2018 has passed. Now is the time to start planning your medical appointments for 2019.

As a reminder, your annual physical is likely the most important preventive care appointment in the new year.

An annual physical allows your provider to determine what your biggest healthcare risks are, what other appointments you may need, and ultimately how to improve your overall health. A patient may also engage in other types of preventive care exams that screen for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and common cancers.

So how can you effectively plan your annual and other physicals in 2019? Thankfully, we have provided you with a list that can help you jump start your healthy 2019!

Schedule your physical a full year from your previous appointment

A routine physical, or annual physical, is recommended by medical experts as a once-a-year appointment. Usually, your doctor’s office will remind you when your annual physical is coming up. But it helps to keep the date on your own calendar to plan around other events.

If you don’t know when your yearly physical is, try and determine a reasonable estimate of your last appointment. It can help ensure that you have a set schedule for any future appointments.

Additionally, you’ll also want to make sure that your physical doesn’t interfere with other priorities such as work and family time. Let your employers, friends, and family know when your physical is ahead of time to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Determine any other preventive screenings you may need

After your physical, you should always create a new healthcare schedule for any preventive screenings you may need.

A primary care provider, or another local medical professional, may recommend you get certain screenings for chronic diseases and possibly cancer. For example, men over the age of 40 should begin getting regular prostate cancer screenings. Women, on the other hand, are encouraged to screen for breast cancer around 40 years old. In addition, your local medical provider will recommend any screenings based on biometric risks of developing chronic diseases like diabetes. These risks include elevated blood pressure, obesity, and blood-sugar level.

Like your annual physical, make sure you schedule any other screenings and appointments around work and other commitments. Try asking your providers about any potential specialists and wellness experts that can help you achieve healthcare-related goals.

Ask about specialist and wellness care options

Healthcare-related goals such as losing weight, increasing physical activity, and improving your diet can be organized through specific professionals. Trying to improve diet? See if a nearby nutritionist can assist you. Need to lose weight? Ask about any nearby gyms, physical trainers, or community organizations that focus on fitness activity.

Wellness and self-care are crucial to improving your overall health so it may help to first seek out a professional that can get you started on the right track.

Make 2019 the healthiest yet by scheduling your preventive exams in advance and taking charge of your healthcare!