Regular checkups are the cornerstone to any plan to stay healthy. Many people think that unless they specialized treatment or some antibiotics for an ear infection, they don't need to visit their doctor. But there are plenty of reasons to go in for regular checkups, even when you don't feel sick. We'll outline them for you here and help you to understand what you're risking when you don't practice illness prevention as part of your long term health plan.

Symptoms, such as a runny nose or a headache, are our indicators that there is something wrong with our bodies. When we have pain from our teeth, we know it's time to visit the dentist office, as an example. However, there are some conditions, such as cancers, Type II diabetes, and certain forms of hepatitis that may not present with any symptoms at all, allowing them to sneak up and pounce on you, causing major health problems and even death later in life if your doctor does not catch them early during a routine checkup.

Checkups also give your doctor a chance to track your general state of health through weigh-ins. Doing yoga in should help keep you healthy, but if your doctor discovers you are still gaining weight more exercise might need to be added to your plan. In fact, before you start any exercise plan you should consult with your doctor to make sure your current precarious state of health will not be endangered by overstraining yourself too early in the game.

Just like you need to visit a dentist for checkups and periodic teeth cleaning to ward off oral diseases, visits to your doctor help prevent you from contracting diseases rather than just dealing with them as they crop up. Your doctor can give you vaccines to protect you from viral illnesses and advise you of the best way to avoid the latest diseases that are making the rounds in your area.

You should be especially careful to have regular checkups if you are at high risk for developing a certain illness or medical condition. If you regularly visit areas such as South America or Africa to work at a dentist, your local doctor needs to keep an eye on you for signs you may have picked up an endemic illness. Also, if your family has a history of certain illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease, you will need regular testing.

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