Preventative care. It’s a term that seems to be passed around everywhere these days. At the doctor’s, in television ads, in mail advertisements, and especially when searching for insurance. But what is preventative care, and why is it so important?
Preventative care means taking measures to prevent disease or conditions from happening. It’s basically the steps you take to stay healthy. More and more providers and clinics are putting an emphasis and focus on preventative healthcare. And it’s in your best interest that they do so.
It’s Time to Be Proactive
When it comes to healthcare, most people, including physicians, tend to be reactive, meaning they only react when something is wrong. For example, many people only go to the doctor’s if they’re sick. They don’t feel it’s necessary to visit the doctor and spend money on care unless it’s absolutely necessary. In a way, that seems to make sense. But the problem with that mindset is that there’s a good chance you’ll end up spending more time and money trying to fix the problem that you may have been able to prevent in the first place.
You must pursue Better Health and take a proactive role in your health to achieve it. You can’t just sit back. You need to practice prevention. Examples of preventative care include:
- Annual checkup
- Cancer screenings
- Flu shot
These preventative care examples help to prevent major illnesses and diseases. However, it’s important to note that preventive care happens before a problem is identified and that services provided due to an already-identified problem may not be considered preventative care. Examples of non-preventative care include:
- Primary care visits related to a specific health care need
- Diagnostic tests and screenings to learn more about a known condition
Now that you know what preventative care is, let’s discuss why you need to practice it.
The Importance of Preventive Health Care
Just because you’re healthy doesn’t mean you need to avoid the doctor or ignore your health. It’s great that you’re healthy; now, you need to do all you can to stay that way. Preventative care offers so many benefits, such as:
Improves your long-term health – preventative care catches things before they become serious problems. It allows you to get ahead of an issue. For example, by attending your wellness checkups and physicals, you and your provider can monitor things such as your blood pressure and cholesterol – two things that often become serious health concerns. By continuously monitoring these types of things, you’ll be able to notice a change if there is one and be able to work with your provider to address it immediately before it becomes problematic.
Increases your lifespan – When you catch health problems or concerns early, you’re usually better able to treat them and prevent them from becoming a domino effect with other conditions. Plus, by taking steps to improve your health and maintain it, you’ll be preventing health issues down the road, which ultimately improves your lifespan.
Keeps healthcare costs down – One of the biggest benefits of preventative care is that it can save you money! Most health insurance plans will cover the cost of preventative care services, making it more appealing to visit the doctor regularly. Chronic diseases can force you to have to pay out quite a bit to treat and manage. But by catching the disease early or possibly even preventing it from happening, you’re able to save drastically on medical expenses.
Ways to Practice Preventative Care at Home
Preventative care doesn’t just apply to health services you do with your doctor. Prevention begins at home. You must take steps individually to ensure you’re doing your part to stay healthy. This includes eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.
Diet and exercise control and prevent a host of medical conditions. And they are two things you are in complete control of. These two components help with weight management, which is imperative to health. By maintaining a healthy weight, you lower your risk for diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Getting enough sleep is also a step you can take for preventative care. Sleep is essential in keeping your brain and body healthy. Lack of sleep can leave your immune system weak and susceptible to diseases. You should establish a good sleep routine that you can stick to and ensures you get at least eight hours of sleep each night.
It’s these little steps that you’re able to take that have a tremendous health payout. No one wants to be sick. And sometimes, it is unavoidable no matter how good and safe we are. But many of the issues we end up facing with our health are often avoidable with a bit of preventative care.
If you haven’t started yet, start your journey to Better Health today. Adopt preventative care into your healthcare routine and start living your best life.