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Me and my health: Singer Malachi Cush on his lifestyle


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Staying positive: Singer-songwriter Malachi Cush

Staying positive: Singer-songwriter Malachi Cush

Malachi with his wife Claire

Malachi with his wife Claire

Staying positive: Singer-songwriter Malachi Cush

The 39-year-old singer-songwriter from Donaghmore raised £6,000 for NI Air Ambulance and £4,000 for the NHS, having undergone surgery on his leg after he was hit by a runaway car last year. The former Fame Academy contestant is married to Claire.

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

A: Before my surgery in February I was in a good routine of going to the gym regularly with my brother Brian. I was also enjoying some regular swimming. When lockdown happened I was still in recovery mode so it didn't take too long for me to fall out of my exercise routine. Since my physio has resumed, however, I've had to get back into the swing of things and now I'm doing more exercise than I have in a long time. I have a static bicycle and I try to do 20 minutes on it every morning. I also have lots of physio-led strengthening exercises to do each day, which take about an hour or so to complete. These are to help my leg and my back following my accident, so even though I'm sometimes tempted to skip them, I try my best to do them well. I also go for a walk every day with my dog Molly. She'd never let me away with missing it!

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

A: A few years ago I had pretty awful food poisoning for which I was hospitalised for a week. It was terrible. However, the injuries I sustained in the accident last year have definitely been worse to deal with. To be honest, the whole thing has had a lasting impact on me. I've undergone a number of reconstruction surgeries on my leg, but as well as that my voice was affected and still isn't the same, so I'm working hard on bringing it back to full strength through vocal rehabilitation. I had to have some dental work and stitches in my chin, which have left a scar. I try to stay positive but the recovery has been slow and frustrating at times.

My wife Claire always does a great job of keeping me motivated, though. I also owe a great deal of gratitude to my surgeon Dr Ciara Stevenson and my physio team Louis O'Connor and Amiee Bradley. My GP Dr McKay has also been a great support when times have been tough.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: I grew up eating a hearty, healthy diet at home. My mum Pat is a great cook and taught us all about the importance of fresh meat and vegetables, particularly good potatoes. I've tried to continue that in my own cooking now and even grow some vegetables in my garden. I buy the rest of my vegetables from John, who local people will know as 'the Vegetable Man' in Ann Street, Dungannon, and I use local butchers for my meat. I do have a weakness for a takeaway occasionally and I have a really sweet tooth - I love chocolate, biscuits and desserts.

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Malachi with his wife Claire

Malachi with his wife Claire

Malachi with his wife Claire

Q: Any bad habits?

A: Again, the chocolate, I can't just eat a square and leave the rest, I have to finish the whole bar. The bars seem to be getting bigger these days too. I am trying to control it, although it's hard - at least I've good intentions anyway.

Q: Do you smoke or drink - if so how much?

A: I do enjoy a drink - I love a pint of Guinness, especially when I'm out with friends. At home I only have an odd one or two at the weekend.

Q: Do you take any supplements?

A: I take some vitamin C and D supplements but I try to get most of my vitamins through what I eat. Also because we have some of our own vegetables in the garden, we have salad with everything. We've been blessed with nice, sunny weather lately, so we've got lots of vitamin D just from being outside.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: When I get stressed or am overwhelmed with things I love going for a walk through the fields or local bogland with Molly. The fresh air is great for clearing your head and on the country roads you nearly always meet someone who will stop for a friendly chat, so it definitely takes your mind off things. I love spending time with family and friends, they're always understanding when I need to talk through a problem. I also set aside some time to pray each day - it gives me time to relax and reflect.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Thankfully I sleep well. My only problem is sometimes going to bed too late, but I normally get about seven or eight hours a night. I'm definitely getting more undisturbed sleep during lockdown. I think because I don't have as much going on with work means I can rest better.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: I don't worry so much about getting old but I do worry about becoming less able. I intend to keep eating healthily and exercising and I'll even embrace the grey hair when it comes, but none of us know what will happen in the future or if we'll even have the gift of being able to grow old, so I suppose there's no point worrying about it. I do hope I age gracefully, though.

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

A: I don't have a go-to product as such. I always keep root ginger, lemon and garlic in the house, although I use them more when I'm not feeling well than to stay healthy. I've always had great results from ginger to help boost the immune system. I've also recently started using turmeric, as I've heard great things about it.

Malachi recently concluded a fundraising campaign through GoFundMe, raising £10,000, which enabled him to donate to NI Air Ambulance and the NHS to purchase rehabilitation equipment for the rehab/physio unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Find him on Facebook at Malachi Cush Official

Belfast Telegraph