You can’t make a serious resolution to be healthier in the new year without making your overall health and wellness a priority. Knowing how to determine health goals and understanding health risks can better align your progress in creating a new you in 2022. The most realistic way to prioritize health and keep a resolution to be healthier is by scheduling a visit to a primary care physician – you know, the one you might be putting off or previously talked yourself out of.
An annual check-up can help you create goals and make necessary lifestyle changes focused on improving your health by gaining insight from a trusted health care expert and partner. During your visit, a clinican will take your vitals, perform a physical exam and have an important conversation to understand your family and medical history, social environment, medications and concerns. If you have access to your health records, have them handy, along with a list of your medications and supplements. Be in tune with your body and be ready to discuss any signs or symptoms you find concerning; especially, any physical changes or pain you are experiencing.
The important tests and screenings you need are usually determined based on age, gender and family history. Your physician will recommend which screenings are needed to assess your overall health and to rule out any life-threatening conditions. Prostate, breast, and colon screenings are all important and taken in to consideration.
Based on the exam and screening results, you will know what next steps to take and if interventional care is needed. Prepare mentally to ask questions and be ready to make small lifestyle changes. For example, a diabetes diagnosis might mean a diet plan in the new year that changes your relationship to sugar and carbohydrates or adding a new medication to your daily regimen to help control the disease.
Ask your physician for the results of your exam, and when a follow-up visit is needed. Both are important in treating and monitoring conditions and tracking resolution milestones. Ask, Ask, Ask! Don’t be afraid to inquire about recommendations on attainable goals for creating a new you.
Scheduling the visit is not only an important resolution but one that can be life-saving. By focusing on health information provided during the check-up, you have a great guide for being successful with your resolutions. Resolving to eat better, exercise, or live a stress- free life have real benefit and make sense for your individual improvement. Resolving to make health and wellness a priority is worth celebrating daily, not just in the new year.
Joseph Tynes, M.D., is an internal medicine physician practicing in the Shreveport-Bossier area. He now serves the Bossier City community at CHRISTUS Internal Medicine – North Bossier on Beene Boulevard. Recognized as one of Louisiana’s top doctors, Dr. Tynes is dedicated has made it his mission to help patients heal physically, mentally and emotionally.