The Value of a Wellness Checkup

The Value of a Wellness Checkup

You can’t seem to shake a nagging cold. The symptoms have been lingering for a couple of weeks now, so you finally make a telehealth appointment. Or perhaps you’ve been unusually tired for a while, and you just feel off, so you schedule a doctor’s visit to find out what’s going on.

It’s so logical. You’re sick, so you go to the doctor. But did you know that going to the doctor when you’re not sick may be even more impactful for promoting your overall health and well-being? 

Here, the internal medicine and primary care specialists at Cardio Metabolic Institute share their thoughts on annual wellness checkups and how they can be your key to living healthier.

Wellness checkup explained

Let’s start unpacking this topic by first explaining what a wellness checkup is and what happens during the appointment. 

Sometimes called an annual exam or physical, these checkups typically involve a physical exam, a discussion portion where you can share your health questions and concerns with your doctor, and recommendations from your doctor to enhance your health or prevent medical issues from developing.

While your doctor customizes the components of your wellness checkup and the recommended frequency based on your age, medical and family history, and individual needs and potential health risks, there are several common components of a typical wellness visit.

Vital signs check

A wellness checkup begins with our team recording some key metrics, or vital signs, that measure how well your body’s basic functions are working. These include your height and weight, blood pressure, temperature, and resting heart rate.

Comprehensive physical examination

The wellness checkup then moves onto a more comprehensive physical exam, so your doctor can glean more detail about your overall health. Your provider: 

They also assess your reflexes, appearance, and overall demeanor.

Prevention and health maintenance

Another aspect of wellness checkups that makes them particularly valuable in maintaining optimal health is that they focus on prevention and managing existing medical issues. 

Depending on your medical history or age, your provider orders diagnostic testing like blood work to detect high cholesterol, diabetes, and certain cancers. Many times, your doctor orders the tests before your wellness checkup so you can go over the results together during your appointment.

While this may all sound prudent and sensible, the impact of knowing what’s going on inside your body before you notice symptoms can’t be overstated – these preventive screenings can literally save your life.

Case in point: heart disease and heart attacks. Heart disease has ranked as the leading cause of death in the United States since 1950. The good news is a vast majority of heart disease cases are preventable. 

How? By managing or preventing key risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and lifestyle issues like poor nutrition, inactivity, or smoking – all common issues discussed during a wellness checkup.

Detecting small issues before they become big problems

The simple premise behind wellness checkups is that focusing on wellness consistently, not just when you’re in the throes of an illness, has a more dramatic impact on your health now and in the long term.

Making wellness checkups a priority can:

If you have a chronic condition or you take multiple prescription drugs, annual checkups provide an opportunity to review your medications, assess their effectiveness, and make any necessary adjustments. Having a medical professional to check in with regularly helps you stay on top of your health and avoid serious health challenges.

Building a trusted relationship with your health provider

Another valuable side benefit of annual wellness checkups is that the ongoing process establishes a trusted relationship with your health care provider.

When you share a bond with your doctor, the tough topics like lifestyle tweaks such as quitting smoking, eating healthy, exercising more, and learning how to manage stress come more easily. Being in tune with your provider enhances communication and continuity of care.

To learn more about wellness exams or to schedule a checkup, contact Cardio Metabolic Institute today. We’re committed to helping you live your healthiest life.

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