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If you've been following along with my blog the last few months you already know that I've been working on getting myself into better shape health-wise. I started the year out working on eating better and exercising more. With the warm weather just ahead I want to make sure that I do all I can to be in good health for my family so I can enjoy the outdoors with my kids. That means doing little extra things along the way like stopping for a FREE health screening at my local Sam's Club. I figured if I was going to be doing my shopping it was a great time to take advantage of their awesome program.
I couldn't believe the wealth of information that was on display as soon as I walked inside our Sam's Club store. Everything was all laid out nicely for you look over and take what you needed. There were also several clipboards all ready to be filled out for their special FREE health screenings event. Since I had never had many of the tests done that they were offering I was pretty excited about having them done for the first time. I filled out my paperwork and no sooner than I was done they had an opening ready for me.
I was directed over to a table where I gave the lady my clipboard and she began with the tests. First she took my blood pressure, followed by a cholesterol and glucose check, and a calculation of my BMI and body fat percentage. I have to say I wasn't too excited about the idea of being stuck in my finger with a needle so she could get blood for the test. I'm a big baby when it comes to any sort of needle, no matter how small. But I sucked it up and took it like a champ (okay I'll be honest I turned my head the other way). It really wasn't that bad, she was very quick and had it done in no time. Through out the entire process she didn't really say much as she was taking down all the information she needed. But when she was done recording everything she handed me a paper that told me all of my screening results and went over it with me. My HDL (good) cholesterol was a lot lower than it should be so she even took the time to explain to me what causes it to be low, and what things I could do to get it back up where it needs to be. It was actually very helpful and informative.
While reading through a Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine recently I found a really great article that talked about getting out and enjoying things like nature. It talked about how getting out for a simple walk in nature can decrease your heart rate, relax your blood pressure and stress hormones, give you a mellower mood, and a stronger immune system. Neuroscientist call the beauties of nature "visual Valium" noting that whats pleasing to the eyes also applies to the brain. After thinking about the article for a few minutes I realized just how true this was. I recalled this past summer when we stopped off at a state park on our trip home from a weekend getaway to do a little unwinding. It had been a long morning in the car and we were all starting to get that cooped up feeling.
I remember how much fun we all had just walking around taking in the outdoors. With a view like this how could one not be completely relaxed and enjoy what's all around? I know we sure did, and when we got back in the car for the rest of the ride home it gave us something nice to talk about too. Definitely keeping the mood more light and enjoyable.
It's little things like those moments that make me thankful to have places around like Sam's Club that offer FREE health screenings. If it weren't for that screening I never would have know that my HDL cholesterol was low and I needed to take action to get it back on track. I want to get in control of myself and my health now while I'm still young and can get it going in the right direction for the long haul.
Have you ever had a health screening? If so what did you get screened for, and what did you think?
Check this list for FREE health screenings near you!