runner stretching on the track

Understanding the Value of Getting Sports Physicals

Numerous advantages come from participating in sports and staying active. It strengthens bones, maintains the health of the heart and lungs, and aids in muscular growth. This is an absolute must for athletes who regularly train. 

However, you should make sure that your body is ready to take the stress before you start exercising. Athletes, regardless of age, must keep their bodies in peak condition to train, compete, and attend practices.

For this reason, every athlete should get a sports physical before participating in any physical activity. The reasons why sports physicals are essential are covered in more detail in the sections below.

Evaluation of General Health

A thorough assessment of an athlete’s entire physical health is performed during a sports physical. As previously said, it might make it easier to find problems or illnesses that are difficult to see in plain sight, including heart murmurs or arrhythmias. 

To ascertain whether an athlete has any restrictions with regard to his or her participation in sports, other common diseases like asthma, allergies, or blood pressure problems are also assessed.

Risk Factor Identification

Sports physicals identify risk factors for athletes, such as undiscovered health conditions and pre-existing illnesses. It entails a study of the person’s medical background and an evaluation of prior injuries to assist in identifying potential dangers associated with engaging in a particular sport.

Depending on the sport, the provider may focus on particular body parts of an athlete. A runner will often experience discomfort or pain in the legs, ankles, or feet. 

Baseball players may be more likely to experience problems with their shoulders or arms, so the provider may focus more on these regions.

Evaluation of Speed, Stamina, and Balance

A thorough assessment of an athlete’s physical strength is one aspect of a sports physical. A provider may administer performance tests to evaluate the athlete’s overall speed, endurance, and balance.

Guide to Athletes on How to Maintain Their Health

Sports physicals do more than just assess a player’s suitability for a certain sport. Additionally, they can offer advice on how an athlete can maintain their health and safety while participating in the activity of their choice for many months or even years to come.

For example, the doctor or evaluating clinician can suggest that the athlete undertake particular stretches or mobility exercises to lower the likelihood of certain injuries. 

The provider may also suggest changes to the athlete’s way of life or other advice that could aid in hastening the athlete’s recovery after demanding workouts and other activities.

Say an athlete participates in a contact sport, like football or boxing. In that instance, a sports physical may suggest routine examinations to evaluate the player for possible head or brain damage.

Additional Advantages

Some may perceive sports physicals as being reserved for serious athletes or those who have been participating in sports for a long time. 

However, they can be advantageous to anyone beginning a new workout regimen. Minor wounds or even allergies can raise some health risks or restrict a person’s ability to exercise.

Due to this, it’s necessary to assure each individual’s safety and conduct a thorough evaluation of the health risks. Timing is crucial while performing sports physicals. 

They are typically carried out at the beginning of a new program or a new athletic season. They typically last for a year but might change based on the school’s or league’s sporting calendar.


For their safety and wellbeing, athletes or anyone interested in exercise should strongly advise getting a sports physical.

The most crucial factors in every sporting activity are the athletes’ health and safety. Sports physicals offer an insightful evaluation of an athlete’s general health.

They also offer suggestions on how the athlete can improve their general health and performance while still engaging in sports safely. 

You can turn to Aspen Medical Center if you need a sports physical. We’re a locally owned outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, New Mexico, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Drop by to get your physical!

orange, banana, and condom

Top 5 Reasons Why Should You Go for an STD Testing

There are several reasons one should go for STD testing, including your health and the assurance that you are not infecting others.

STDs are diseases that can be passed between people through sexual contact. You probably don’t know as many people who get them as you think. 

In reality, more than 20 million new people are diagnosed with STDs each year. 110 million individuals in the US, or more than one-third of the population, have STDs.

Even though STDs are widespread, according to the American Sexual Health Association, only 12% of young people, who account for half of all new STD cases, had a test the previous year.

Several things contribute to this number, but the fact that many STDs don’t show any signs for years doesn’t help. A study of three STD clinics found that asymptotic people were responsible for 66% of positive tests.

You should get tested at least once, even if you don’t think you have an STD or are in a monogamous relationship. STD testing is part of urgent care, and here’s why in five points. 

STDs Can Happen to Anyone

You could have an STD if you are in a relationship or have had sexual contact with someone else. Skin-to-skin contact is all it takes for many of the most common STDs to spread.

By contacting one another, one can transmit HPV, syphilis, and both types of herpes.

