It's that time of year again, when you need to have a physical exam. Whether you’re getting older and trying to keep up with how your body is adjusting to age, or if getting a physical exam is something you need to play that beloved high school sport, passing the exam largely depends on what physical condition you are already in. There are some things you can do, though, that will play down the bad a little and give you a better chance at passing.
Things You'll Need
- Any prescribed medications
- Light, healthy snack
- A book or gum (optional)
- Pen or pencil and paper
- Grooming materials
Think about your medical history. Are there any chronic medical issues that affect you? Are there any serious family medical issues? Are there any health concerns you feel you need to voice? What prescription medications is your physician currently prescribing? Honesty is both asked for and appreciated. Write down any information your doctor will want to know. This includes any information about eating, smoking and sexual habits. Giving your doctor honest answers help him to better serve you, so that if one physical is failed the next might be passed.
Avoid greasy, heavy or generally unhealthy foods for several hours before the exam. These foods can sit on your stomach, creating odd sounds and reactions to the abdominal examination. Eat a light, healthy snack a couple of hours before the exam. Some people recommend fasting for twelve hours or more before a physical, but this is a better and safer alternative. Having food in the stomach allows the doctor to hear if normal digestion is taking place while keeping your blood sugar level closer to normal. Fasting will do no good to either.
Spend a few days before your exam as stress-free as possible. Try to take it easy and to relax. Studies show that people who have practiced the art of destressing have been known to have lower blood pressure. Take the time while waiting at the doctor’s office to calm yourself and destress. Take a few deep breaths, chew gum, read, anything to help you relax. You’re likely to have a blood pressure and heart rate that is closer to normal.
Take all prescribed medications as instructed by your doctor. This is especially important if you take blood pressure or other heart-related meds. If your doctor decides the medications aren’t working, he may need to change them or the doses, and he will need an accurate reading based on regular consumption of your medications.
Make sure that you are clean and well-groomed for the physical exam. Of course, your grooming practices won’t cause you to fail, but it can’t hurt. Also, it can make it more difficult for a doctor to accurately check you out if you are much less than clean. For example, the condition of your fingernails can tell a doctor something about your bone health, but it can be hard to tell if your nails are mistreated and dirty.