For both Alin and I, the last health check happened four years ago, before moving to London. In Romania you get a mandatory blood test every year, ordered by your employer, so we got to check ourselves regularly. Since this is not the case in the UK and we didn’t have any other issues except for a cold, we haven’t set foot in a consultation room since 2013.
After losing weight and recently becoming vegan, we were very curious about a few things – cholesterol, any vitamin deficiency (especially B12), VO2max, male/female specific cancer tests and body fat percentage. For our current lifestyle, these results would tell us if what we’re doing and eating works for us.
A quick search online pointed us to Bupa’s Health Peak assessment. By the way, this is not a paid post; I am just talking about our experience. It normally costs £850, but if you look around in the calendar, you’ll see days with discounted slots. Both Alin and I paid only £450, and it was totally worth it.
Here’s how it happens
Before the day, you need to fill in a questionnaire. All your health history goes there, and so are your concerns. In that way, the doctor can read and know enough things about you on the day.
Before even going into the consultation room, you’re asked to give a urine sample. And you get the results before going home.
1 hour with a nurse
The nurse will get measurements, put you on the scale, get a blood sample, measure your fat and muscle percentage, do an EKG, get your blood pressure, perform a mobility test, a grip strength test and you can also opt for a hearing test instead of mobility. There is a lot happening there, but you get the results immediately. Even the blood results come back from the lab in about 15-20 minutes. The nurse puts the results into the computer, and the application gives immediate feedback – the fields turn green if your numbers are in normal range. Everything is explained to you in words that you can understand.
2 of my biggest concerns were cholesterol and body fat percentage.
My whole life I had high cholesterol. Until now. My results were perfect, which means that my diet and exercise routine are finally working for me!
Next, body fat. After I lost weight, my mom kept saying that I should stop, that I’m too skinny and that it’s OK to have a belly, it runs in the family (excuses!). I scored 24.5%, putting me in the Desirable (green category), but the limit is 26. I am green but dangerously close to orange. This motivated me to keep going and try to lose another 2-4% of body fat (which is what I’m doing now with DietBet and PIIT28).
Another interesting result was the calories expenditure at rest. Just by existing, my body burns 1451kcal. This is a very good thing to know and be mindful of on those days when I don’t exercise, so I’ll know to control my food portions. On active days, I burn around 2032kcal.
1 hour with the doctor
The doctor will go through your questionnaire and ask follow up questions if needed. They will talk to you about any health concerns that you might have and give you advice. They will also review your mental state and stress levels. This is also your chance to ask as many questions as you want. The last few minutes are spent with the hands-on examination, and you’ll be mostly naked. A complete skin check, breasts (and/or other places for males/females) and the doctor will take samples to check for specific cancers.
1/2 hour of fitness tests
We were so looking forward to this! The test is performed on an exercise bike, wearing a heart rate strap, a tube in your mouth and a clip on your nose. The point of the exercise is to test your lungs and heart functions while trying to get to your maximum heart rate. The fitter you are, the longer the test takes because it takes longer to get to max HR. It took me 8 minutes, and I found out that everything works very well and I have a good metabolism (I burn fat long before I start burning carbs). VO2max score was 36.9, which places me in the High Fitness category. YEAH!
You might get some extra lab results a few days after the consultation. For example, Alin wanted to check the B12 vitamin status. And by the way, no B12 deficiency, so our vegan meals don’t lack any nutrients.
It was a good experience and totally worth the money and time spent there. We do recommend it; you might find out some surprising things!