Studies show that 22% of people in the United States avoided going to the doctor because of the cost. This means they were not getting their exams, screenings, blood work, or even medications that they needed.
Luckily, one of the main benefits of annual physicals is considered preventative care, which is completely covered under most types of insurance. Getting a physical is an important part of maintaining your health and identifying any potential health concerns.
Do you want to learn more about the benefits of annual physicals? Keep reading this article to learn what happens during a wellness checkup and why you need one.
They Assess Your Overall Health
One of the biggest reasons that you need to get an annual physical exam is because they are a great tool to assess your overall health. In a typical wellness check, your doctor will test your blood pressure, provide a cholesterol screening, and more.
Your provider will also likely provide a head-to-toe exam. This includes listening to your heart and lungs, feeling your lymph nodes, checking your skin, and more. They will also review your vital signs and each of your organ systems.
As they assess your overall health, they will ask you questions to learn more about your health. For example, they may ask if you have any unusual growths on your skin, shortness of breath, or even changes to the color of your urine.
Assessing your overall health will help you feel confident that you are healthy and do not have any major, life-threatening conditions! If your doctor notices anything unusual during this assessment, they will likely refer you to a specialist for further tests.
Recommended Preventative Measures
Another great benefit of having a yearly physical exam is that you will have access to preventative medicine. If your doctor detects a problem with your health before it gets too serious, they are able to recommend preventative measures to improve.
For example, you may get a blood test at your annual physical that shows that you have high cholesterol. Knowing this will allow you to make changes to your diet and exercise to improve your cholesterol levels and to avoid developing heart conditions in the future.
When you have more knowledge about your health, you can find ways to improve it.
Allows You to Update Vaccinations
Next, getting a regular physical exam allows you to update your vaccinations! Although people get most of their vaccinations when they are young, it is important that you get regular booster shots to continually protect your body from preventable diseases.
When you go to your physical, your doctor may talk with you about your vaccination history. They will recommend vaccinations that you should have. This way, you can keep your vaccinations up-to-date!
Some vaccinations that your doctor may recommend include the flu vaccine, HPV vaccine, and even the COVID-19 vaccine.
Provide Important Screenings
Having an annual wellness check with your doctor will also allow you to get important screenings to protect your health. Often, health conditions can be prevented with these screenings.
One type of routine screening you may get is cancer screening. These tests help detect cancer in the early stages, which makes it more treatable. If you don’t get these annual screenings, you may find out too late that you have a serious disease.
You can also get mental health screenings to see if you struggle with any mental health conditions, like anxiety or depression. If you are, you can get the help that you need to treat your conditions.
Updated Medical Records
During your annual physical, you will also update your medical records with your primary care provider. There is a lot that can change in a year, so keeping your medical records up-to-date will ensure you and your doctor are on the same page.
Many of these changes during the year can affect your mental health. These include changes to medication, new allergies, changes to your mental health, and more.
Plus, your doctor will ask more about your family history. If anyone in your family has developed new health conditions since your last physical, it is important that you tell your provider. This way, they can recommend the right screenings and treatments to help you avoid developing these same conditions.
Talk With Your Doctors About Your Health Concerns
Something else that you can do during a wellness checkup is talk with your doctor about your health concerns. Often, people do not want to schedule a doctor’s appointment just to talk about potential concerns.
Instead, they will wait until they are already going to the doctor to discuss these issues.
Having an annual physical provides you with a time each year that you can talk with your doctor. You can ask them questions about your current health, discuss concerns about your physical health and more.
For example, if you have decided to try for children, you may want to discuss this with your doctor. This way, they can recommend a prenatal vitamin and offer other advice as you are starting a new chapter of your health.
Helps You Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Another reason getting an annual physical is so important is that it helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle! When you meet with your doctor, they can provide you with resources and information that will help you make noticeable changes to your health.
For example, your doctor may recommend losing a bit of weight to lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many other preventable conditions. They can offer customized treatment plans and quality medical advice that will make it easier to make healthy lifestyle changes.
By getting an annual physical, you can avoid developing diseases, get proper care for chronic conditions, and more. Plus, an annual physical can even increase your lifespan and improve your quality of life!
Provides You With a Professional Guide
When you are concerned about your health or are looking for ways to improve, talking to a medical professional is the best option. This is because most people really do not know what is going on inside their own bodies.
While you can do your own research or rely on self-diagnosis, this is not typically the most reliable information. There are so many conflicting sources when it comes to health.
However, your medical practitioner can give you reliable advice concerning your health. They can diagnose any issues you are dealing with, help you create a customized treatment plan, and more!
Even if you don’t get an annual physical, you must be careful with the sources you choose to listen to. It is always best to talk to a medical professional that is trained to treat you.
Discuss Life Changes
Your doctor will also ask you for a general life update and will talk about changes going on in your life. For example, your doctor may ask questions to learn more about your current stage of life, your mental state, and more.
They will also ask you questions to determine your risk for other diseases. For example, they can ask you if you have started using substances, if you are sexually active, and more.
These life changes are important to your health, so it is important that you discuss them openly with your provider.
Assesses Risk for Future Health Issues
Finally, getting an annual physical will help you assess your risk for future health issues. When you meet with your doctor, you will provide them with your medical history. This will include information about your family’s health and diseases that are genetic.
Discussing this with your doctor can help determine whether or not you are at risk for developing these same diseases.
Plus, your annual physical will help you identify signs of diseases. During your overall health check, your doctor can identify signs of diseases, even if they are slight!
This way, you will know whether or not you will have future health conditions or if your current health conditions will get worse. It will also make it
Experience the Benefits of Annual Physicals for Yourself
Getting an annual physical can help you identify and prevent many health problems and can greatly improve your quality of life. By learning more about what happens during an annual physical, you can be prepared for your appointment and will see these benefits in your own life.
If you want to schedule an appointment for a wellness checkup or an annual physical, Zero Gravity can help! We provide primary care services for wellness exams, physicals, and other minor illnesses.
Contact us today to learn more about the importance of a physical and to book an appointment!