Mediclinic Limpopo partnered with ER24 Polokwane to host a health testing campaign at Body Life in the city on Monday and Tuesday afternoon with the theme: Love your heart – Keep it beating against heart disease.
Visitors to the gym queued up for free blood pressure and cholesterol tests before and after their exercise sessions and quite a number of others that were obviously not regular gym-goers, also took advantage of the opportunity.
Mediclinic Limpopo’s Patient Experience Manager, Istha McMillan, supervised the event and said that heart disease and strokes affect both men and women, yet most people don’t recognise how easy it is to avoid the serious risk of heart disease.
“During this heart and stroke awareness month we are encouraging everyone to take the first step to healing their heart by adopting some form of exercise. You need to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day at least five days a week to promote a healthy heart. Exercise is more effective at reducing the risks for heart disease than any pills a doctor can prescribe,” McMillan said and added that, in addition, simple changes such as a balanced diet, avoiding saturated fats and leaving cigarettes behind can all have a large impact on one’s health.
“Don’t let another season pass you by without taking ownership of your health, because as you age you become more likely to develop heart disease. For women, factors such as obesity and menopause need to be taken into account when assessing your health,” McMillan advised.
According to McMillan, an annual cholesterol screening test is important, especially for persons over 35. “Discuss the results with a trained medical professional who will consider your results in combination with other risk factors. Having consistently high blood pressure, regardless of whether it’s caused by lifestyle or familial factors, will increase your risk,” McMillan said.
“The response to our call to participate in the health testing was overwhelming and we are extremely grateful to Body Life for allowing us to use their premises. The event would not have been such a great success without their support,” McMillan reckoned.
Story and photos: BARRY VILJOEN