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Why Annual Physical Exams Are Important at Every Stage of Life

Why Annual Physical Exams Are Important at Every Stage of Life

Not everyone in America is convinced that they need annual physical exams. Only one in five adults gets them. At Summit Primary Care, board-certified family physician Lawrence Scott Wilner, DO, and our team want you to know that having an annual exam is one of the most critical things you can do to stay healthy throughout your life.

Summit Primary Care offers personalized annual wellness exams to identify diseases in the earliest stages when they are most treatable. Here’s why you need to schedule a yearly exam at one of our Colorado practices every year.

Annual physical exam benefits

Your body changes all the time. For example, you may lose or gain weight or start to see your cholesterol or blood pressure numbers climb out of the ideal range over time. While some changes are beneficial to your health, other changes may indicate potential disease or other health problems.

Having an annual exam gives your doctor an opportunity to review your overall health and recommend tests, blood work, or vaccines necessary at each stage of life. Aging adults are at higher risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, neurological problems, and hormone-related conditions.

Visiting the same doctor for your annual exam allows your doctor to keep track of your health and family medical history. That knowledge helps predict problems or understand which tests to run if you experience symptoms or health problems at any point in the future.

When you skip an annual exam, you can miss out on health screenings and tests that discover medical problems during their earliest stages, which is when they are the easiest to treat.

The annual exam also gives you the opportunity to ask your doctor questions or discuss health concerns and learn about solutions for living a healthier lifestyle.

Understanding how health needs change over time

As you go through different stages of life, you need an annual exam to monitor the changes in your body as you age. The type of health screenings and exams change along with your growing years. All annual exams begin with height, weight, and blood pressure checks, regardless of age. Then, most exams include blood or urine tests.

Here’s a look at how your health needs and exams change at every stage of life:

Newborns and babies

Newborns and babies visit the doctor for routine exams more frequently than other age groups. Your doctor checks the baby’s height and weight, developmental milestones, the soft spot on the baby’s head, and conducts a head-to-toe assessment. Your baby receives vaccinations according to the recommended schedule by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Childhood

Children continue to visit the doctor for annual checkups and vaccinations. If your child participates in sports or attends public school, they likely need sports physicals and exams to show they are healthy enough to participate in sports or attend school.

Adults

Annual exams during adulthood help prevent hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. They can also discover and treat health issues before they become severe. Your doctor may recommend an electrocardiogram (EKG), mammograms, or colon cancer screenings.

Aging slows hormone production and metabolism. Your doctor recommends tests based on your gender. For example, women who reach or pass the menopause age can experience many hormonal changes that require testing. Aging men can also experience changes in bone density and cardiovascular conditions that need testing.

Improve your health with an annual exam

At Summit Primary Care, we want every patient across every stage of life to enjoy optimal health. Our experienced team offers annual exams for patients of all ages, from newborns to senior citizens.

If you haven’t had an annual exam in over a year, it’s been more than a year, now is the time to improve your health and schedule one. Book an appointment at one of our three Summit Primary Care locations in Colorado Springs, Denver, or Pueblo, Colorado. 

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