Time for a physical!

Summer’s here… are you due for your annual physical? While some may view the annual physical  as a hassle, or a chore, or as unnecessary, having an annual physical allows you to learn more about your health, to keep track of any ongoing health issues, and to get your own health questions answered.

During your physical, what are some of the questions you should ask? Here’s a rundown:

How’s my blood pressure?  Ask your doctor what your blood pressure numbers mean, how often you should have it checked, and what you can do to keep your blood pressure in a normal range. Eating habits, stress levels and physical activity all have an effect.

How are my cholesterol and blood sugar?  Ask your doctor about your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Are they within the normal range? If not, your doctor can offer ways to keep those levels healthy.

How’s my weight?  Obesity is epidemic these days, especially here in the Central Valley. In addition to making you feel tired and lethargic all of the time, being overweight can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and more. If you’re not at a healthy weight, your doctor can offer ways to help you to get there and stay there.

Am I taking risks with my health?  Your lifestyle may be putting you at risk, even if you don’t realize it. Your habits, activities, stress levels and more can have adverse effects on your health. Ask your doctor what lifestyle changes may result in better overall health.

What screenings are right for a person my age? Do you need age-specific immunizations? Are you due for a colorectal screening? A mammogram? A prostate or pelvic exam? Uncomfortable, perhaps, but depending upon your age and family history, those moments of discomfort may lead you to better long-term health.

Finally, what’s the best way to remember these questions? With everything else happening in your busy life, it’s easy to lose track of those things you want to ask your doctor about. So, make a list of questions. Bring it along to your physical. Listen carefully to the answers, make sure your concerns are addressed, and be prepared to follow your doctor’s recommendations

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