For a more healthy, productive and happier life, Cigna-HealthSpring — one of the nation’s largest providers of Medicare plans — encourages adults in their golden years to consider the following:

Annual Exams. Annual visits are critical for identifying potential health issues early, as well as maintaining a relationship with your primary care physician. During this visit, your doctor can establish a plan based on your age, gender and health status for the vaccinations and health screenings you need, such as mammograms, cholesterol screenings and colorectal cancer screenings.

Taking Medications as Prescribed. Your drugs were prescribed for a reason. It is important to adhere to your medication regime and take medications as prescribed. Some drugs can cause harmful interactions, so make sure your doctor knows everything you take, including over-the-counter drugs.

Stop Smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. It’s never too late to quit, and the benefits of doing so are almost immediate, according to the American Cancer Society. Keep in mind that parts of Medicare cover smoking cessation counseling and prescription medications.

Exercise. Regular exercise can help older adults stay independent and prevent many health problems that come with age. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer exercise programs designed specifically for older adults at no extra cost. If your plan has a program like this, make sure to take advantage of it.

Have Fun! Be sure to make time for activities you enjoy and seek out others who also enjoy them. The social interaction is good for you. For instance, exercise, which some physicians and scientists say works like a miracle drug and can extend life span by as much as five years, sharpens the brain, wards off disease and keeps seniors in their prime longer.

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