Happy first week of the Rock the Walk Challenge. I hope you’re enjoying getting into the groove (or continuing your groove) with incorporating physical activity into your day and dominating this challenge. Remember, making lifestyle changes takes time, and is a marathon, not a sprint!
The overall theme to this challenge is “Awareness of Your Health” and while I’ll make sure to do a little chit-chat each week about physical activity in the blogs, I’ll also be branching out to discuss other ideas and ways you can be aware of your health. Week one’s educational topic is centered around “Visiting your Primary Care Provider” and how visiting your PCP regularly can give you the opportunity to build a relationship with them and help keep you on track with your health.
As you (hopefully) know by now, this challenge is centered around physical activity, and getting your muscles, blood and joints moving more during the week. For those of you who have read my blogs in the past, you know I like, no LOVE, physical activity and exercise which means I especially love this challenge. Exercise is one of those things you really can’t or shouldn’t live without, because of all of the physical, emotional and mental benefits it provides.
Now, I know that (*GASP*) exercise is not everyone’s favorite thing in the world, and it can be incredibly hard to find time to add structured exercise. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 150 minutes weekly (hey, that number is familiar!) of moderately-intense physical activity, which means you’re getting your heart pumping and muscles moving. Some examples of moderately-intense physical activity are walking, running, biking, swimming, hiking, taking a fitness class, boot camp, and just about any other exercise you can think of. The 150 minutes breaks down to just over 20 minutes a day, which could further be broken into 10 minute segments. When you think of it that way, it's not as daunting and totally doable.
Now that I got off my physical activity soapbox, we’ll get back to Visiting your Primary Care Provider (PCP). Now more than ever as the pandemic continues to create unknowns, it’s important to be more conscientious of your health, and a great starting point is visiting your PCP.
Each person has their own timeline for visiting their PCP, and generally an annual visit is scheduled yearly. At your annual visit/exam, your PCP will discuss various components of your health and will likely start with checking your vital signs and then performing a physical exam while asking how you have been feeling…just to name a few things. At this visit, it’s a great opportunity to get any age-appropriate vaccines/boosters or screenings, which is an important component for preventative care.
There’s a lot that happens at your annual appointment, and it can feel clinical—checking your blood pressure and getting shots, sitting on the crinkly paper on the exam table, talking about any medications you are on, etc. Spending time with your PCP should also include an opportunity for you to discuss any health concerns and questions you have, and to build your relationship and make it more personal, which is a HUGE part of your health plan too. You want to trust the person giving you care, and be able to open up about any concerns you have.
These preventative appointments are not only important for you to ensure you are on the right track with your health, but, it is also an opportunity to work with your PCP if they were to find something of concern during your visit—it’s better to address the concern early so it doesn’t turn into something more serious.
I, personally, have the best PCP in the world (hey Rachel!) and I’m thankful to have someone close that I trust and feel comfortable going to. In the case that you are looking for a Primary Care Provider, I have included a link HERE that includes a little tip sheet about Finding a Primary Care Provider—I hope this helps!
Until next time!