Take a moment to ask yourself: When was the last time you had a physical? If it’s been longer than a year or two, you’re not alone. In fact, a survey completed by Harmony Healthcare IT revealed that close to one in four millennials hadn’t scheduled an annual physical exam in five or more years. On top of that, a little less than half of all Americans failed to realize yearly physicals were essentially non-negotiable in the medical community.
Not surprisingly, a whopping majority of millennials have turned to online resources and somewhat unreliable symptom checkers in lieu of in-person doctor’s appointments with a primary care physician, and there may be more than a few reasons why.
For many, not having insurance coverage is a significant deterrent against annual physical exams. Under most insurance policies, a yearly exam involves little to no out-of-pocket costs. With these savings in mind, researching available health insurance plans on platforms like AHiX Marketplace can set you up for success and ensure you have proper coverage when emergencies strike.
Without insurance, a simple visit to the doctor can be quite costly. Without signs of infection, a bothersome runny nose, or open wounds, many patients may struggle to rationalize these additional costs. After all, why visit the doctor if you don’t feel sick?
Still not convinced that the annual physical is genuinely worth taking a long lunch break? Take a moment to review a few of the reasons that you shouldn’t neglect your yearly check-ups. Upon further investigation, you’ll likely realize that shrugging off the importance of annual physicals can have profound implications. That said, here are a few of the unignorable reasons why you should take your preventative healthcare seriously.
It may save you money
The goal of an annual physical and preventative healthcare, in general, is to prevent diseases and chronic conditions before they’re able to wreak havoc on your internal organs. Some of the standard tests performed in an annual physical exam include blood cholesterol and HbA1c, which is a way to tell if your blood glucose has stayed at elevated levels over a long period. These tests can reveal potential signs of high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes, both of which can be prevented through lifestyle changes. Catching these signs early on can save you money in the long run by nixing the need for medication and potential medical procedures.
Turn multiple visits into one
Many people visit a doctor or pharmacy to get their annual flu shot, so why not combine that service with your yearly physical? Not only will you feel prepared for the upcoming flu season, but you can also have other tests run to gain a better understanding of your physical health. Cancer screenings, such as breast cancer and skin cancer, can be completed during an annual exam to give you a clean bill of health or take note of any suspicious lesions or bumps.
Maintain an updated health record
Being consistent and carving out time for a physical exam every year helps you track health trends over time, which is a critical step in identifying lifestyle changes that you should begin to make in your life. Additionally, securing a firm grasp on your state of health (past and present) can also play a life-saving role in emergencies. If you get injured, require surgery, or have a health complication that needs diagnosing, a fully fleshed-out medical record will be an invaluable resource.
Get a professional opinion
If you have something funky going on with your health, don’t rely on the internet for answers. The results you may stumble across can incite fear and anxiety when, in reality, it’s nothing to worry about.
Whether you’re suffering from a persistent dry cough or shoulder pain, have a professional take a look. Doctors didn’t endure medical school and residency for nothing. They’re trained to help and heal.
Live your best life
Preventing disease can save you money, but more importantly, it will spare your health. If you want to enjoy your life without health complications for years to come, preventative healthcare is your best bet. Annual physicals can help ensure that you have the best quality of life possible by assessing where you should make changes in your lifestyle and evaluating potential genetic risk factors for specific conditions.