How Often Should You Be Getting a Physical Exam?

From a very early age, we are told that we need to invest in regular physical exams from the doctor to make sure that our health continues to be in order. This is a good rule of thumb to follow throughout life, no matter what age you are.

At the office of Dr. Gura, Board Certified Kidney Specialist & Internist, we make sure to schedule regular routines for all of our patients. Interested in finding out more about how often you should be getting a physical exam? The answer can save your health.

Read more below.

Young Adults

Everyone has different medical needs and conditions that define their health. Although younger adults tend to be less at risk for harmful health conditions than older adults, it is important for everyone to get checked regularly.

Adults between the ages of 18 and 21 should plan to get a physical exam every 2-3 years. Exams like this do not need to happen often, but it should still be on the radar – especially moving forward in life.

Average Adults

Once adults enter the ages of 22-64, a routine checkup should be scheduled much more often. For this age group, it’s recommended to schedule a physical exam once every 1-3 years. However, you may need to schedule a physical exam more often if you have or have a risk for:

  1. Smoking
  2. Diabetes
  3. Heart disease
  4. High cholesterol
  5. High blood pressure
  6. Depression
  7. Anxiety

Some chronic conditions, such as the ones listed above, need to be checked more regularly and a routine schedule is recommended.

Senior Adults

Those over the age of 65 should have a routine checkup at least once per year. Health risks increase with age, and older adults should be more cautious about their health as time goes on.

It’s also important to have a good track record for important data such as blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels. It’s better to see the signs of an issue early, when it can still be prevented.

Medline has detailed checkup guides for adults broken down by age and sex.

Additional Recommendations

In addition to knowing when it might be a good time to schedule a checkup, you might want to take more preventative steps.

During your next checkup, ask if you have had updated vaccinations for:

  1. Chicken pox
  2. Tetanus
  3. Diptheria
  4. Meningitis
  5. Measles
  6. Hepatitis A / B

You should also receive the annual flu shot to reduce your risk of catching a virus.

If you are 55 or older:

  1. Get a lung cancer screening every year if you are or were a smoker.
  2. Get vaccinated for pneumonia every year.
  3. Get vaccinated for shingles every year.

Women need to have breast and pelvic exams annually. Those between the ages of 18 and 29 need regular pap smears to screen for cervical cancer. Women older than age 50 should also get tested with a DEXA scan for bone density.

Depression and Mental Health

You should also schedule regular physical exams if you are experiencing feelings of depression. While this is largely a mental health condition, it can have some serious physical effects. Studies also show that there are some links between poor nutritional health and depression.

Schedule Your Physical Exam Now

It’s difficult to see what’s going on inside your body. When it comes to internal medicine, we rely on physical exams and tests to show us what condition your body is in. If you haven’t had a recent physical exam, now might be the best time to schedule an appointment. Get your questions answered and invest in preventative care so you can reduce your risk of developing a chronic health condition.

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gura, please contact us online or give us a call at (310) 550-6240 to book your consultation.