The following content is created in partnership with Access Health CT. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Connecticut's editorial staff. Click here to learn more about Access Health CT.

Prevention is the best medicine. Offense is the best defense. These old sayings ring doubly true when it comes to your health. Read on to find out what to expect during an annual physical and how it can help you stay healthier for years to come. 

Get a snapshot of your overall health
During a physical, your doctor will look you over from head to toe and check basic test results to get a detailed view of how your body is working. Doing this once a year, every year, provides a consistent picture of your overall health and creates a "baseline" for future comparison.

Update screenings and vaccinations
Based on factors like age, gender and family history, there are certain tests you need and many that you don't. You doctor will make recommendations for whether and how often you should have flu shots and vaccinations, check your blood levels and have screenings like mammograms or colonoscopies. 

Catch early warning signs
Even if you feel great, there may be issues developing under the surface. Your doctor will compare your current test results against your baseline numbers, looking for signs of "silent" conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and even some cancers that are easier to treat if they're caught early.

Set preventative goals
Whether you're struggling with high cholesterol, trying to quit smoking or hoping to lose weight, an annual exam is the perfect time to address these concerns with your doctor. You can get expert suggestions and recommendations that can help you achieve your goals and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Review your prescriptions
Medications can sometimes be prescribed for months or even years. During your physical, you and your doctor can take a fresh look at your prescribed and over-the-counter medications, evaluating whether they're still effective and making changes if they're not.

Strengthen your relationship with your doctor
Seeing your doctor when you're healthy and not stressed gives you a chance to check progress on your goals, discuss your health concerns and ask any questions you may have. It helps build confidence, comfort and trust that wiill benefit you both for years to come.

Access Health CT, the state's official health insurance marketplace, believes being informed and aware of your body is a crucial part of managing your heath. Click here or go to to learn how to make the most of your health care coverage and benefits. 

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