We know that the basics for a healthy lifestyle include diet and exercise.
A good diet means an "appropriate" number of calories in the proper proportions of protein, carbs, and fats, with necessary vitamins and minerals. ("Appropriate" for our age, gender and activity level.)
The exercise part means burning calories for aerobic and anaerobic fitness, to maintain or enhance endurance and muscle tone.
There is a third part to a heathly lifestyle and that lies in knowing our body and maintaining its systems. This aspect includes annual physical examinations and tests or procedures that monitor the body's condition. Just like an automobile, the body has critical parts that need a checkup or tuneup from time to time.
Here are my top Five Health Maintenance Recommendations:
Dental Care. Regular x-ray exam and cleanings. Dental control program with brushing and flossing. New research has connected many diseases to poor dental health; some of these can be fatal.
Blood. An annual physical exam includes blood work that can reveal an incredibly large number of conditions and afflictions that you MUST catch early to avoid costly treatment later, as well as possibly painful and deteriorating health leading to death. This includes abnormalities and imbalances in blood chemistry like cholesterol levels that will result in an early death.
Prostate and Mammograms. One for the guys and one for the ladies (depend on your physician for recommended testing ages and frequencies).
Bone Density. Having a quick and simple bone density checkup can alert you to osteopenia before osteoporosis. This is for men and women. I, a male, discovered that I had thin bones and was diagnosed with osteopenia when I was 55 years old. A simple ankle bone density test led to a complete bone density scan for femur, pelvis, vertebra, etc. My advice is to catch this early.
Supplements. Regular medical examinations will enable your physician to recommend appropriate food supplements. For me, it was calcium and vitamin D. Much of our food simply does not carry the nutritional value that we expect. Most of us do not eat enough of the correct food. Few of us could maintain a diet that would provide ALL of our needed nutrients, and as we age, those nutritional needs change. Keep your doctor in the picture.
We can't put all of our physical health efforts into just any one aspect of fitness. Diet alone, Exercise alone, or Physical Examinations alone, will, in the long run, mean a shorter run.