Annual Physical Exams: 7 Reasons Why You Need a Checkup
A doctor’s appointment usually elicits a concerned response from others. Most people associate a visit to the doctor with being sick, but being sick isn’t the only time you should go. On the contrary, the best way to stay healthy is to visit the doctor while you are healthy. Many diseases and conditions don’t manifest obvious symptoms until later stages, making treatment and recovery more difficult, but an annual physical gives your doctor a chance to detect a disease early. It is for this reason that annual physicals are so important for men and women! There are things you can do to support your overall health, such as taking a daily women’s or Men’s multivitamin. By seeing your primary care provider annually, you can greatly reduce your risk of illness, detect a condition early, and improve your overall health, as well as extend your life. Discover the benefits of getting a physical every year.
What Happens at a Physical Exam
Each appointment is individualized, depending on the doctor and the patient. There is typically a basic exam, but it can be adjusted accordingly for each patient. First, a medical professional will often weigh you, measure you, and take your blood pressure and pulse. Next, the doctor will typically ask a series of questions about your body- even if the questions seem random, they have a purpose. Lastly, during your annual exam, your doctor will likely examine your heart and lungs, look at your mouth and ears, feel your lymph nodes, examine your skin, and, depending on your age, sex, and medical history may offer a breast or prostate exam. Remember, it’s best to stay on top of your health by staying physically active and taking a women’s or men’s multivitamin daily.
Why You Should Get a Physical Every Year
In your opinion, would you rather prevent an illness or react to one? Everyone should get an annual physical for this reason! During annual physicals, your doctor can review your health history, discuss any changes, and encourage healthier lifestyle choices. You can also get advice and resources from your doctor to help you manage risk factors that may lead to future health complications. This may include taking proactive steps to increase your overall health, such as eating a healthy diet and taking a daily women’s or men’s multivitamin.
2. Review Lifestyle Behaviors
An annual exam is a great opportunity to learn how to change certain lifestyle behaviors that may be detrimental to your health. For example, cigarette smokers can benefit from gaining information on the adverse effects of smoking and the resources available to quit, a person who has trouble sleeping can find out what methods and medicines to use to improve their sleep, and so much more – your doctor is an invaluable source of knowledge, and the best way to get your health-related questions answered is to discuss them during your annual physical.
3. Build Relationships
Getting your annual physical is one of the best ways to strengthen your doctor-patient relationship. Considering that you only see someone once a year, you may wonder why the importance of building a good relationship with them is important. By building a rapport with their doctor, patients are more likely to trust their advice and recommendations, be honest and open about their lifestyle and behaviors, and feel more comfortable asking questions.
4. Mental Health
Being able to communicate well with your doctor will likely make you feel more comfortable opening up to him or her regarding your mental health as well as your physical health. Let them know if you are experiencing stress or depression, or anxiety, so they can give you appropriate screenings and refer you to treatment.
Vaccinations are an important preventive measure that can help you ward off illnesses and prevent future health complications. Check with your doctor about what vaccinations you’re due for and make sure you’ve had your flu shot by the end of October (although it’s better to get the shot late than never).
6. Review Prescriptions and Supplements
Your annual physical is a great time for your doctor to review all the medications, including over-the-counter ones, that you’re taking so that they can ensure no harmful interactions or side effects. This includes vitamins and supplements. Be sure to mention if you’re taking a women’s or men’s multivitamin.
Most insurance companies cover physical exams as preventative services, so you shouldn’t have to pay more than your copay for the visit. Think of it as a small investment now to avoid future medical expenses.
The Bottom Line
Your physical exam is the perfect opportunity to ask your doctor anything you’ve been thinking about. It’s a chance to come in and bring up things that are bugging you, whether it’s a persistent health problem or something you read that you’d like your doctor’s opinion on. Getting a physical exam can help you keep track of your overall health, as well as establish a relationship with your primary care provider. Keep in mind there are things you can do to enhance your health in between your annual visits. This includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking a daily women’s or men’s multivitamin.