An annual health check-up with your GP should become ingrained into your psyche.

It is a fundamental premise of good health management to visit your GP at least once a year for a basic but thorough examination.

And with the start of the year back with us, there is no better time to abandon those bad old habits and start crafting some good ones.

The following is a proactive guide, allowing you to assess your current state of health.

It will also help you identify potential areas of concern and set the foundation for a healthier and more informed year ahead.

Commit to a healthier year

Make the decision, commitment, resolution, whatever you want to call it, that this year, you will take better care of yourself.

That starts by picking up the phone or jumping online and booking that appointment with your GP.

Do it in January.

Don’t let February arrive without having ticked that box.

Get in early to ensure you secure a convenient time to start making a difference for this year and every year.

Reflect on your health goals 

Before your appointment, spend a moment considering your health goals for the year ahead.

It’s a great way to open conversation with your GP so they know what you want from the ensuing 12 months.

It could be weight management, stress reduction or improving some other specific health markers.

Prepare your medical history

If you haven’t visited your GP recently, you may need to gather some information so they can better assess and understand your health position.

This includes any existing health conditions, allergies and medications you may be taking.

Having a better understanding of your medical history allows your GP to provide personalised recommendations.

Prepare a list of questions

Jot down any questions you wish to raise with your GP so you don’t forget one during your consult.

It’s a proactive approach that helps open the lines of communication.

It also highlights aspects of your health that you are concerned about and ensures you get the most out of your visit.

What to expect during your visit

Your GP will ask you some basic questions about your health and run a few simple tests which are likely to include:

Vital signs – they will check your blood pressure, listen to your heart and may take your temperature to establish some baseline health metrics.

Blood tests – routine blood tests can provide valuable insights into cholesterol levels, blood glucose and vital organ function. 

They also identify potential risks and may prompt advice about lifestyle changes in the interests of preventative health.

Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) – Your weight and BMI are valuable indicators in terms of your overall health and potential areas for improvement.

Mental health

Mental health is such a significant factor in your overall health and wellbeing.

A person suffering stress at work or at home may find it is impacting their health in any number of ways.

Many times, it will manifest itself in the guise of sleep or digestive issues, headaches or even chest pain.

Discuss any stress, emotional challenges or changes in mood with your GP to ensure an holistic approach to your health assessment.

Vaccinations

A visit with your doctor is a good time to check whether you are up to date with necessary vaccinations.

Your GP can offer you advice based on your age, health status and lifestyle.

Early detection

Cancer screenings – Depending on your age, gender and family history, your GP may recommend any number of precautionary screenings. These may include mammograms, pap smears or prostate tests to detect any early signs of trouble. Prevention is far more preferable than cure.

Skin checks – Australia’s sun-drenched climate is ruthless on our skin. A thorough skin check can help detect any moles or abnormalities that need addressing.

Preventative care

Nutrition and exercise – Discuss your diet and exercise routine with your GP for guidance on whether it aligns with your health goals.

Smoking and alcohol – Talk openly and honestly with your GP about your nicotine and alcohol usage. Be prepared for some honest feedback as well as support and advice on lifestyle changes.

Develop an action plan

Depending on your results, talk to your GP about developing a strategy to improve your health.

This may include lifestyle adjustments, follow-up tests or specialist referrals.

If all is good, you may not need to return for another 12 months.

Otherwise, a sooner visit may be advised.

Book an appointment

If you can’t remember when you last visited your GP or had a routine health check-up, you should make an appointment an absolute priority.

Embarking on an annual health check-up should not be seen as a burden but rather an investment in yourself.

Getting into the habit of making that annual health check-up at the start of each year makes it easier to remember.

It also allows you to set the stage for a healthier year, more informed and empowered to better manage your physical and mental wellbeing.

Consider your GP your partner in health in the same way you consider your accountant or financial advisor your ally in your wealth management.

Your GP is there to provide support, advice, guidance and personalised care through every phase of your life.

At AHA Clinics, doctors take the time to really listen to you.

They will ask relevant questions before offering advice about how to go about improving your health.

Make 2024 count for your health!

Book an appointment here today at either our Seaford Road Day and Night Clinic or our Seaford Meadows Day and Night Clinic.