In Your 40s

Health focus is perimenopause issues including changes in menstrual periods, hot flashes, irritability, decreased sex drive, and sleeping problems.

Preventative exams and screenings:

  • Continue the preventive exams and screenings from your 20s and 30s, adding:
  • Mammograms

In Your 50s

Health focus is bone health and menopause.

Preventative exams and screenings:

  • Continue the preventive exams and screenings from your 40s, adding:
  • Colonoscopy (every 10 years if normal, starting at age 50)

In Your 60s

Health focus is bone health and menopause.

Preventative exams and screenings:

  • Continue the preventive exams and screenings from your 50s, adding:
  • Osteoporosis screening (starting at age 65)

In Your 70s and Beyond

Health focus is bone health, hearing, memory loss and mental health.

Preventative exams and screenings:

  • Continue the preventive exams and screenings from your 60s.

Our OB/GYN Team