Checking Up

Checking Up

If you think you're too healthy (or too busy) to go for a physical checkup, it's time to change your thinking. Consider these reasons to visit the doctor:

1. Uncovering potential problems can prevent more serious health problems later.

2. Even if you feel great, consider your family history. If anyone in your immediate family has diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol, cancer, depression or gout, you may be predisposed to these conditions, says Dr. Frank Myers at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens.

3. You don't have to go every year. If you're healthy and have no chronic condition, periodic health exams are fine. Dr. Donald Hensrud, director of the Executive Health Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, suggests healthy adults go for a checkup once every four or five years in your 30s, every three years in your 40s, every other year in your 50s, and yearly after age 60.

To make exams more palatable, look for an executive health program or a doctor who does age-appropriate screenings based on your risk factors. Choose someone who takes the time to talk to you and can counsel you on nutrition, exercise and stress relief.

Visiting the doctor may not be one of your favorite things to do. But you take time to maintain your business's health; isn't your own just as important?

Next: Fore! »

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This article was originally published in the March 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Checking Up.

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