5 Maintenance Tips to Stay on Top of Your Game

5 Maintenance Tips to Stay on Top of Your Game

Maintenance routines can put you on top of your game, and maybe save your life.

When you're out there playing the dating game, looking for love, you always want to look and feel your best. As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Who wants to meet the person of their dreams looking like they just rolled out of bed?

A little maintenance can go a long way, and I'm not just talking about how you do your hair and apply your makeup. Everyone on the dating scene should perform these maintenance routines once a year or so, to make sure you're on top of your game.

1. Physical

I recently found an old New York Times post that explains how frequently you should have a physical exam. According to the information, you should go twice in your twenties and every one to five years afterward. Does that strike anyone else as a bit infrequently. You might not need a physical every year, but those routine checkups can help you catch troublesome stuff before it becomes a big problem.

The biggest part of a physical is getting blood work done. You just never know when certain nutrients and chemicals are out of balance. If you feel even slightly fatigued, it can be a sign of something bigger -- something you're only going to catch with a blood test. Taking advantage of a yearly physical, provided by most health care insurance providers, can help you stay on top of your physical game.

2. STD

You might take all the precautions, but if you have even protected sex you're at risk for contracting an STD. And since so many Americans have an STD, it's even more important than ever to verify that you're safe -- or, of course, know what you do have. It's not fair to have sex with someone, without knowing your health status.

Yes, it's an uncomfortable situation. No, no one wants to be seen at a clinic getting a test. But at the same time it's absolutely necessary for young men and women of every age to know for sure. So it's time to get over potential insecurities and embarrassment and just do it. For your own sake, as well as your partner's.

3. Vision

This one might seem silly at first glance. After all, if you had a problem with your vision you'd see an optometrist, right? If you don't have a noticeable problem with your vision, why get it checked out? The answer: because there are vision problems that can develop even though you don't detect them. And early detection allows you to act quickly to resolve any issues.

Most notably, many people have lived for years with astigmatisms without really noticing anything. The disorder might affect only a small part of vision -- at first. Catching it early can lead to corrective measures, while waiting until it becomes an actual problem can make treatment more difficult. We all want to see our best when we're out on the dating scene, right? So take care of your eyes.

4. Cancer screening

This might be No. 4 on the list, but it is among the most important maintenance routines you can employ. For some types you might not even need to see a doctor initially. Women can perform breast screenings on their own, just as men can check their testicles. Blood tests can reveal yet more, so the yearly physical does come in handy.

At the same time, we should all get regular cancer screenings, especially if we live in cities and are regularly exposed to hazardous materials. Screening for skin cancer, in particular, can be greatly important. It might not show much at first, perhaps a few small moles, but skin cancer can be fatal once it spreads. Getting it checked out, especially if you're frequently exposed to sunlight, can be a real lifesaver. Literally.