Why you shouldn’t blow off your annual physical

No matter how old you are or what stage of life you’re in, there’s one thing pretty much everyone agrees with: 2020 has been a pretty hectic year. New challenges and new routines have put a lot of pressure on most of us, requiring significant changes to normal routines and schedules. 

For many of us, it might be tempting to postpone having a routine physical exam until things “settle down.” However, this year is a great example of why you should never postpone a physical exam, no matter what’s going on in the rest of your life.

Your annual physical is an important part of staying healthy and warding off diseases, especially as you age. At Essential Medical Clinic in the Westlake, Downtown, and Athens neighborhoods of Los Angeles, we offer comprehensive physical exams for adults of all ages, from age 18 through the senior years. 

Our team is skilled and experienced in providing optimal care based on each patient’s age, medical history, lifestyle, health goals, and other factors, so you can feel confident that your health is always our priority. Here’s why it’s so important to have a physical exam every year.

The benefits of an annual physical

Many people think about going to the doctor only when they’re ill. But having a physical exam is actually an essential part of making sure you stay healthy as you get older and as your body and health needs change. At our office, a physical exam includes an in-depth physical evaluation, a detailed medical history, blood work and other lab testing, and a review of your lifestyle, health goals, and medical-related concerns. 

Spot problems early

Annual exams provide your doctor with an ongoing history of your health, so they can see a year-by-year comparison. By reviewing your past medical history along with your current exam and test results, your doctor can identify even subtle changes that could indicate an underlying disease or other medical problem. 

Many chronic medical conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, have very subtle signs in the early stages. In some instances, you may have no symptoms at all. Without treatment, these chronic conditions can lead to serious medical problems, including stroke and heart attack. 

Having a routine physical every year is the best way to spot these and other medical problems in their earliest stages, so you can get appropriate treatment and reduce your risks for major health complications.

Medical care customized for your stage in life

Annual exams also allow your doctor to recommend testing based on your age. Testing may include mammograms, prostate exams, and colonoscopies, and health screenings for various diseases, such as hepatitis. 

We have a complete list of medical screening recommendations based on age. Our team can review the recommendations for your age during your exam, so you can take a proactive role in your health as you get older.

Yearly visits will also ensure your immunizations stay up to date. Many people assume they only need immunizations as a child. However, some vaccines need to be given during the adult years, too. 

Tetanus and other routine childhood vaccines need to be repeated during the adult years to maintain immunity. And other immunizations, such as the shingles vaccine and the pneumonia vaccine, are designed specifically for adults. 

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

At Essential Medical Clinic, we understand that staying healthy relies a lot on the steps our patients take to prevent diseases. Following your evaluation, our team can recommend healthy lifestyle changes, such as improvements to your physical activity or your nutrition

Having an annual exam means we can continue to provide you with the best guidance based on your health, lifestyle, preferences, and individual goals.

Finally, yearly physicals give you a chance to ask any questions you might have about your health and to discuss any concerns. Staying in touch with your doctor can help you feel more comfortable sharing important details about your health, and this can help you feel confident you’re always getting the best care for your needs and concerns.

Having an annual exam at Essential Medical Clinic is one of the most important things you can do to maintain good health and keep your immune system strong. To schedule a physical, book an appointment online or over the phone today.