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While your body is super resilient in your 20s and well into your 30s, it slows down as you age. That’s why preventive care is so important. Sure, no one wants to spend money on health care when they feel healthy. Most of us are pretty busy. We think we don’t have time to go to the doctor when we’re not sick.
But here’s the rub: seeing the doctor when we’re not sick helps us fend off serious illnesses. It also helps catch them early when they can be more easily treated. Preventive services may be covered by your health plan at no out-of-pocket cost to you when you visit a clinic or doctor in your health plan’s network. Use our Provider Finder® tool to compare docs and find a primary care physician (PCP) in your network.
Remember, you have the power to monitor your health now. Keep track of these key health numbers and your future self will thank you!
Body mass index (BMI) measures a person’s total mass (muscle, fat, bone). It then categorizes a person as underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Everyone’s ideal body weight is different. Your height, frame, age, muscle mass, weight and gender all play a role in your ideal weight. It’s no secret that malnourishment and obesity play key roles in the onset of dangerous health conditions. Your doctor can work with you to determine your ideal body mass index. Ask about it at your next annual wellness exam. Your wellness exam may be covered at no cost to you.*
Blood pressure measures the force of blood against your arteries when your heart beats and when it’s at rest. Pressure that is too high for too long isn’t good.
Millennials may be one of the most pressured generations around, taking on the world and trying to stay chill at the same time. If your pressure is too high or too low, you can run the risk for heart attack, stroke and other health problems. You care provider will take your blood pressure during an annual wellness exam.
You may not know you have high blood pressure. Often, there aren’t any signs to warn you (other than a stroke or heart attack), so it’s important to keep an eye on it. Also, when you visit a doctor, your blood pressure (along with your weight and height) is one of the vitals that is checked. Store the numbers in your phone and keep track of it just like you monitor your steps and weight. If you’re into the data thing, you can track whether you seem to be more wound up in the afternoons or in the morning.
Cholesterol can build up in your arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through them and to your heart. Just like high blood pressure, high cholesterol often shows no symptoms. It can go untreated for years until heart disease shows up. When you lower your cholesterol, you decrease your risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Put your health first and make an appointment today with a primary care physician to have your numbers checked.
Originally published 6/6/2016; Revised 2021, 2023
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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