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Do you get a physical every year?

PaulaBy Paula Bowers-Sanchez

Are you hesitating to answer? Then the answer is most likely “no.” An article I read recently in TIME Magazine said that only one in five Americans gets a yearly physical. I do not know the numbers for our Tribe, but using the aforementioned statistic, my guess is that not very many of us get regular physicals. I know school-age children most likely do because schools require one for admittance.

The truth is we should treat our bodies like the fine, well-oiled machines they are meant to be. A lot of effort is put into our cars and trucks running smoothly, getting regular tuneups and oil changes. So, let’s take care of our one body (the only one we are ever gonna get) and get regular checkups.
How do we know if we are healthy or if we are on the fast track to sickness?

GENERAL PHYSICAL EXAMS.

This includes taking a detailed history to learn all about you and your family history plus a head-to-toe physical exam (inside and out).

Also important for us women is a yearly gynecological exam, as well as mammograms.

Here are some general health guidelines to see where you might need to improve. Just remember, everybody has different health needs, so you should consult with your doctor for specific guidelines to reach your optimal health.

* Waist circumference smaller than 35 inches for women
* Blood pressure around the normal 120/80 measurement
* Blood lipids: “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL; “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) higher than 50 mg/dL; triglycerides (TG) less than 150 mg/dL
* Fasting blood glucose less than 100 mg/dL
* Sleep seven to eight hours a night. (This one I’m not in line with; there never seems to be enough hours in the day.)
* Eat fruits, veggies, grains, proteins, dairy and healthy fats.
* Don’t smoke.
* Reduce stress in your life.
* Drink one glass of wine or less daily.
* Exercise at least three to four days a week.

MENTAL HEALTH:
* Build strong friendships and relationships.
* Sleep seven to eight hours a night. (I’m lucky if I get six hours!)
* Make time to relax and reduce stress.

MENOPAUSE ASSESSMENT:
* Weigh the pros and cons of hormone therapy.
* Assess your menopausal status and risk with a practitioner.

OSTEOPEROSIS:
* Consume 1200 mg calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D daily
* Exercise at least three to four days a week (walk, run, resistance training…any activity that gets your heart rate going and makes you sweat!)

So get up and get to the doctor!

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