Annual Physical / Sports Physical
It’s a common misconception that healthy adults don’t need to visit their doctors. The truth is, medical professionals, such as those at Timeless Wellness Clinic in Pleasanton, CA, recommend having an annual physical exam. It is a great way to maintain your overall health and catch early signs of disease.
What Is an Annual Physical?
While you might think of the doctor’s office as a place to go when you are sick or injured, your care provider also wants to see you when things are going well. This is a great time to check-in and make sure you are on track. It is also when you can mention any concerns and have your questions answered.
The idea isn’t so far stretched. Think of all the “well” visits children have. People don’t suddenly become healthier when they reach adulthood. In fact, there are frequently more issues later in life than early on, so you want to be sure to keep up with your health. After all, the goal of an annual exam is to help you stay healthy in the first place.
How It Works
Now that you know you should have one, you may be wondering what exactly will happen during your exam. Of course, specifics will depend on certain factors, such as your age, gender, overall health, and the goals for your visit. However, some things are pretty universal.
A Physical Examination
You should expect your provider to look over your body during your visit. She will probably check a few basic vitals, such as your height, weight, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels.
Answering Basic Questions
You’ll also likely face a few basic questions. These are often centered around your diet and exercise habits. Other lifestyle choices, such as smoking and alcohol use, may also be covered. Your provider may also ask about your emotional health and if you feel safe at home. Remember, they are asking these questions to help you stay healthy, not judge your choices.
Recommendations for Routine Tests and Preventative Measures
You may get recommendations for specific tests or follow-up procedures. A few examples are checking cholesterol and blood sugar levels. You may also be offered preventative measures like a flu vaccine
Why You Should Have a Physical Every Year
Yes, it’s called an annual exam, but do you really need to go to the doctor every year if you are healthy? In general, the answer is going to be yes. Keep reading to see the reasons you should get checked every year.
To Catch Fast Progressing Illnesses
An annual check will be more likely to find fast-developing illnesses early than if you wait for symptoms to appear. This is because certain health conditions can get out of hand quickly. That means that even a slight delay could be the difference between a simple treatment plan and a more complex one. It might even whether or not you can overcome the illness.
To Uncover Symptoms That You Dismissed
Not all diseases progress rapidly. Some manifest so slowly over time that you might adapt to symptoms as they appear. Others are so minor that you may have dismissed them as nothing to worry about. Your provider is more aware of the symptoms of common health conditions, so she is in a good position to help you decide whether you are experiencing a normal ache and pain or something that warrants concern.
To Track Body Composition
You may not have noticed minor fluctuations in your weight, but your medical chart will undoubtedly uncover any patterns that need attention. Consistent weight gain or loss could be a sign of more serious trouble that needs your attention. And, if the changes are happening gradually over time, you might not pay them much attention. You might also put it down to getting older or being less active.
To Schedule Routine Tests
You may need to have tests run. These vary depending on age and gender but might include tests such as a mammogram or prostate screening. In some instances, an annual skin check is recommended to track changes or look for early signs of skin cancer.
To Ask Questions
Your doctor isn’t the only one asking questions at an annual exam. This is also your opportunity to express your concerns and ask any questions you may have about your health. Despite the widespread availability of online information, talking directly with your medical provider will almost always result in higher quality information and better results. It also provides insight into your concerns and helps establish a positive relationship between you and your provider. A few questions that commonly come up in annual exams include:
- How can I improve my diet?
- Is it safe for me to exercise?
- What is a good way to manage seasonal allergies?
- How can I improve my immune system naturally?
- Is there anything I can do to reduce skin irritation?
To Avoid Injuries
This issue is common to both competitive athletes and weekend warriors. Unfortunately, an injury can do more than cause pain. It can also sideline your activity and lead to unhealthy habits. Scheduling a sports physical with your care provider is a great way to keep your immune system strong and your muscles in top shape.
Who Is This Right for?
It is essential to keep up with your health, even if you feel like everything is going smoothly. That is why, if you can relate to any of these statements, it’s probably a good idea to schedule an annual exam with your care provider:
- You are generally healthy and haven’t seen a doctor in the past year
- You have questions about your weight, aging, or general health conditions
- You have a chronic health condition that needs monitoring
- You are very active and want to avoid an injury
Find Out More
When you need an annual exam or a sports physical, Timeless Wellness Clinic can help. We offer comprehensive wellness exams to uncover any problems and help you stay healthy. We at Timeless Wellness Clinic in Pleasanton, CA, can get you on the road to your best health.