When Was Your Last Checkup?

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Men’s Health Week starts next Monday (June 15, 2015), which means it’s the perfect time to start leveling up your health. Looking to amp up your fitness regime? Or maybe you’re finally ready to start that healthy-eating kick. Whatever you hope to accomplish, you’re coming up on the right time to get started. But before you set any new goals, you need to know where you stand now. And a new study shows that about half of men, well, don’t.

Only 54 percent of men can remember the last time they went to the doctor for a check-up, according to a new study from Orlando Health. The study surveyed 927 adult men and found that while 795 men could remember the make of their first car, only 532 could remember the last time they checked in on their health with a professional. This comes at the same time as new information showing that 95 percent of people worldwide have health problems, ranging from serious long-term conditions including cancer and depression to chronic aches and pains (lower back anybody?). 

But just because you can rattle off everything that’s wrong with you doesn’t mean you’re healthier, right? Wrong. Women are twice as likely as men to get a yearly check-up, and they’re generally healthier than their male counterparts, according to Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, who worked on the first study. They also live longer; in 1920, the average woman lived one year longer than the average man. Today, she wins out with an extra five years.

A yearly check-up usually includes screening for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer—the effects of which can be greatly reduced if they’re caught early. And on the less serious side, doctors have relatively quick fixes for a whole slew of problems that can become serious if left unchecked. But even if you’re not worried about (or don’t want to think about) conditions like these, scheduling a check-up can benefit you in other ways. Think of your appointment as a chance to have a one-on-one interview with a health specialist. Your doctor can help you lose weight, build muscle, and shut down those pains that just won’t go away. 

Bottom line? Schedule your check-up now so that you can keep crushing your goals for years to come. 

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