If you’re like most people, you probably think of physicals as something only necessary for kids and seniors. But the truth is, annual checkups are important for everyone. Here are five reasons why you need a physical this year: 

1. To assess your health

Depending on your risk factors and current state, your PCP may provide several screenings during your physical exam, including: 

  • screenings for cancer (such as mammograms and colonoscopies)
  • tests for sexually transmitted infections 
  • cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure screenings 
  • bone density screenings to check for osteoporosis 
  • and more! 

2. To get important vaccine updates 

Your PCP will also review your medical history and update any information that’s relevant to your current health. This is an important time to discuss vaccinations that help prevent dangerous diseases. Your provider will review your vaccination history and may recommend immunizations, including: 

  • pneumococcal pneumonia 
  • hepatitis A and hepatitis B 
  • varicella (chickenpox) 
  • influenza (the flu)
  • tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap; also known as whooping cough)  
  • measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) 
  • COVID-19 
  • HPV Vaccine 

3. Screening for cancer 

Your annual checkup is a great time to get regular screenings for certain types of cancer. Your PCP will go over your medical history, then provide or recommend screenings based on your risk factors and family history. 

These are some of the most common tests that are covered during physical exams, based on age: 

Mammograms – Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year. 

Colonoscopy – People aged 50 and older who have a family history of colon cancer or polyps, or if you have a previous diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn’s disease). 

Prostate – Specific Antigen Test – Men, age 50 and older should talk to their doctor about getting screened for prostate cancer. 

Skin Exam – People of all ages should have a skin exam every year to check for changes in the color, shape, size, or texture of their skin. 

4. To get help with chronic conditions 

If you’re living with a chronic condition such as asthma, allergies, arthritis, or cardiovascular disease, annual physical exams are vital to keeping you healthy. 

During your annual checkup with your PCP, he or she will help you manage any chronic conditions that require ongoing care by providing advice and support about: 

  • taking medication on time
  • symptom management  
  • disease prevention strategies  

5. To get a fresh start for the New Year 

A physical is a great way to kick off the New Year and set your health goals for the year ahead.  

You and your PCP can discuss ways to improve your health in the coming year, including: 

  • eating a healthy diet 
  • exercising regularly 
  • maintaining a healthy weight 
  • avoiding tobacco and alcohol 

Your annual physical is an important step in staying healthy and ensuring that you’re on track to meet your health goals. Make sure to schedule an appointment with your PCP today! 

Thank you for reading! To schedule your physical today, please visit: https://www.epichs.org/appointment/