Syphilis is primarily characterized by sores, although cancer-causing HPV strains and warts can spread quickly through skin-to-skin contact. 3.7 billion persons under 50 have herpes HSV-1, which produces cold sores and can be spread through a routine family contact.

It’s Important to Talk about Relationships 

You must discuss your sexual past while getting to know someone new. If you have a major STD or potentially give them a less severe one, your partner should be aware of it.

Check for the following STDs that are common:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV
  • Herpes
  • HPV
  • Sinusitis
  • Trichomoniasis

You should be careful even if you don’t have an STD right now.

Sexual Health Should Be a Priority 

You can take charge of your whole sexual life by getting tested for STDs. With regular testing and safe sex, you are always in charge of your sexual and romantic life. You’ll be able to decide about your sexual health based on facts.

Trust Building 

STDs have a reputation for not causing any symptoms, staying dormant for years, or having symptoms so mild that the person with them doesn’t think they need to be tested or treated. Three-quarters of women with chlamydia and half of men with it don’t show signs of an STD.

Think about how worried you would be if your partner started showing symptoms after you had been together for years. It is simple to understand how someone may be charged with cheating. Instead, put someone to the test right away.

Health Problems Can Get Worse Over Time

Cervical cancer is one type of cancer that HPV is known to cause, but it can also lead to cancer in the vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. Each year, HPV causes 12,000 men and 20,000 women to get cancer.

If you are aware that you have HPV, you may watch for the early warning symptoms of these malignancies. Even if you haven’t yet contracted the disease, you could still be eligible to receive the vaccination.


There are some reasons why it is crucial to get tested for STDs at an urgent care center, and these include the fact that some STDs can be very serious and that some can lead to infertility. It is also essential to know that getting tested for STDs doesn’t guarantee to get them, but it is one way to reduce your chances.

Aspen Medical Center, a locally owned medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, New Mexico, offers primary care and urgent care services at the cutting edge of medical technology. Check in with us for STD testing!


Everything You Need to Know About Flu Vaccines

Flu vaccines—we need them more than ever today. You probably have yours once a year. But have you ever thought about how it works in the body? You might be surprised. 

How the Vaccine Keeps You From Getting Sick

A flu vaccine mimics the immune system via intramuscular application or via nasal spray form. The flu vaccine has the germs of the illness that it protects you against. When the vaccine enters the system, the body will then begin to produce unique proteins that will tell the immune system to attack the virus. These antibodies are what the vaccine will make when your body becomes exposed to the illness naturally. 

The body takes about two weeks for the body to produce the antibodies following the vaccination. 

Remember, every flu season the virus changes a little; therefore, the updated flu shots every year. They have new formulas that help fight off the new strains of the virus. 

What’s In a Flu Vaccine

Aside from the same germs that cause the illness, there are other ingredients in a flu vaccine, such as aluminum salts, that help develop a stronger immune system in response to the viruses in the shot. It also contains antibiotics that keep the bacteria from growing in the vaccine while in production or storage. 

A flu vaccine also contains chicken egg proteins because viruses usually grow in fertilized chicken eggs. It also contains formaldehyde that can kill off any other harmful germs and toxins in the formula. 

The gelatin keeps the vaccine formula from weakening or getting damaged due to extreme weather temperatures. And finally, the thimerosal in it is a preservative that keeps it uncontaminated from bacteria and fungi. 

How Safe if the Flu Vaccine

Many misconceptions surround the safety of a flu vaccine. The truth is, it’s very safe. 

One thing to remember is that although it contains the same germs that cause the flu, it’s already weakened or dead. Hence, you won’t get the flu when you get the shot, although minor side effects may be experienced for a day or two. Arm soreness is also normal following the vaccine. 

Next, no scientific evidence suggests the ingredients in a flu vaccine cause autism. Researchers and scientists have not found a link between the two. 

COVID-19 Vaccine and a Flu Shot

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), you can get both vaccines simultaneously. They help protect you and your loved ones from serious illnesses. 

It’s best to talk to your physician should you have any other questions about flu vaccines. If you have existing medical conditions, you should consult with your doctor first.

The Bottomline

These answers about a flu vaccine should help you make better decisions about the vaccination. There are many myths about it; however, if you talk to your physician about it, you’ll learn why it’s important to get one.

If you want a flu vaccine, schedule an appointment with your physician. It’s important to get vaccinated as early as possible.

