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Doctor offers tips on physical ‘tuneups’

SHARE Doctor offers tips on physical ‘tuneups’

If you take better care of yourself than you do your car, you may be due for a tuneup, according to a professor of medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Dr. Cliff Dasco says that periodic health examinations are important, since chronic conditions can be detected early and then treated using less invasive, painful and inconvenient methods.

Dasco offers tips for keeping your body in peak condition:

Know your family tree. Find out what diseases or health conditions run in your family.

Determine your risks, including behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking and use of drugs. Risk for different diseases varies based on gender and some ethnicities are more genetically disposed to certain diseases than others.

Eat right and exercise. Studies show that exercising an hour a day is essential for reducing heart attack risk. Balanced diets low in fat, high in fiber and rich with fruits and vegetables can cut the chances for heart attack, diabetes and cancer. Obesity is a chronic conditio that has to be managed.

Manage your risks. Your doctor can give you valuable guidance.

"Advancements in modern medicine have been so great that as a society we expect doctors to be able to fix whatever is wrong with us," Dasco said. "But the little things we can do every day, like watching what we eat and exercising, may prevent many problems from developing in the first place."