The Benefits of Starting Your Year with an Annual Exam

Jan 01, 2023
The Benefits of Starting Your Year with an Annual Exam
When it comes to supporting your day-to-day wellness and protecting your long-term health, your annual exam is invaluable. Explore four key benefits you stand to gain when you start the new year off right with a physical checkup.

Here at Comprehensive Care Clinic in Spring, Texas, we think that whoever first uttered the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” must have been thinking about the many benefits of having an annual physical exam with your primary care provider. 

After all, when it comes to supporting your day-to-day wellness and protecting your long-term health, your yearly checkup is invaluable. We like to think of it as the foundation of preventive health care — and your key to a long, healthy life.

Here, family medicine specialist Tyneza Mitchell, FNP, explores four benefits of an annual exam that help you start the New Year off right 

1. Attain a detailed snapshot of your health

Your annual exam is a comprehensive physical assessment that evaluates important aspects of your health at a specific moment in time. Essentially, this “detailed wellness snapshot” provides immediate insight into existing aspects of your health (both known and unknown), and helps you establish a personal health baseline for the future.

Starting with your very first checkup at Comprehensive Care Clinic, each annual exam helps you get familiar with your current physical health and gives you a golden opportunity to stay on top of it as time goes by. When you establish a health baseline, it’s that much easier for our team to spot and address worrisome trends before they become major risk factors for chronic illness. 

Routine blood pressure screenings are a perfect example of your health baseline in action: By measuring your blood pressure at your yearly checkup as well as each office visit in between, we’re more likely to catch elevated blood pressure levels early — and better able to help you reverse the trend more quickly.

2. Discover any undiagnosed health conditions 

Even when you feel perfectly fine and don’t have any major health complaints, your annual checkup can serve to confirm your wellness — or reveal the presence of health concerns you didn’t know about because of no symptoms. 

Unhealthy blood lipid levels (high cholesterol and triglycerides), elevated blood pressure levels (hypertension), and high blood sugar levels (prediabetes and diabetes) are a few problems that don’t usually cause symptoms and are commonly discovered during routine physicals.

The sooner problems are discovered, the better; that’s why it’s never a good idea to skip your yearly checkup. Remember, when it comes to safeguarding your health against “silent” conditions that affect many adults, an ounce of prevention — and early detection — is always worth a pound of cure.

3. Gain insight into your specific health risks

A keystone of preventive care, your physical exam goes beyond basic health assessments and helps you stay on top of specifically recommended screenings. Each year, we tailor your checkup to your individual needs based on the guidelines for your age and gender as well as your current health status, lifestyle, and medical and family history.

Your yearly exam typically occurs when you’re due for routine immunizations, such as a tetanus booster or a shingles vaccination, or a hepatitis B shot. 

For most adults, it’s also the time for age/gender-specific preventive screenings. Women’s health tests may include bone density analysis as well as breast, cervical, and colon cancer screenings, while men’s health tests include colon and prostate cancer screenings.

4. Take action to protect your long-term health

We also use your personal and family medical histories to gain further insight into specific factors that can increase your risk of developing a chronic illness. Identifying and mitigating these factors are arguably important things you can do to protect your long-term health. 

The statistics are daunting: Some 3 in 5 adults in the United States have a chronic disease, and some 2 in 5 adults live with multiple chronic illnesses. Although serious chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease are mostly preventable, they remain a leading cause of disability and death among American adults. 

For these reasons, we view your annual exam as the perfect time to:

  • Determine your general risk of developing a chronic disease
  • Evaluate recent health changes in the context of chronic illness 
  • Explore any lifestyle habits that may elevate your disease risk 
  • Provide guidance to help lower or control your risk of illness 
  • Help you effectively manage any chronic illnesses you have

If you believe you’re too young, fit, and healthy to be concerned about chronic disease, think again: Learning your risk factors today allows you to take actionable steps that can help you prevent chronic illness as you get older. 

Schedule your comprehensive annual exam today 

Whether you’re looking to stay healthy, get healthy, or prevent chronic illness, your annual physical exam has you covered. Call 832-346-6752 to book your next yearly checkup today, or click online to schedule a visit at Comprehensive Care Clinic any time.