Some people say that it’s hard to find the time or motivation to get a regular check-up. “I’m so busy” or “I feel fine, so why should I get a physical?” are common excuses. But the reality is, regular physical examinations are critical to good health. Immunizations may need to be updated, blood tests may be necessary, or treatments may need to be changed. Being overweight also influences how often you need a physical because it increases your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Physical exams are an essential part of maintaining good physical and mental health. They offer many benefits, some are more obvious than others. Here are a few that may surprise you:
1. Physicals Help Prevent Health-Related Issues
As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Regular physical examinations are opportunities for your doctor to identify changes or potential problem areas in your overall health and act accordingly. For example, an annual physical exam can provide advance warning of heart disease or cancer. In fact, cancer screening has become a routine part of physical examinations, especially for older adults. At the very least, your doctor can detect symptoms of unhealthy habits and work with you to make adjustments.
2. Physicals Can Identify Your Health Trends
Regularly scheduled physical examinations can give your provider a good idea of where you currently are health-wise, compared to where you were the last time you came to visit, and the time before that, and so on. Your first visit establishes a baseline that can prove to be an invaluable foundation of reference for your overall health as you age.
By comparing your results over the years, your provider will be better equipped to identify long-term trends in your health, both positive and negative. If an issue is identified, you’ll be better equipped to correct unhealthy habits, which in turn will lead to the potential for a higher quality of life.
3. You Can Kill Two Birds with One Stone
Very often, people will choose to take care of multiple medical tasks during their visit for the physical. For example, you may need an update on prescriptions, whether it’s a change of medication or a change of dosage. Many patients request a flu shot during their routine physical exams. Plus, those who are planning to travel abroad may need to receive specific immunizations before their departure. What better time to check these items off your to-do list than a routine physical? (Please note that depending upon the service, there may be at an additional cost or need to schedule a secondary appointment.)
4. You Can Receive a Professional Opinion
Very often people are unaware of what is actually going on in their bodies. It’s easy to go online and search for symptoms, leading to an assumption that you’ve contracted a rare type of disease or you’re suffering from an unusual ailment. But instead of self-diagnosing, it’s much wiser to seek medical advice from a licensed practitioner. A physical exam can provide a golden opportunity to receive a sound, well-informed medical diagnosis and treatment advice from an experienced healthcare provider.
5. It Doesn’t Cost an Arm and a Leg
One wonderful thing about physical exams is that they are generally not expensive for the patient. In fact, most insurance companies don’t apply deductibles to preventative visits, such as physicals. In other words, you won’t have to pay very much out-of-pocket to get a routine physical examination. Depending on your insurance, you may not have to pay anything!
Without a doubt, it is to your advantage to schedule a regular physical exam and establish a relationship with a healthcare professional. Many people have found that doing so has been inexpensive, enlightening, and in some cases even life-saving. If you’re due for a physical or don’t know when your next exam should be, if you’d like to schedule an appointment or have any other health-related questions that you’d like to address, please call us today at 715-531-6800. Hudson Physicians would be happy to see you.