There's no question that when it comes to the subject of age we're in danger of encroaching on sensitive territory. But controversial or not, age is a fact of life. One that can't be shied away from or ignored. Popular chart songs tell us "we're so young at heart" but, while we might feel this in spirit, in reality, our health can paint a very different picture about our age. One that even calls into question the date of birth on our driving licence.
So why is it our biological age can vary so dramatically from our 'health age'? The answer is a combination of two key things; nature (our genetic makeup) and nurture (our lifestyle choices). But while some things, like the DNA we inherit, can't be altered, the conscious decisions we make every day in our lives can all have a short or long-term effect on our health. And this we can control.
Let's say for example your diet. We all have to eat. But when it comes to the foods we consume this is a matter of choice. And there are good choices, and there are, well, not so good choices. Our diet is one of the key things that can have a bearing on our long-term health. Certain food and drink, such as red meats and alcohol, if consumed in excess, can have a detrimental impact on our organs. Even lean meat like chicken, if deep-fried, becomes an unhealthy choice. Consuming these foods on a regular basis is a key trigger for heart disease, and kidney function failure. A sobering thought right? One you may want to bear in mind the next time you find yourself standing in line at a fast food outlet.
Another impact on our health and one that can lead our bodies to age prematurely is stress. While a little stress is good for us, too much of it can lead to serious health outcomes. Including high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and mental health disorders. Calming activities such as meditation and yoga are all great for combatting stress, but they don't work for everyone. So it's important to identify what helps you relax and set a little time aside to indulge in it. Of course, the most effective form of stress relief is to remove yourself from the trigger cause entirely. Something that isn't always easily achieved if the source says your job, money troubles or marriage.
The best way to determine your health status, and pre-empt any future compromises to your health, is with a full health MOT. Something all our PDC clinics are able to offer. These checks not only flush out any existing undiagnosed health complaints, they also identify the early onset of debilitating illnesses such as dementia, diabetes and heart and kidney disease. Helping you to take the necessary steps to address these issues before it's too late.
So, even if you're 37, but you feel 17, an annual health check can not only ensure you feel good for longer, it can also give you the advice and treatment you need to add valuable years to your life. And that's definitely something that's worth a little of your time.
To find out more about the specific diagnostic health tests we offer, visit our health checks home page here.
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