Let’s face it. Getting your annual check-up is probably not your favorite thing to do, especially if everything seems to be in good order. However, the best time to take care of yourself is before a problem arises.
For instance, heart disease is the leading cause of death in men in the United States, and is largely caused by high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking. With regular visits to a primary care provider, your cholesterol levels and blood pressure would be monitored and if you smoke, you could get help to quit. With a proactive mindset and at least a yearly visit to a primary care doctor, prevention can become your best defense.
“Regular visits to a primary care doctor are key to good health,” says Dr. Andrew Wallach, NYC Health + Hospitals Chief of Ambulatory Care. “And not only do you start to feel comfortable with your provider, but your doctor learns more about you and can find problems early, before they become serious.”
Once you’ve found a provider, here are 10 things you can do for your health:
Know your Numbers. Getting regular check-ups and knowing numbers, such as your body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and cholesterol levels are important for heart health. 1 in 4 New Yorkers have high blood pressure and many do not know it or do not know how to manage it. You can check your blood pressure at your doctor’s office and at some pharmacies. Tips to take care of your blood pressure | Heart Health Tips
Get Tested for Diabetes. Close to 200,000 New Yorkers do not know they have diabetes (elevated sugar). Many more New Yorkers also have pre-diabetes and do not know. Pre-diabetes means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be in the diabetic range.
Are you concerned that you might have diabetes?Get a blood sugar test at a NYC Health + Hospitals location. Call (844) 692-4692 or talk to your primary care doctor about getting tested for diabetes.
Know your Prostate Health. Men over 55 years of age should monitor their prostate health and ask their doctor about their prostate cancer risk. A prostate specific antigen (PSA) test is a blood test that measures the level of PSA in the blood. The amount of time between future screenings depends on the results of your PSA blood test. Call us at (844) 692-4692 about scheduling a screening near you. Know your risk for prostate cancer | Prostate Health Tips
Keep Moving. A little bit of exercise can go a long way in improving your health. Try to get about 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Walking is a safe and effective way to help keep your heart healthy. If you cannot do 30 minutes in a day, don’t worry. Some movement is better than no movement so do what you can.
Eat and Drink Smart. Stay away from unhealthy foods and drinks like potato chips and soda. If you are craving a snack, reach for nuts with no added salt, fresh fruit, or low-fat yogurt. When it comes to adding spice to your food, try herbs instead of salt to lower the sodium in your diet. Add flavor to your water by adding fruits like lemons. Get healthy nutrition tips | Find healthy foods in NYC
Quit Smoking. Smoking, as well as excessive drinking, can lead to an irregular heart beat and high-blood pressure. Stopping smoking can lower your risk of heart disease and lung cancer. Tips to quit smoking | Get help to quit smoking
Get Health Care Coverage. NYC Health + Hospitals can help connect you to affordable health insurance and payment options to pay for your care. Learn more about your options