Although it might seem like an outdated concept, or a flat-out waste of
time, making sure to attend your annual physical can have great benefits
for you and your heart.
Besides simply reminding your physician that you exist, visiting him or
her regularly gives you the opportunity to voice any concerns about your
heart health and provide updates on any changes in your overall wellness.
The Hidden Value in an Annual Exam
Even if you’re relatively healthy, you may eventually be injured
or sick and need to see a doctor.
When you’ve been skipping physicals for years, it becomes difficult
for medical professionals to know exactly how to help you. Without your
baseline normal on record — including vitals and routine blood work
— they won’t know if something other than the primary complaint
you have is at the root of your problems.
Luckily, your doctor is ready and waiting to schedule your annual physical
and update your records.
Along with a health survey, they’ll check your cardiovascular system,
Blood pressure. Your blood pressure tells your doctor how hard your heart has to work to
move your blood through your system. When caught early, causes of high
blood pressure can be treated without long-term effects to your system.
Heart rate. A beating heart means you’re alive, but sometimes it can say even
more. For example, a fast heart rate can tell your doctor that you may
be stressed or experiencing pain you’re not reporting. Irregular
heart rates may indicate more serious heart problems that shouldn’t wait.
Circulation. Well-circulating blood means wounds will heal faster and that you’re
not suffering from problems with blood clots. It’s important to
keep close tabs on how well your blood moves through your body, since
it’s your main transportation system for vital things like platelets,
disease-fighting cells and certain nutrients.
It can be tempting to skip your annual physical exam, but giving your doctor
a chance to take a look under the hood helps him identify small health
problems before they become big ones. Besides, if your doctor has lots
of data on your body and how it has worked up to the point things went
suddenly wrong, it’ll be much easier to diagnose and treat whatever
problems may crop up.