Health checks. Body MOTs. Blood tests. Whatever. They weren’t something I really thought about until I hit 30. To be honest they were something I generally tried to avoid anyway. I’ve spoken on the blog candidly about having health anxiety, which has been ok recently and the thought of voluntarily going to get my body checked when I was feeling ok, did slightly fill me with dread!
There are some many aspects of your health and women’s health is so important. Sometimes it can be a bit of a taboo subject but if you are sexually active, it is worth having an annual women’s health check, especially when thinking about your long-term health and if you are planning on having a family in the future.
My husband offered to pay for me to have more of a metabolic health check, as he had an offer through his work’s health insurance. He was going and thought I should too. I didn’t really want to but decided to go ahead with it regardless. I was having the basic package, which was more my metabolic health, heart, lungs and body composition. I was keen to get my blood sugars and cholesterol checked, as although I am active and try to eat well, you never do really know!
My hubby’s results came back pretty good and therefore the competitive lunatic side in me decided I REALLY wanted to know.
So the end of January rolled around and I realised I had to fast for 4 hours prior to the blood test. This by far was the worst of it. I have to eat every 2-3 hours at least, so I was pretty hungry as I headed over. I also was feeling a bit nervous at this point. This became more obvious when the nurse who was testing me, took my blood pressure! I know my blood pressure and resting heart rate are very good, as my step-Dad has a machine which I check mine, now and then. During testing both were higher than normal which further proved I didn’t really want to be there!!
Overall the test was fine. We went through a batch of tests, including bloods, weight and body composition, exercise and recovery, lung function and even my mental health. I was feeling pretty good anxiety wise and after doing a couple of assessments I knew this aspect of the test would come out ok.
Heading home afterwards though I felt hangry and generally cross with myself, as I knew my blood pressure was higher than it should have been, so was worried I’d fudged my results. I had at least a 2 week wait for the results, so got over it and just waited.
The results appeared one Thursday, when I was at work and hubby read them down the phone and I had a good read when I was home. They were really interesting. As predicted my blood pressure was in the amber and my resting heart rate was not as good as it normally is. My iron stores were low, another thing I was prepared for as they were low in pregnancy and obviously not recovered.
The rest I was pleasantly surprised at. General health markers were good; liver, kidneys, lungs and bones. Blood sugars were fine and my cholesterol was 4.3. This was higher than my husband’s, as my HDL (good cholesterol) was really high, giving me a really good total cholesterol/HDL ratio. All the exercise, olive oil and stuffing myself with nuts must help; that or genetics!
My estimated heart age is 33 (that is my age) and my metabolic age is 20. This is from body composition analysis, so was pleased with that too.
I sighed a big sigh of relief and I think my husband was pleased all was ok too. It’s daft, as I know I try to be healthy but I still think, unless it’s tested you don’t have a clue really.
In answer to my first question, is it worth going for one? Yes I think so. I know you have to pay and that is a cost burden but I’m over 30 now and I do try to look after myself. It’s not the best if you suffer a bit from health anxiety and end up fudging some of the results but I’m glad I went. It will be something I would like to repeat in a few years time and all I want to do now is keep active and keep eating well.
Oh and check my blood pressure!!