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A simple health check could save you money and your life

2 October 2018

We all have a different idea of what being ‘healthy’ means. For some, it may be getting a good night’s sleep, regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet as often as we can. For others, it may mean more than that like training for an extreme fitness event like a marathon or following a strict and monitored diet.  But for most of us, being ‘healthy’ is something we strive for, but struggle to reach and regularly maintain.

Retired New Zealand Vodafone Warrior Ryan Hoffman understands the importance of regular health checks.
As a Men’s Health trust ‘Goodfella’ he shares his story.

“Our health is important, we need to get it checked. It’s really important that we maintain our health. We have people relying on us and we need to make sure we’re going to be there at the right time for them”, he said.

According to the Australian Government Institute of Health and Welfare’s biannual report of the nation’s health,  Australians are living longer than ever before, but half of us are living with at least one chronic condition, which can affect the quality of our lives, as well as those of our families and carers.

Regardless of your lifestyle, age, health or fitness, taking the time to have your health assessed by a professional can mean the difference between prevention and cure.

Make health checks part of your regular routine

A health check is an examination of your current state of health, often carried out by your GP, which may include a variety of tests to ensure you’re on the right track to good health. As we get older, we become more vulnerable to illness. In order to reduce this risk, a number of health checks or screening tests are recommended at different stages of our lives.

New Zealand’s Men’s Health Trust has a really helpful tool which will guide you though what health checks are important depending on your age and lifestyle factors. Try it out here.

What kind of health checks do I need?

In your 20s and 30s

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol and glucose levels
  • BMI, waist and hip measurements
  • Dental check and cleaning
  • Skin cancer checks
  • Testes self-checks (men)
  • Breast self-checks (women)

If sexually active:

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) screenings
  • Pap smear every two years (women)

In your 40s

All of the same checks as in your 20s and 30s plus:

  • Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment
  • Cardiovascular Risk Assessment
  • Mammogram (women)
  • Eye checks for glaucoma

In your 50s and 60s

All of the same checks as in your 40s plus:

  • Osteoporosis Risk Assessment
  • Bowel cancer screening (also called FOBT – faecal occult blood test)
  • Visual acuity and hearing impairment tests

A health check not only provides useful information, and a chance to discuss your personal health with a specialist, it’s also a good opportunity to ensure your contact details are up to date with your medical providers.

General health screens may also include:

  • Dentist check up – Scale and Clean
  • Mole scan / Skin Cancer Check
  • Immunization status check
  • Pap smear and pelvic exams
  • Prostrate exams
  • STI screenings

A moment is all it takes

Taking time to book a health check is your first step towards understanding what’s really happening in your body and in your mind. Take a moment today, and take control of your health and your future.

Sources: BUPA Health checks, Medibank Health checks

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