By Dr. Michael Tehrani
908 Magazine’s advice to “Get Outside” is important. For over a year, we have been sedentary. Now as vaccinations lead to a return to normalcy, I am urging my patients and others to fight the urge to remain in this sedentary state, and to get up and get out.
Get Up And Get Out
The muscles and joints in our body work on a “use it or lose it” system. Everything from our muscles, knees, feet, shoulders, and even our brain need to be stimulated to stay strong. The less we use them the weaker they get.
Our body is like a car that’s been sitting in the garage. The battery needs to be recharged and the only way to do that is get out and drive it. Physically and socially, our muscles need to be stimulated. If you used to get coffee with friends, or if you had a walking partner, or a class you went to, it is important to get back to the routines that gave you happiness, wellness, and kept your body moving.
Routines are important and we have unfortunately gotten out of the practice of many of them. Just like the social and physical activities we have learned to live without over the last year, there are also a slew of preventative medical practices that have been on the backburner.
Make A Visit To The Doctor
As a Primary Care Physician (PCP) who is seeing a slightly slow return to normal checkups, screenings, and elective surgeries, I am urging Long Beach’s population and especially our seniors to schedule an appointment with their PCP as soon as possible to restart their health screenings. If you don’t have a PCP, then call our office and we can help.
If your body is like the car that’s been sitting in the garage for over a year, then that car is due for a drive to recharge the battery and a preventative oil change. Similar to the car you need to get up and go out to recharge your body, and go to your doctor to get your health screenings.
The same way no one wants to go to the mechanic for preventative maintenance when their car is running great, no one likes going to the doctor especially if they feel great. That’s why my colleagues and I worry about patients getting back to the routine of checkups and screenings, especially mammograms, prostate, colonoscopies, and other cancer screenings that should have happened regularly before the pandemic.
Prioritize Cancer Screenings
The good thing about most preventative cancers is that when it first forms it is usually removable. Unfortunately, as we all know, when it spreads, then it is too late.
Cancer works like termites in your house. Termites start in a nest. Once they leave a nest then they infest the whole house and that’s when we first notice them. But if you go looking for termites before they spread, while they’re still just in one nest, the nest can be removed and the problem is simply solved.
However, once the termites are out, each one of those guys is going to go build their own nest wherever they land. So the key is when you do screening tests, you’re going to look for cancers before they have spread. Because once they spread, it becomes very difficult to treat, similar to a home that is now infested with termites.
Within your body, screening tests look for cancers before they are noticeable to the patient. Early detection is ALWAYS best. Your Primary Care Physician knows where and when to look for your health problems best. They are your captain of the ship. They keep records of what has to be screened and when. They can direct you toward specialists when necessary.
Enjoy Life While Extending It!
This summer will be all about getting back into routine, getting outside, building back physical, social, and emotional health, to help recharge your battery to be what it once was. We as a society have shown amazing patience and resilience in staying inside for so long. I applaud you and encourage you in your efforts this summer to get back outside, take the car out of the garage, and enjoy your life.
I encourage you to make one of your first stops a physician’s office for a much needed checkup. If you don’t have a geriatric physician, please give our growing office a call. We want to make sure you not only enjoy this summer, but many summers after.
Medical maintenance and preventative practices will go a long way to making that a reality!
Dr. Michael Tehrani, M.D. is an award-winning doctor and CEO of Med-Well Medical whose practice is located right here in Long Beach near the traffic circle. If you’re interested in learning more about Dr. Tehrani and his team, please visit: www.medwellmedical.com or call 562-498-2481.