Get your flu shots in Sante Fe, NM here at Aspen Medical Center. We are a locally-owned outpatient medical facility offering state-of-the-art primary and urgent care services. Call us today. 


Common Indications That You May Have Kidney Disease

More than 37 million Americans have renal disease, yet the majority are unaware of it. There are several physical indications of kidney illness. However, they are commonly misattributed to other disorders. 

Furthermore, persons with renal illness do not usually notice symptoms until the kidneys are failing or there is a lot of protein in the urine. This is one of the reasons why only 10% of persons with chronic renal disease are aware of their condition.

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of renal failure, or are above 60 years old, you should get physicals and be examined for kidney disease yearly. Make sure to inform your doctor about any symptoms you are having.

While the only way to tell whether you have kidney illness is to be tested, we’ve compiled a list of probable symptoms.

Fatigue and Problems with Concentration

A significant decline in kidney function can result in the accumulation of toxins and pollutants in the blood. This can make people tired and weak, making it difficult to focus. Anemia is another consequence of renal illness that can induce weakness.

Difficulties Sleeping

Toxins remain in the circulation rather than leaving the body through the urine when the kidneys fail to filter effectively. This can make sleeping difficult. Sleep apnea is also more frequent in persons with chronic kidney disease than in the general population.

Dry and Itchy Skin

Dry and itchy skin can indicate mineral and bone disease, which frequently occurs alongside severe renal disease. This happens when the kidneys can no longer maintain the proper balance of minerals and nutrients in your blood.

Puffiness around the Eyes

Protein in the urine is an early symptom that the filters in the kidneys have been damaged, enabling protein to flow into the urine. This puffiness around your eyes might be caused by your kidneys spilling a significant amount of protein in the urine rather than storing it.

Swollen Feet and Ankles

Reduced renal function can cause sodium retention, resulting in inflammation in your feet and ankles. Lower extremity swelling can also be a symptom of heart illness, liver disease, or persistent leg vein issues.

Reduced Appetite

This is a generic symptom that many conditions can cause, but one of the explanations might be a buildup of toxins caused by impaired kidney function.

Muscle Cramps 

Impaired renal function can cause electrolyte abnormalities. Low calcium levels, for example, and poorly managed phosphorus levels may also lead to muscular cramping.

Frequent Urination

If you need to urinate more frequently, especially at night, this might indicate kidney disease. When the kidney filters are compromised, the desire to urinate increases. In males, this might be an indication of a urinary infection or an enlarged prostate.

Blood or Foam in Your Urine

When healthy kidneys filter wastes from the blood to make urine, they usually retain blood cells in the body; but, when the kidney’s filters are damaged, these blood cells might begin to “leak” out into the urine. Blood in the urine can indicate malignancies, kidney stones, an infection, and renal disease.

Excessive bubbles in the urine, especially those that take multiple flushes before they disappear, suggest protein in the urine. Because the common protein in urine, albumin, is the same protein found in eggs. This foam may resemble scrambled eggs.


If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your physician or go to your nearest walk-in clinic. Your doctor or a healthcare team member can create a treatment plan suitable to your needs.

Are you looking to get physicals in Santa Fe, NM? Aspen Medical Center offers state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Schedule your online check-in today!

putting band aid

Tips on How to Avoid the Holiday’s Most Common Accidents

The holiday is indeed the most wonderful time of the year and probably the most filled with activities. Because of this, the season is also prone to lurking mishaps despite its festive mood. The time from November to January is one of the busiest for most emergency departments and urgent care facilities in the country. 

To enjoy the best you can and keep your loved ones safe and happy this season, follow our guide below to prevent the most common mishaps during the holiday. 

Be Careful in Decorating

Decorating the interiors and exteriors of your home entails proper safety precautions. Keep away from using unsteady ladders, as this causes a considerable number of falls while decorating for Christmas each year. Additionally, avoid lifting too heavy items above your head since doing this will strain your muscles.

When decorating your house for the holiday, do the following:

  • Do not lift heavy objects alone.
  • Do not stand above the second-highest rung. 
  • Ensure that your body stays within the ladder’s borders. 
  • Keep one hand on the ladder at all times.
  • Make sure your ladder is locked open and steady.

Concentrate When Cooking

The kitchen is another area of your house that you should pay attention to when it comes to safety. This is why we recommend that you prepare sufficiently for the holiday as hurriedly cooking can put you at greater risk of starting an accident in the kitchen. 

