To mark Feelgood’s 20th anniversary we asked 20 high-profile people to share their top health tips.
I have found yoga helps me greatly.
It is a truly inclusive art which can be enjoyed by those at all stages of their lives and, across Ireland, yoga is taught and practised amongst all kinds of groups, bestowing physical fitness
and mental wellbeing on people of all ages.
I live in the moment because I don’t know how long I have left. Life is too short not to appreciate the simple things — a blue sky, birds singing, a hug from my children.
Exercise and being aware of the physical and mental benefits is important — running has been my chosen form and I love it.
Consistency and getting into a routine with training and diet is key; once you get into a good routine it becomes a habit.
For the last year and a half, rain or shine, I’ve been going down to the beach every morning for a swim — it recharges and resets my body and mind.
Focus on progress, not perfection. Success comes from making small, consistent improvements. Set yourself realistic goals, then insert little milestones to keep you on track along the way. One percent progress is still progress.
Your one-hour workout is important but it is how you live the other hours that will have the greatest impact on the success of your goals.
Cooking is a life skill that we use every day and at the moment more and more of us are cooking as families — it nourishes mind, body and soul.
Learn to love and accept yourself unconditionally for the wonderful, special unique person you are — the secret to mental health.
Commit to exercise. Sign up for a walk, run or cycle, anything that makes it easier to stick with doing a small bit of exercise every day.
Prioritise sleep. When we’re well rested we’re more likely to make healthy food choices and exercise more effectively. A good night’s sleep is the foundation of good health.
I learned transcendental meditation last year and it’s been transformational. TM helps me feel calmer and it gives me a boost of energy when I need it most.
Stop everything. Find some silence, and sit in it. Take a few minutes, just for you, every day.
Go easy on yourself. I think sometimes when it comes to physical and mental health, particularly in recent times, we can all be very tough on ourselves. It’s OK to have off days and days off. Embrace them.
Pick one thing to do. Give up caffeine, cut down on the booze, give up the smokes, cut down on sugar, start exercising more. Don’t wake up on a Monday and decide to do all of those things at once, because you’ll probably fail and it will set up back further because then, on top of everything else, you have now given yourself a good reason to call yourself a failure.
My biggest health tip is to try and reduce stress, which I believe is the biggest risk to our health and brings on illness. Try to take time out, even 10 minutes a day, to have a short walk, do some stretching or even read a magazine to escape from our own individual stresses. And, have a laugh every day. It really does work.
The simple approach to health tends to be the most effective, so I aim to exercise regularly, base my diet on whole, unprocessed plant foods, get sufficient sleep, manage stress as efficiently as possible, stay positive, drink plenty of water and take it easy with caffeine and alcohol.
Something is always better than nothing. On days when motivation is hard just do 15 minutes for your health. That might be a brisk walk or preparing a healthy meal, you only need a small amount of time to invest in yourself.
Invest time in the preparation side of things. Taking time to plan meals, grocery shop and batch cook when needed really pays off, especially mid week. The trick is to make eating well the easy option so you can enjoy it.
I try — but often fail — to eat a balanced diet, live a balanced life between work and rest, and exercise enough to keep the body and mind ticking over.