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Excuses, excuses. People come up with all types of reasons not to schedule an annual checkup — and maybe you’re one of those people. That’s alright, because we’re here to set you straight and explain why it is important to your overall health. Get ready to pick up that phone and mark your calendar for a visit, because after this article you’ll be a believer.
Here are some common things you might say to get out of your yearly visit, and why they’re not valid arguments:
“But I just had a checkup a few years ago.”
The whole purpose of an annual checkup is to have a consistent benchmark for your health. If you skip a year or two, it prevents you and your doctor from getting a full picture of your wellness. Having a more regular relationship with your physician can allow you to create a game plan to address lifestyle changes and give you a better quality of life. Think of how you have to regularly maintain a car to improve the way it drives — same goes for your body.
“My insurance probably won’t cover it.”
Actually, it probably will. This point varies based on your type of health insurance and coverage, but as a point of reference, Medicare will cover an annual wellness visit but not an annual physical. This means that government-sponsored healthcare will still allow for you to have your height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure measured. You’ll also have a chance to discuss your medical history, family medical history and potential risk factors for preventable diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and depression. To get the most out of your checkup, contact your insurance company to see what they cover and schedule a visit accordingly.
“I’m just too busy to fit it in.”
We crunched the numbers and here’s the math: You only need to sacrifice one or two hours out of the (roughly) 5,657 waking hours you have every year. That’s a small price to pay when you think about how much time we spend on social media or other nonessential activities. So let's all agree that an hour or two every year is worth avoiding some potentially life-threatening health issues. (More on that below!)
“I feel perfectly healthy — I don’t need to schedule a visit.”
We hate to break it to you, but you can feel fine and have serious conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes without any symptoms. And with a heart attack or stroke on the line, it’s probably best to leave the diagnosis to the professionals. Plus, if you get blood work and other diagnostics done regularly, your physician can catch early signs of cancer or heart disease. You might feel fine, but you’ll feel even better after a checkup.
“If there is something wrong, I’m better off not knowing.”
When it comes to your health, ignorance is not bliss. It’s called “preventative care” for a reason. And even if you’ve already developed a condition, you have a better chance combating it sooner rather than later. It’s your body, so why not learn about what’s going on and take charge of your life? And who knows — your biggest problem might be that neighbor down the street who never takes their Christmas lights down.
We’re aware that annual checkups aren’t the most fun thing to do. But trust us: Delay your brunch or bike trip for just an hour to get in an annual visit and you’ll thank us later. Was your last checkup helpful? What did you learn? Tell us in the comments below!