The Benefits of Getting an Annual Physical Exam

Posted: Nov 3rd, 2022 at 12:00AM - by Brenda Carrillo

The Benefits of Getting an Annual Physical Exam

Why visit a doctor when you feel healthy and happy and have never experienced serious medical issues? Maybe you eat healthy most days, go to the gym regularly, and get enough sleep to wake up feeling refreshed.

Many diseases and illnesses don't show symptoms, especially in the early stages. To maintain your well-being, having a preventive healthcare plan is crucial. An annual physical exam is one of the best ways to ensure that you're still in good health. It serves as a wellness check, and your doctor will address not just any current health issues but also what you might be at risk for in the future.

Think about it like this: It's about being proactive — not reactive.

The Importance of an Annual Physical Exam

Here are some of the reasons why annual physicals are beneficial to you.

1. Understand and Develop Your Health Baseline

An annual physical exam helps your doctor learn what's normal for your body and develop a baseline. During your annual checkups, your provider gathers vital stats such as your blood pressure, heart rate, pulse rate, temperature, and body mass index for analysis. Think of this like your homeostasis, or how your body functions on a normal day.

This information comes in handy because should something significantly change — say, your blood pressure — your healthcare provider will know that this isn't normal for you.

. Assess and Review Potential Health Risks

An annual physical allows your doctor to spot early disease symptoms that have the potential to progress and become bigger issues down the line. For instance, if your blood glucose (or sugar) levels are behaving abnormally, your provider might run blood tests to check for diabetes.

3. Take Preventive Measures Against Disease

Going for an annual physical checkup is an essential preventive measure against illness. Regular checkups allow your doctor to detect diseases you may not be aware of. Depending on your age, medical history, family history, and lifestyle, your provider will monitor for problems that are specific to you so that should something arise, they can determine the next steps.

Your doctor also checks your immunization record to see gaps in your vaccination schedule. As an adult, you should keep up to date with your vaccines to prevent contracting diseases. For instance, you should receive recommended vaccines, such as the seasonal flu vaccine, to be better equipped during the flu season. You might also need to receive booster shots for any illnesses that you no longer have the proper immunity to (like the COVID-19 booster). If you're not sure what you're immune to, your provider can use blood titer testing to check.

4. Update Your Medical Records

Many things can happen in a year, including changes in your health. Going for an annual checkup makes it possible for your medical records to be kept up to date. Your provider can examine the following to ensure you have updated medical records:

  • Review your medications: Provide your doctor with your current prescriptions and any over-the-counter drugs or supplements you take.
  • Allergies: Your doctor will ask you if you have developed any allergies recently and advise you on the correct treatments and precautions.
  • Surgeries or procedures: Alert your provider if you've undergone surgery or any other type of treatment since you last met.

Having updated medical records helps your doctor manage and track your health risks more accurately.

Doctor listening to patient’s heart with a stethoscope

5. Save Medical Costs Over Time

Some people avoid annual checkups, arguing that it's a waste of money since they're not sick. However, they don't realize that going for a physical exam can save them a lot of money in the future.

Getting an annual checkup leads to early detection of diseases, which is critical for your health and your wallet. The cost of treatment can be lower — or avoided completely — if your physician detects your illness as early as possible.

On the other hand, your medical expenses can skyrocket if you receive treatment later for a more serious illness For example, a flu vaccine not only helps to prevent the flu but complications of the flu — like pneumonia, which can be very serious and even deadly.

6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Healthcare providers use different techniques to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even if you're already generally healthy, your provider can advise you on what to eat, what exercises to do, and how to better manage your stress so that you can improve your health further and avoid hiccups down the line.

7. Build a Strong Relationship with Your Doctor

It's common to experience anxiety around visiting the doctor. But living in fear of your physician's office isn't a good practice. Scheduling your yearly physical exams is the best approach to overcoming this fear.

Annual physical exams allow you and your doctor to get to know each other better. Visiting your doctor, especially when you're not sick, provides a perfect window to establish trust, familiarity, and an open line of communication, and you can talk about your health preferences, making future checkups easier.

You're more inclined to visit and open up to a doctor with whom you have a good relationship. In addition, you'll pay better attention to any guidelines and recommendations they offer.

Doctor looking into patient’s mouth with a flashlight

Where Can I Get a Physical Exam?

The best way to safeguard your health is by taking action before you fall ill. There is no time like the present to go for an annual checkup if you haven't had one. At e7 Health, same-day and next-day appointments are available and you can book online.

Sometimes, we take our health for granted, especially when we’re not sick. However, making annual physical checkups a habit will mean that you reap better health benefits and will be likelier to avoid illness in the future.

Book your appointment with e7 Health today.

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