How to Stay Healthy at Any Age - Ascension Wisconsin

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How to Stay Healthy at Any Age

Your Checklist for Health

The most important things adults can do to stay healthy are:

  • Get regular checkups and recommended screening tests
  • Be tobacco free
  • Be physically active
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation

Screening tests can find diseases early when they are easier to treat. Talk to your health care provider about which guidelines are right for you.

Breast Cancer Screening

Consider starting at age 40 or earlier. The greatest overall benefit is seen with mammograms every 2 years between age 50 and 74. Talk with your health care provider about when mammograms are right for you.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Women ages 21-65 years old should have a pap smear every 3 years.

Colorectal Cancer

Have a test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. Your health care provider can help you decide which test is right for you. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be tested earlier.


Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. If you have felt “down,” sad, or hopeless over the last 2 weeks or have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things, you may be depressed. Talk to your health care provider about being screened for depression.


Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity. (BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.) You can also find your own BMI with our BMI calculator.

High Blood Pressure

Have your blood pressure checked at least every year. Ideal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower, and high blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.

High Cholesterol

Men should have their cholesterol checked regularly starting at age 35. If you are a younger man, or a woman, talk to your health care provider about whether to have cholesterol checked if:

  • You have diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Heart disease runs in your family
  • You smoke


Talk with your doctor to make sure you're up to date on your immunizations. Take our adult immunization quiz to learn more.

Osteoporosis Tests

Women 65 years and older (younger if high risk) should have a bone density test.

Prevent Falls

If you're 65 years or older and have fallen or are worried about falling, talk with your health care provider about how exercise and Vitamin D supplements might reduce your risk.

Silent Infections

Adults born between 1945 and 1965 should be checked for Hepatitis C, and all adults should be checked for HIV (AIDS virus).

Vision & Hearing Checks

After 65 years of age, men and women should report any hearing or vision problems.

Don't Forget Regular Check Ups

It's important to stay up-to-date and be assessed regularly for special high risk factors and the need for additional tests. If you don't have a primary care doctor, we can help! Visit our online physician directory.

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