We go to the doctor for many reasons, but usually not until we have to. Preventive care and health counseling is severely lacking among adults in this country. We spend countless amounts of dollars on dieting and exercise products, yet we spend very little time consulting professionals about it.
Your physical and mental health history can greatly determine which type of fitness path you should embark on. It’s always wise to consult your doctor about diet and exercise. Many dieters don’t make the effort to do so for one reason: they don’t know how. We talk to people everyday, but to truly communicate with our doctors (or other health and fitness professionals) there are some key strategies we can use.
Prepare yourself. More specifically, come prepared to ask questions. Write them all down beforehand so that you don’t go home and realize you forgot to mention something. Be very detailed with your questions. Make an effort to be specific. Doing so will prompt your doctor to be just as detailed with his answers. To avoid multiple (and unnecessary) visits, don’t forget to ask if there are specific diet and exercise techniques that your doctor recommends you stay far away from. Write down his answers for future reference.
Address any concerns you may have. For example, don’t wait for your doctor to ask if you have hip pain when running. A huge downfall of patients is that we sometimes forget: They are professionals, not superheroes with mind-reading capabilities. To get the most from your doctor’s expertise, you must help him by offering as much information as you can. In the weeks before your appointment, try to be aware of your body and anything that may concern you. Whenever you think of something, write it down.
Don’t be embarrassed. You’ve heard it before; there’s no such thing as a stupid question. You won’t be as intimidated if you find a doctor who is known for doing these kinds of visits. Try asking the receptionist. It also helps to be prepared for a basic physical and possibly blood work.
Engage yourself in conversation. Your doctor is a professional, but that doesn’t mean he should talk down to you. By converting the appointment into a conversation piece about your health, you will gain the most from your visit. This will provide you with the opportunity to maximize your health and fitness regimen.