Many, many people dread the idea of going to the doctor. Getting regular health screenings, though, is incredibly important! The more you know about your body and any conditions that may be afflicting you, the better care you can take of yourself.

In today’s world, a host of conditions can be managed or even cured with proper diet, exercise, and, in some cases, prescription medication. Everyone wants to stay healthy to make memories with loved ones for decades to come; getting screened on a regular basis is a big part of leading a life of wellness. As you read this guide, you’ll learn more about some of the most important screenings you should get each year.

General Physical

Undergoing an annual physical is not nearly as invasive as it sounds. Any general practitioner can perform this check-up, which typically consists of a brief examination and, most of the time, some bloodwork.

Your physical is a great time to bring up any health concerns you may be having with your doctor. Remember, no issue is too small; if you’re worried, your caretaker is there to help you. It also bears noting that many insurance plans will give you a break on your premium if you provide proof of having a physical each year, so don’t delay!

Heart Health

Getting regular cardiac health screenings can help you avoid a heart attack or heart disease down the road. Heart problems can be scary, but many conditions are manageable once you know they exist. The truly scary thing is risking your well-being by not having an annual screening. The more proactive you are about your heart health, the better off you will be in the long run.

Cholesterol Check

High cholesterol can be the source of numerous health issues that would all but disappear if the cholesterol issue was dealt with. If you don’t have an annual cholesterol screening, though, you may not even know your levels are above the normal threshold.

Some physicals and heart health exams include cholesterol screenings, but not all do. Don’t hesitate to check with your physician if you’re not sure what is included in any given testing panel.

STD Testing

If you’re sexually active, undergoing STD testing isn’t something you should be ashamed of. In fact, it’s just smart. A lot of STDs can be cured with medication, but some require regular check-ups for years to come.

If you find out you have an STD, it’s important to come up with a viable treatment plan with a trusted doctor. You should also inform any future partners of your STD status if the infection you have isn’t curable. Many free clinics and boards of health will perform free STD testing if you lack insurance or have other financial difficulties.