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Dr Duncan

Get checked: the road to a healthy life

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Health-check
 Improving your health isn’t scary
 Are you afraid of developing health problems and disease? You might  have healthcare campaigns to thank for that. Health messages are  often driven by fear, and the risks of cancer, having a heart attack or  developing Alzheimer’s disease all feature heavily. Fear can be a  useful driver in leading people towards a healthier lifestyle, but it just  isn’t an effective way to motivate change. If it was, everyone would  have stopped smoking decades ago and obesity would be almost  obsolete. I think we have many more positive reasons to live a  healthier life.
There is always a reason to get healthy
If you’re lacking motivation to make healthy changes to your lifestyle, try looking to others. Do you have family that is special to you? Maybe you have kids that you want to see grow up, or a list of things you still want to achieve. Whatever the “reason why”, a healthy lifestyle is vital for leading a long and happy life.

Your new healthy life can start today
A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated. All it takes is balance and consistency.

You can start today by:
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and veggies
  • Cutting down on addictive substances, such as alcohol, cigarettes, sugar and fatty foods
  • Taking time out to reflect on and review your life
But remember, even healthy people get sick
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe from illness. Health problems can come from nowhere. And just like a smoker can live until a ripe old age, healthy people get sick too. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular health checks, no matter what your lifestyle or medical history points to. That way, if a health issue does arise, it can be flagged early on and treated by skilled medical professionals. 

Keep an eye on your health
Health checks are a great way for us to monitor our body’s health from infancy to adulthood and beyond. As infants we are regularly measured and weighed as a way to monitor our growth patterns. And, as research has shown that rapid weight gain early in life is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, we know the checks are vital in establishing a healthy outlook from our earliest years.
 
Look out for your kids during their formative years
As your children become teenagers, it’s important for you to keep a close eye on their health as they grow into young adults. Be alert for any signs of early addiction to tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs and offer support where you can. This is also a great time to encourage them to stay involved in sport and exercise, as physical activity tends to fall by the wayside in the later teenage years.

It’s easier than ever to get checked
Most health checks are now performed in schools, workplaces and other community facilities, making them more accessible than ever. These checks are focused on reducing the risks of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancers. 
Runners

They include: 

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood sugar
  • Weight and central obesity measurements 
These health checks are designed to pick up a problem in its earliest stages before it becomes an issue for you.

 There are also plenty of community-based initiatives to keep you in-check, such as:

  • Breast screening reminders
  • Vaccination reminders
  • Bowel cancer screening reminders 
Getting treated is easy too
Should your results suggest a follow up consultation is necessary, your GP will be able to go through them with you. Together, you’ll be able to discuss what’s best for you and your health.  

Prioritise your health
Nothing is more important than your health. Making healthy changes to your lifestyle and adding regular health checks to your routine means that you’ll reduce the risk of developing chronic disease and illness. Make your health a priority and you’ll be free to live life to the fullest, for longer.   

 

Article written by Dr. Duncan Jefferson. More articles here. For more information on health care and private health cover, visit HBF Insurance at www.hbf.com.au.

The content of these articles is not tailored for any particular individual's circumstances. The author does not take into account your physical condition, medical history or any medication you may be taking. Any advice or information provided by the author cannot replace the advice of your health care professional. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of HBF unless clearly indicated

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