Having a free NHS Health Check was a wakeup call for Wayne Linsdell, who was “shocked” to find out how much weight he put on after giving up smoking.

The 41- year-old put on four stone after kicking the habit in 2013 and replacing cigarettes with daily coffees and sweet treats.

He was “shocked” to find out how much he weighed when he went for his NHS Health Check at his GP surgery in Parson Drove, after receiving a letter in the post.

An NHS Health Check is designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia and gives people the opportunity to take steps earlier to help lower the risk of developing one of these conditions such as weight control and exercise.

Mr Linsdell, who lives in Guyhirn near Wisbech, would drink up to four lattes a day with full-fat milk and ate unhealthy food on the go in his work as a stonemason.

After meeting a Health Trainer at Everyone Health’s Changepoint Lifestyle Service, Mr Linsdell could not believe how much fat and sugar was in his diet – which included portions of fried food and cheese – and he decided to take action.

“When I turned 40 I had an NHS Health Check which shocked me into realising how big I had become,” he said. “When the Health Trainer explained how many extra calories and additional fat I was having in just the lattes I was totally shocked. I then reduced these to one a day and started looking at labels on sandwiches and crisps which I had at dinnertime. I started eating fewer takeaways  and if I did have one I would go for a healthier option like grilled chicken”.

Ahead of World Stroke Day on Sunday, October 29, health experts are encouraging people aged 40-74 years to book in for a free NHS Health Check at their local GP surgery and help detect potential problems before they do real damage.

The short 20-30 minute check on blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and the lifestyle factors that influence your health help to determine how likely you are to get heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes or have a stroke in the future. Those aged over 65 are also told about the signs and symptoms of dementia as part of the Health Check, which is funded by the County Council’s Health Budget.

If you’re aged between 40-74 and do not currently have a long-term health condition you should have an NHS Health Check every five years.

For Mr Linsdell, his NHS Health Check proved invaluable and spurred him on to lose more than two stone in weight by changing his diet and lifestyle. He is now able to wear a pair of shorts on holiday and will “look good in a suit” at his wedding in October next year.

“I feel healthier and lighter,” he added. “I find it much easier to get in and out of the banger cars when I am racing. I would encourage everyone to have their NHS Health Check, it can really change your life.”

Between April 2016 and March 2017, 18,000 NHS Health Checks were delivered across Cambridgeshire – 3,000 more than the previous year.

Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Mr Linsdell did the right thing in having an NHS Health Check. People who have an unhealthy weight are at greater risk of a range of serious health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain cancers.  NHS Health Checks is a great free service that can make a real difference to people’s health. However, we still need more people to sign up and take action to reduce their risk of developing potentially avoidable diseases. World Stroke Day is a great motivation to give ourselves an extra push to improve our health.”

If you’re aged 40-74 years, call or visit your GP now to get your Free NHS Health Check. For more information about Heath Checks, visit https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/be-well/health-improvement/ or http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/nhs-health-check/Pages/NHS-Health-Check.aspx.

If you cannot find time for your FREE NHS Health check at your GP Surgery, Book it with Everyone Health’s Changepoint Lifestyle Service today at a clinic near you on O333 005 0093 or [email protected].

NHS Health Checks are funded by Cambridgeshire County as part of its Public Health role but the Programmes delivery is involves close working with the NHS.

Changepoint is a friendly and impartial service that offers free help and support for any healthy change you want to make in your life. This could be for things like getting your family fitter, doing some regular exercise, dealing with stress, kicking a habit, or simply improving your general wellbeing.  Delivered by Everyone Health, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, and supported by other partners, Changepoint is helping to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.

© 2019 Sport & Leisure Management Ltd