In your 20s and 30s you’re still considered young, but also a little wiser. You’ve acquired jobs and you may even have family responsibilities. If you’ve taken care of your health, you probably feel pretty good.
But middle age is right around the corner. It’s important that you’re aware of potential health issues that come with aging, and know the things you can do to avoid them.
Here’s a short list of the top health concerns for millennials.
Cardiovascular risk assessment
Heart disease comes in many forms and can lead to serious or fatal complications when undetected. Both men and women are susceptible to heart disease, although it usually shows up in women 10 years later than it does in men. A cardiovascular risk assessment in your 20s and 30s can determine how risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, obesity and genetics can affect the health of your heart as you age.
You can help ward off heart disease with a healthy lifestyle. Choose a heart-smart diet, keep physically active and don’t smoke.
Over two-thirds of adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese. Maintaining a healthy weight will not only keep you feeling and looking younger, it will help you avoid diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, liver disease, stroke and some cancers. Next to quitting smoking, losing weight is the best thing you can do for your long-term health. Talk to your provider about setting up a healthy eating and exercise plan.
Preparing for parenthood
You may be well-prepared for all the needs of your baby-on-the-way (or maybe you’re already raising young ones). But are you taking care of yourself, too? If you’re a mother-to-be, schedule a full physical as soon as you know you’re pregnant. In fact, schedule one even if you plan on getting pregnant soon. During your exam ask for advice on diet and exercise if you don’t have a healthy routine. Dads-to-be will need to be physically and mentally prepared for a little one, too. Suggest your partner schedule a wellness exam.
Mental health screenings
Millennials may be surprised to learn that mental health issues are fairly common in their age group, with depression and stress-related conditions among the top concerns reported. Staying healthy also means taking care of your mental health. If you need help, or just want to talk to someone, start by having a conversation with your doctor. He or she can recommend a mental health professional to help get you on your way to feeling better.
Getting a physical isn’t just for students, job-seekers and moms-to-be. A regular physical can uncover hidden health dangers before they become life-threatening. It may seem counter-intuitive to see your provider when you don’t feel sick, but screenings can detect problems early when they’re easier to treat. Set a date on your calendar for an annual physical that’s easy to remember a week before your birthday, for example and then get your physical the same time every year.
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