Our good health is something we seem to take for granted – until we have an experience that causes us to realize how precious our health really is. The truth is, I count on my body to perform well in ways I don’t even think about. Taking good care of my body is important. That is why I get yearly physicals.
My yearly physical gives me an opportunity to check in with my doctor and ask all the questions that have occurred to me over the prior year. I write downmy questions when they arise and take them with me so that I can be sure to discuss each one with my doctor during this visit. My yearly physical provides an opportunity for me to learn about any new medical advances that may affect my health. It also gives me the chance to review with my doctor the medications I am taking, as well as vitamins and supplements, and to inquire about other nutritional changes I have made or am considering making. Knowing the importance of diet and nutrition in my overall health, I am interested in making sure my habits are supporting my good health.
If I have made any lifestyle changes, this is a good chance to review health related issues that may arise. Changes in relationships, sexual activity, my job, or other life transitions may have an impact on my health, as well as my outlook on life and how I spend my time. Though I don’t always think about how these facets of life affect my physical being, they do have an impact.
Another reason I view my yearly physical as a top priority is for the regular screenings that serve as strong preventive maintenance. Tests for cancer, cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood tests to check for proper levels of hormones, blood sugar, thyroid, and other areas my doctor may want to take a look at can be ultimately lifesaving. If I have noticed any unusual symptoms in my body over the past year, I want these to be checked out.
Lastly, if I have changed any habits, for better or worse, they probably factor into my overall health. Reviewing these with my doctor gives her the opportunity to weigh in and make suggestions or reinforce good choices that have already been implemented. Things like sleeping patterns, increase or decrease in alcohol consumption, change in an exercise regimen, weight loss or gain, starting or stopping smoking, or taking on a new sport like archery or motorcycle racing may provide additional valuable information to inform my doctor’s assessment of my health care.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to our bodies, that saying couldn’t be more true. I am committed to investing in my good health as much as I possibly can. Having my yearly physical is one way I can incorporate ounces of prevention.