Dr Roger Henderson is one of the UK’s most respected and trusted health broadcasters. In his position as both a senior GP and regular broadcaster and writer in every area of health, he brings over 35 years of medical experience to all of his media work.
My dogs tend to get me up at the same time around 6.30 and then it’s out for a long walk with them on my local beach to work up an appetite for breakfast. This is typically something like poached eggs on toast or porridge and tea, trying to avoid processed or sugar-rich foods that tend to trigger hunger later in the morning. If I have a busy work day I break it down into two-hourly chunks and focus completely on each workload in turn so I am not distracted by other jobs that need doing that day.
Exercise every day – it’s as simple as that. This can be something as straightforward as a brisk 30 minute walk, or more formal such as a one hour gym session; it really doesn’t matter. Keeping as fit as possible helps to keep my metabolism turning over quite quickly, and helps to aid restful sleep at night too.
If you want to do one more thing long-term to stay healthy (apart from not smoking and only drinking in moderation) keep to a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese causes long-term health problems that can be otherwise avoided if you are a normal weight.
I like to eat a lot of things I shouldn’t and so have to be pretty strict with myself! I eat three meals a day, with no food between 8pm and 8am, and never snack in between meals. I like pasta and bread for my carbs, chicken and fish for protein and use dairy products rather than low-fat alternatives. A glass or two of wine two or three times a week is also very nice!
Any foods that are ultra-processed or rich in saturated fats are a no-go for me. The fresher the food the better!
I am fortunate in that I have my own well-equipped gym, and I work out 5-6 times a week in it using a mix of cardio and strength training. I get bored if I do the same workout all the time – and the body gets used to it too and stops responding – so would typically do 30 minutes of weights work targeting different body parts each time and then 30 minutes high-intensity aerobic activity using an exercise bike, rower or treadmill.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. I use the Aproderm range of emollients daily, protect my skin from the sun and avoid using perfumed soaps or shower gels.
Warm up and stretch for 5 minutes, a hard 30 minute indoor bike session so that the sweat is really dripping then onto the weights for 30 minutes before a 5 minute warm down jog. This is usually done late afternoon rather than in the evening.
I can sometimes forget about rehydrating until I feel thirsty, by which time I am already dehydrated so on top of my tea intake I always try to remember to drink two glasses of water with each meal and after working out.
Moderation in everything - apart from smoking (never smoke) - along with regular sleep, staying active and supple, and keeping the stresses of life in perspective. Don’t sweat the small stuff!
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