As a means of trying to ensure that over 40s don’t suffer from heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses/diseases in later life, the NHS offer every adult over the age of 40 an NHS Health Check (or mid-life MOT) every 5 years after the age of 40. I received a letter several weeks ago shortly after my 45th birthday and was looking forward to hearing how I could reduce those risks.
My MOT was on Wednesday and required a 12 hour fast and also to not undertake any exercise within that period as both affect the blood tests that are taken. With my appointment at 10am, that meant no breakfast and missing Run Camp 😦
Anyway, I knew that I was in good shape with the level of physical activity I do and the recent weight loss so didn’t expect any shocks.
Having arrived at our local doctors surgery, I waited in the waiting room and waited before eventually being called through to a consultation room at 10:25am. The nurse was very apologetic about being late but I wasn’t too bothered. The next thing the nurse said was it was clear I was fit and looked after myself from a fitness perspective. Result!
Prior to the appointment, I’d been asked to fill in a form about my lifestyle which asked the obvious questions about whether I smoked, how much alcohol I drank, what type of physical activities I did regularly and for how long each week.
As I don’t smoke, very rarely drink and tend to swim, cycle or run 5-6 hours per week, I was happy to fill in the form completely honestly. I’m sure many don’t! In fact, with the bank holiday and extra swimming and cycling with the boys, I was able to put 8 hours of physical activity for the previous week.
The ‘MOT’ consisted of going through the form as well as:
– blood tests – hence the 12 hour fast
– height/weight – for calculation of BMI
– blood pressure
After all of these were taken, the nurse took me through a questionnaire to establish what advice to follow to reduce the likelihood of health issues in later life. She was unable to offer anything other than to continue doing exactly what I was doing. In fact, she said I knew more about what to advise than she did and then proceeded to ask me what she should do as a woman with a high BMI who wasn’t very active and who’d only recently given up smoking. I did think it a little hypocritical that I could well have been lectured on healthy lifestyle choices by someone that clearly didn’t always take them! However, as the backbone of the NHS I’m not going to criticise any nurse for their lifestyle. In my advice, I couldn’t help but mention MyFitnessPal and parkrun! Both have been key to my good health and fitness.
That was it. Health check over. I have to call back next week to get the results of the blood tests but I’m not expecting anything too bad.
So, just to act as a record, my Key Health Indicators were:
BMI: 23.7 – not a very accurate indicator in reality but ‘healthy’ nonetheless
Fat Mass %: 21.1% (reasonably good)
Blood pressure: 125/65 (systolic a little high so will work on getting heathlier!)
Resting Heart Rate: 44 bpm (extremely athletic – just need the rest of my body to catch up!)