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Prevention is better than cure

3 minute read

When it comes to our health, prevention is much better than cure. Several diseases and injuries are preventable, and can be managed much better if identified earlier on.

It is common for people only to go to the doctor when they are feeling unwell. A regular check-up with your doctor helps them to assess your overall health and to identify your risk factors for disease. By knowing what's normal for you early on, you'll be able to detect any serious changes later.

Related: I have a health concern...what do I do?

What's involved in a regular check-up?

During the session, your doctor is likely to:

  • ask you about your current health, and both your personal and family medical history
  • examine you carefully, looking for any signs of illness
  • ask you to do relevant urine and blood tests
  • ask you about lifestyle habits (such as the ones we'll discuss below)

This assessment will help your doctor to know if you have or are at risk of developing any chronic diseases. This is a great chance for you to ask your doctor about your health and about current recommendations and guidelines. It is best for adults have a check-up every 2 years and every year after age 40.

By knowing what's normal for you early on, you'll be able to detect any serious changes later.

What can I do between doctor visits?

In between doctor's visits it is up to you to try your best to stay healthy. Try out these lifestyle tips to help keep your heart and body healthy.

  • Stay away from smoking. Even second hand smoke increases your risk.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are unsure about what is healthy for you, ask your doctor during your next visit. For heart health, the National Heart Foundation recommends that men have a waist circumference of less than 94cm and women less than 80cm.
  • Eat a balanced diet. If you are unsure of how much you should be eating, take a look at the Australian Eat for Health guidelines and check out our favourite foods from each of the five food groups.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol. The National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines recommend adults have no more than two standard drinks on any given day and include two alcohol-free days per week. Those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or are under 18 years old are recommended to avoid alcohol completely.
  • Keep active. Aim to do 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. Moderate intensity exercise causes a noticeable increase in the depth and rate of breathing while still being able to talk comfortably.

Decide which lifestyle factors you can start working on today! Why not get a friend, workmate or family member involved to help you get started. Once you are in a good routine, prevention is much easier and cheaper than relying on a cure, and can help you stay healthier for longer.

Interested in a health coach?

Our The COACH Program© is available to eligible nib members at no additional cost* who’ve been diagnosed with or are at risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes or respiratory disease.

Perfect for those who struggle to keep motivated and need some extra support, it includes personalised coaching with nutrition, fitness and lifestyle advice. With your coach, you’ll be able to set up your own health goals, get advice on the questions to ask your doctor and education on how to maintain your optimal level of health – so you can make long-term changes.

Interested in finding out whether you’re eligible for any of our Health Management Programs, or simply keen to get more information? Visit our Health Management Programs page.

The health foundations you build now will help you live a longer, happier and healthier life. The good news is that there are lots of simple everyday things that we can all do to stay on top of our health. We’ve put together a handy health check guide for every stage of life.

*Available to eligible nib members who’ve held Hospital Cover for 12 months and served their relevant waiting periods. Additional criteria vary according to each program.

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