25 Easy Ways to Monitor Your Health Between Check-Ups

What do you do between your regular check-ups with your doctor? If you need to monitor blood pressure, stay of top of your diabetes or lower your cholesterol via doctor’s orders, then you have a plan of action. But, what if you pass your physical with flying colors? Do you sit back and relax?

While relaxing is one way to relieve stress, perhaps you can do more to keep fit and healthy between doctor visits. Preventative care can increase self awareness, health literacy and help to avert emergency health care visits.

The following list provides twenty-five preventative health tips that your doctor may not mention during your visit. The links are divided into categories, and the tips are listed alphabetically beneath each category. This method shows our readers that we do not prefer one tip over another.

Overall Health Matters

  1. Anger Management: While anger is a normal human emotion, an overabundance of anger or poor anger management can result in abuse, poor health, injuries and even death.
  2. Aspirin Therapy: Studies indicate that if 90 percent of all men over 40 and women over 50 took a daily low-dose aspirin, it could save up to 45,000 lives per year. Ask your doctor if you’re in the majority, as daily aspirin for some people can create serious side effects.
  3. Fertility Help: In some cases, you may prevent infertility by watching your weight, limiting drug and alcohol use and – for men – staying away from tight pants or underwear.
  4. Floss, Floss, Floss: And, visit your dentist regularly. Poor dental health can lead to gingivitis, which can lead to periodontitis, which can lead to bone degeneration, tooth loss and heart problems.
  5. Flu Watch: The single best way to avoid flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits also can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses.
  6. Health Risk Factors: One in three American adults between the ages of 20 through 74 are overweight. What are the health risks for overweight people? This link is great for anyone to use, as you can learn more about your family history – including heart disease – to discover conditions you may have inherited.
  7. Healthy Hearts: Being “in love” might make you feel good, but your heart deserves far more care. Reduce stress, limit alcohol intake, maintain a low blood pressure and more and your heart will love you back.
  8. HIV Measures: HIV – unlike flu – has no vaccine to prevent it, and there currently is no cure for AIDS. Prevention includes foresight, self-discipline and education.
  9. Joint Health: Arthritis Today educates readers on how to be good to your joints. Ignoring joint health can lead to looking and feeling older. Additionally, joint pain can be symptomatic of other problems.
  10. Look Before You Flush: The color of your urine or stool can tell you much about your health. Daily checks can help you discover if you are digesting your food correctly or if you have food allergies or other digestive problems. Also, ask your doctor about colorectal screening for colon cancer.
  11. PERF Your Life: Reader’s Digest offered sixteen ways to monitor your health between checkups, and PERF was among those tips. Think “Produce, Exercise, Relaxation and Fiber,” or the amount of fruits and vegetable you ate that day, whether you were active, whether you got at least fifteen minutes of time for yourself and whether you ate enough fiber for the day. That is a healthy day.
  12. Sleep Issues: You may need help with this one, unless you wake yourself with your snoring. Sleep apnea, which is more common in overweight individuals, might indicate a blocked airway. Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency and headaches.
  13. Tetanus Update: Children may receive tetanus shots as part of their early vaccine routine. Updates should occur every ten years, and this shot often includes diphtheria boosters. Thanks to these shots, the incidence of diphtheria has dropped to three cases per year, as compared to the 1920s with an average of 100,000-200,000 cases per year with 13,000-15,000 deaths.
  14. You Are What You Eat: If you work out, eating right is important to fuel your body for exercise and to help heal your body after working out. If you don’t work out, your issues are more complex.


  1. Prostate Problems: Help your doctor detect early signs of prostate cancer with a self-exam. Also, if you’re older, ask your doctor about PSA (Prostrate Specific Antigen), a blood test for the early detection of possible prostrate cancer in men.
  2. You’re in Charge: American men are at higher risk than women for heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, suicide, kidney disease and Alzheimer’s – in that order. Learn which screenings, diagnostic tests and immunizations are right for you to prevent the onset of a life-threatening condition or disease.


  1. Cancer Check: Pap smears (beginning at age 18) and breast exams (beginning at puberty) are essential for early diagnosis for female cancers. You can learn how to conduct your own breast exam to stay on top of any developments between doctor appointments.
  2. Menopause Monitoring: Hot flashes, depression, decisions about hormone therapy and more plague women who enter menopause. Post-menopausal issues include cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer and osteoporosis-associated fractures. Learn more so you can improve your quality of life.
  3. Pre- and Postnatal Care: While your obstetrician and doctor may provide guidelines for your pregnancy, it is up to you to do all you can do for your health and the health of your baby.

Your Immediate Environment

  1. Be Prepared: This motto is useful when you live in an area prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes. Prepare, plan and stay informed with this link for Ready America.
  2. Household Hazardous Waste: This link provides information about hazards in many households and how to use them and dispose of them safely.
  3. Smoke Detectors Save Lives: Make sure your smoke detector works, or install one if you don’t have one so you and your family can increase your chances of surviving a home fire.
  4. Tap Into Prevention: What’s in the water that comes out of your tap? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers. Use this information to begin your investigation.
  5. Ventilate Your Home: Fresh air is essential when you have fuel-burning appliances, as air helps to eliminate a buildup of dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide and radon.
  6. Your Car Damages Lungs [PDF]: When the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 brought about a reduction in auto use by 22.5 percent, asthma admissions to ERs and hospitals also decreased by 41.6 percent. How can you limit the impact of your driving?
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