When you get to a certain age, you start to notice the little things more, particularly in relation to your health. Gone are the days of running 5km without any training, or being able to see a car registration plate from 100m, or even being able to stand up from your desk without feeling a slight ache in your back. Age is something that happens slowly, but when you stop to think about it you wonder how it crept up on you so quickly.
Last week, I took advantage of the SiSu Wellness Health Station that was fixed, in-store at our Elizabeth Street shop. The machine is an easy to use, self-service contraption designed to give you instant health results. I used SiSu to analyse my weight, height, BMI, heart rate & blood pressure – this generated an immediate health report with guidelines around where I should be for my age. It was pretty revealing. I’m a healthy guy; I pride myself on living a well-informed healthy life, yet I found myself in the grey area for some of my results. If I don’t take control of my lifestyle now, the results could snowball.
SiSu emailed the report to me, which prompted me to make an appointment with my GP. I am originally from Sydney and have spent a lot of time on the beach, which inevitably means, exposure to the sun. There is a history of melanoma in my family and I make it a priority each year to have my skin checked. This year was the year that I have been expecting for a while. I was told that I have melanoma skin cells on my back and will have to undergo urgent surgery to have these removed. Although manageable and nothing too serious, the point is – without committing to my health and making regular check-ups a priority, it has the potential to be.
All of this got me thinking. I feel great and I look physically well, but that doesn’t mean I am. Some health issues sit beneath the surface. It is important to prioritise your health, particularly as you get older. You have done all the hard work and made it to this point in life, so make sure you do everything you can to keep going!
I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to do two things. Keep your eyes peeled for SiSu Wellness Health Stations across Victoria and take part in a free health check (if you didn’t get the chance to visit the one at the DA-Vic store on Elizabeth St). And secondly, be sun smart and don’t ignore any signs of skin cancer – getting checked is painless and could be a blessing in disguise.
Diabetes Australia – Victoria are a program partner of the 2015 Sons of the West campaign – a Western Bulldogs community health initiative supporting men living and working in Melbourne’s West to lead healthier lives.
From our involvement in the campaign we were given the opportunity to house a health check station within the retail shop. The SiSu Wellness Health Station is a unique, Australian-developed tool for engaging the public in managing their health. The easy to use, self service station is able to calculate key metrics such as blood pressure, body mass index & body weight, % body fat, heart rate, and height and weight.
For more information on skin cancer and how to be checked, visit http://www.sunsmart.com.au/
Michael Goldman is Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Diabetes Australia – Vic. You can follow him on Twitter @MGoldman_ the thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog are his own.