When you turn 30, the warranty on your body runs out.
Instead of eating Cheetos for breakfast and falling asleep without brushing our teeth, we need to eat Actual Vegetables.
And occasionally move our bodies.
And understand our health insurance plans.
Whaaaaat?! So boring and un-fun!
That may be true, but it’s also true that getting dentures and osteoporosis at 45 is boring and un-fun.
8 ways to get serious about your health
1. Get your teeth checked
2. Get a basic physical
If you’re like me, there are probably a few things that have bugging you. What’s the deal with that mole? Why does my hip click when I hike? And why can’t I sleep through the night? Because you drink coffee at 7 pm, Sarah. This is what your insurance is for: staying healthy and catching problems before they get too big.
3. Get a pelvic exam and pap smear
But you already knew that, right? And while you’re at it, get tested for STDs and get the HPV vaccine if you qualify.
4. If you wear glasses or contacts, get your eyes checked
I only do this once every two or three years, but I love that moment I pop in new contacts and allofasudden I can see the leaves at the top of every tree! If this isn’t covered by your insurance, you can get cheap exams at America’s Best, cheap contacts from 1800contacts, and frames + lenses for $100 from both Warby Parker and Eyefly. (I speak from experience!)
5. Give yourself regular breast exams.
Again, you already knew that, right?
6. Reassess your fitness routine
You don’t need six-packs abs or Michelle Obama-caliber arms to be healthy. But you really should do something active, several times week. And lifting weights? It prevents osteoporosis and just generally makes you feel like a badass.
Commit to finding something – anything! – that’s active and heart rate increasing that you genuinely enjoy doing. It doesn’t even have to be “exercise”! It could be 20-minute dance parties in your living room, playing hockey with your friends, shoveling all the sidewalks on your block, or leg wrestling with your roommates every night.
7. If you have serious mental health issues, look into them
If you regularly feel depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed – know that you don’t have to feel like that and you’re not alone. If you’re comfortable with medication, talk to your physician.
See if your health insurance covers therapy. If it doesn’t or if you can’t afford it, look into support groups (either in real life or online) and check out sliding-fee therapists.
8. If you don’t have health insurance – please, please, please get some
Medical debt is one of the leading causes of debt. While health insurance won’t completely protect you from incurring medical debt, having insurance makes it much, much less likely.
Also, you’re now legally required to have it. And it’s probably less expensive than you think! I use Health Partners and pay about $130 a month. If you absolutely can’t afford health insurance, this blog post is incredibly useful.
Tell me in the comments! What do you do to stay on top of your health and personal care?