Each New Year brings plenty of resolutions to tackle. One of those resolutions should be seeing a doctor for a general health checkup, and it should be top of the list.
2015 has arrived and we’re all looking at our plans and hopes for the New Year. For many of us, our health will be an afterthought at best, but there’s an easy way to stay on top of your general health: scheduling a general physical exam. Physicals or general health checkups are offered at every urgent care clinic, and doctors recommend having one every year. Here are four reasons you should take their advice:
Catching warning signs early can prevent serious conditions. If you ever spend time perusing WebMD, there is one phrase you’ll see over and over for almost any health condition: “The earlier you are diagnosed, the more effectively you can be treated.” Variants on this theme come up over and over because they’re true. When a disease or condition is first forming, the damage and symptoms are often relatively minor and easy to control. Sadly, many people wait until symptoms have become severe to see a doctor—and by then treatment is difficult at best. Your general health checkup is a chance for your doctor to detect early warning signs of any potentially serious illnesses, which can end up saving your life.
A checkup helps you take control of your health. For the majority of patients, no life-threatening conditions will come to light at a physical. But the testing that is done during a routine checkup provides you with vital information that can help you take control of your health. Information on cholesterol and blood pressure, for example, can guide lifestyle changes that help keep risk of heart problems low. Blood tests can reveal metabolic factors that indicate risk of serious conditions like diabetes. By getting this data on an annual basis, you can not only take the precautions you need to take—you can also stop worrying about conditions that you aren’t at risk for.
Checkups are quick and easy. Some people dread going to the doctor, but a routine physical is typically easy, quick, and comfortable. Unlike going in when you’re already sick, a physical involves simple tests that are precautionary or preventative in nature. You get to talk to your doctor one on one about the health issues that affect you. For most patients it’s a positive experience.
The cost is minimal. Most insurance plans offer one physical or general health checkup per year completely free of charge. Even if you don’t have insurance, a general checkup is one of the most affordable services, which can help prevent much more expensive conditions later on. Urgent care clinics tend to price health checkups very low in order to encourage everyone to have an exam once a year.
Have you scheduled your 2015 general health checkup yet?