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Me and my health: Musician Humphrey on his lifestyle


Health conscious: Humphrey
Health conscious: Humphrey
Humphrey with his dog

The 36-year-old songwriter and musician, who is originally from Omagh, has released his debut album Taming Demons. The singer of blues rock band MASK lives outside Belfast and is a single dad to Presley (15).

Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?

A: I walk my dog for about 40 minutes and I work out with free weights. I have had many injuries over the years so it's about finding a balance and listening or feeling what my body is saying to me. I still do push myself but I have come to recognise my limits. I prefer quality exercise over quantity. I used to go to the gym to lift my ego but this resulted in a lot of injuries.

Q: What is the worst illness you've had?

A: I've been quite lucky to have gone without serious long-term illness, but I have suffered a lot with injuries and broken bones. I've had shoulder surgery a couple of times and a bone has popped out of my right hand that still sits out today. Most of my fingers have been broken and I get high pitched ringing in my ears at times with the band and also due to previous ear problems I've suffered from.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: It's pretty good but I need a treat every day. My meals are usually high protein and I will eat carbs on my last meal of the day. I have some friends who compete in body building and MMA and I know for a fact I could never have that kind of discipline. I do seek out mentors though, and the general overall guidance I work from is 'everything in moderation'. I try to keep that in mind. I intermittent fast all day which means I won't eat until around 5pm. I usually just live on black coffee and water. From 5pm to 11pm I eat usually two full meals of high protein/veg and its usually a big bar of chocolate or a tub of ice cream after. My ball park calorie intake is around 2,500 but I don't get too deep into the details - I usually just go by how my clothes feel rather than weighing scales.

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Humphrey with his dog

Q: Any bad habits?

A: Too many! My sweet tooth is probably my worst habit. Sundays are my toughest days so I usually always hit the gym on that day to counterbalance my inevitable terrible eating. I do love Indian food and on a Sunday I will indulge a little. I don't feel that bad about it all now - I used to, but I've let go of the remorse.

Q: Do you drink and smoke/ if so how much?

A: I rarely drink now because it tends to affect my singing voice. I can easily go months without drinking. As I look back through my 20s, I drank way too much and as time wore on I think the appeal has become less and less. And I'm a non-smoker.

Q: Do you take any supplements?

A: A multivitamin and omega-3. I have friends who appear to have a pharmacy in their kitchen, but I really don't know enough about it to spend the money that they do. I generally just try to eat well and listen to my body.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I find this a bit hard because I work from home mostly. I'm a bit of a workaholic and I like to tie off loose ends. Television is my guilty pleasure but I will only allow myself the privilege if I've earned it. It's rarely actual television but more box sets and Netflix and then I record any programs I want to watch. I don't ever watch the news because over the years I just feel it has become scaremongering rather than being informative. I enjoy reading but I never lock into one book - I usually balance four or five at one time. They are a mixture of business/marketing books, self-help and music.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: I sleep really well. Over the years I've come to really appreciate and make a concerted effort to focus on getting the best sleep. I usually nap between noon and 2pm and set an alarm for 30 minutes. Even if I don't actually go to sleep I just like to power down and start the day again. I don't keep a TV, any electronics or screens in the bedroom at all. My phone stays in flight mode in the kitchen most of the time.

Do you worry about getting old?

A: Yes. I feel in fantastic condition and in better shape than I did 10 years ago but I'm pretty vain to be honest and I worry about my looks and the potential middle-age spread. I used to eat and drink whatever I liked in my 20s but now things have definitely changed. That being said, I don't mind the changes. When I turned 30 it really had an effect on me. I felt directionless and that I should be in a much better place in life. At 32, I made some huge changes by choosing only to have people in my life who enhance me and it has made these last four years the best years of my life.

Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: Water and sleep are my main focus to maintaining my health. I use glass water bottles and a quality water filter to measure and maintain my water intake. I usually take on at least three litres of water a day. With my water and sleep in the bag, I definitely feel more energised and creative.

Follow Humphrey on Instagram at @musicbyhumphrey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/musicbyhumphrey/ or visit his website: www.musicbyhumphrey.com

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