If you think of annual checkups as something reserved for kids and people with pre-existing conditions, you're not alone. Roughly 62 percent of Americans fail to get an annual physical done, even if 92 percent say that they think yearly checkups are important. Scheduling a doctor's appointment can be a hassle, and if you're fairly healthy, it can seem unnecessary and expensive. No one really wants to spend an afternoon in a sterile office.
However, research indicates that everyone can benefit from annual physical checkups, no matter their age or background. If you're one of the few people who does schedule and attend a yearly doctor's appointment, here are some of the benefits you'll reap.
You Can Identify Your Risk Factors and Monitor Them
When you visit a doctor every year, you establish a baseline record. You go over your family history, lifestyle choices, and other important factors in your health. By establishing this record and a relationship with a trusted doctor, you'll have an easier time picking up on changes in your body.
The Doctor Can Screen for Preventable Diseases and Conditions
As much as you don't want to get your blood drawn or wait to have your pulse checked, these screenings can help you catch diseases in their early stages or even prevent them altogether. When you go to your annual physical, your doctor can check for everything from unhealthy cholesterol levels to signs of cancer and STDs. The more you know about your body, the better you can protect it from serious conditions.
You'll Stay Up to Date on Your Vaccinations
August is National Immunization Month, so many people have been talking about how important it is to keep up your shots. By visiting your doctor regularly (at least once a year), you can make sure that you haven't fallen behind on important vaccinations. Vaccines aren't just for your own health; they're a part of being a responsible citizen and protecting the health of others.
Have you scheduled your annual physical for 2018? If you haven't, it's not too late to do so.