To ensure the safety of your family, try these tips:

  • Keep your kitchen clean and clear.
  • Plan your holiday meals.
  • Ready several oven mitts.
  • Separate cooked ingredients from the uncooked ones. 
  • Sharpen knives before using them. 
  • Wash your hands, surfaces, and utensils after every time you touch raw meat. 

Keep Yourself Healthy

Because of the busyness of this season, it is easy to get caught up in the celebrations and forget one’s daily routine. If you have a chronic illness, you should never risk doing this. So make sure you pack the necessary medications for your holiday trips and give your primary care doctor a call to ask for a prescription. If it helps, you can set alarms for taking pills, checking your blood sugar, and others. 

Watch What You Eat

Even if it is a holiday, try to think before eating anything. This is because overeating leads to various health conditions, especially acid reflux and heart attack. Keep in mind the following:

  • Always have a designated driver when going out to drink.
  • Eat a balanced meal by including fruits and vegetables. 
  • Eat slowly. 
  • Limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages. 

Unwrap Carefully

Surprisingly, even unwrapping gifts can bring a lot of dangers when done carelessly. Presents wrapped in thick plastic are especially prone to causing lacerations and cuts. Whether you are using box cutters, knives, or scissors, always be careful in cutting items open. And properly store these tools away when not in use so they do not end in your child’s hands or get lost in piles of wrapping papers. 


The holiday is a fun and busy time that may make you forget about following basic safety rules and precautions. However, bear in mind that many accidents happen when people are most careless about what they do and their surroundings. 

Use our simple tips above as your guide this season to ensure the safety and full enjoyment of the entire family!

If you need an urgent care center, turn to Aspen Medical Center. We are a locally owned outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, NM, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Give us a call today.

man getting injected

More Than a Jab: 5 Reasons You Should Get a Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot every year has been essential since its discovery and is an additional layer of protection during the pandemic. The jab may not prevent the virus, but it can help prevent flu-related illnesses, which COVID-19 can make us more susceptible to.

Children as early as six months of age and older should get the flu vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual flu vaccination through any licensed influenza vaccine appropriate for the recipient’s age and health status.

1. Saving Lives

Even the flu can sometimes cause serious complications that may require hospitalization. Dehydration, worsening of chronic illnesses, bacterial pneumonia, and ear infections are only a few of the issues someone catching the disease can experience. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting a flu shot, especially during the pandemic, will allow the health care system to conserve scarce medical resources for people with Covid-19, saving more people.

2. Reduced Sick Days

Catching Influenza not only requires you to rest at home but causes a lot of downtimes. Since it’s a viral infection that affects the respiratory system, not getting the proper medication may lead to flu complications. 

It can also be an issue for employees. The sickness can affect your productivity at work, hurting your capacity to earn income. Did you know that the flu is the reason for 111 million lost workdays and $7 billion lost in productivity and annual sick days?

3. Varied Strains

The influenza virus evolves quickly, and health organizations like the CDC do their best to predict which strain is likely to be prevalent and the type of vaccine that needs to be distributed. 

As soon as the vaccine comes into contact with our immune system, it activates and creates antibodies that fight off the virus. Therefore, as soon as the vaccinated person comes into contact with the actual flu strain, the body is protected and ready to fight it without getting sick.

4. Nothing to Fear

The side effects from the vaccine, such as headache, stuffy nose, or sore throat, are all minor. Other than those, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Many people don’t even experience any side effects, and those who do often report them as minor. 

5. Herd Immunity

Herd immunity is the concept that refers to the inability of disease to transmit through a population because of immunizations. The more people are immune, the more difficult it is for a virus to spread. Since the flu spreads quickly, it is crucial to develop herd immunity to prevent further infections. Remember that you’re not only doing it for yourself but the people around you.


Getting vaccinated against flu is a great way to prevent yourself from acquiring the virus. The shot saves lives. Flu’s most common symptoms include fever, aching muscles, chills, sweats, headache, cough, and sore throat. Even if you do acquire the flu virus, the vaccine can make the sickness less severe. However, if you develop complications aside from the primary symptoms, don’t hesitate to take a trip to the emergency room.

Aspen Medical Center offers the best primary care in Santa Fe. If you’re feeling sick and suspect a flu infection, we are ready to take care of you. Contact us through our website or set an appointment by calling our hotline number at 505-657-1799.