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Me and my health: Broadcaster Joe Lindsay on his lifestyle

 

Staying upbeat: Joe Lindsay
Staying upbeat: Joe Lindsay

By Linda Stewart

The 48-year-old is a broadcaster, writer, DJ and artist from Belfast. He is married to Mary and is an over-doting dad to a dog called Lola.

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

A: I walk pretty much everywhere and I like exploring the city on foot and always have. It is great exercise and I tend to bump into people I know and some I don't and share a dander and have a great chat.

I also swim quite a lot in Templemore Baths, averaging about three days a week. It stretches out my back and I find it very relaxing and a great way to zone out. I used to do kickboxing quite a lot and think I was good at it, but I've let it slip a bit recently, and really want to get back into it. My trainer was a joy to work with - even though he has battered me quite a bit over the years!

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

A: I had hepatitis when I was aged nine and a few other kids on my street got it too. That is the only time I've ever been hospitalised. I didn't realise how serious it was at the time of course, but apparently I was lucky to be treated when I was. It worried my parents and sisters something awful at the time, and it put me off cheese and onion crisps for life as it was the last thing I ate before taking ill!

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: It's okay, but could probably be better. I eat a lot of vegetables - we ate a lot when we were kids and there is really no vegetable I don't like. I try not to eat too much red meat and I love seafood and chicken, and try my best to avoid junk food, but am not always successful - I have a weakness for pizza.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: I've always been one for staying up late watching movies, listening to records or reading and should really get to bed earlier. Also dad jokes, bad puns, telling people how great Twin Peaks is, and quoting Seinfeld episodes to people who have never seen it are possibly bad habits too.

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

A: I do both, unfortunately, and I regret taking up both vices. I was worse in my youth and now that I'm older, I'm not terribly wiser but probably more aware. Your body tends to let you know you can't run with the bulls anymore, and you have to listen to that. We can't all be Hunter S Thompson, right?

Q: Do you take any supplements?

A: Oh aye, I take multivitamins, juices and all that. You have to balance the see-saw. Youth makes you feel invincible, but age lets you know you're not.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: Swimming is time out for me, as well as reading, watching films, ignoring the wasted time social media brings, painting, walking, writing, hanging out with people I love and laughing a lot.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: I'm a very deep sleeper and fall asleep really quickly. I probably stay up too late but when I do hit the hay, I hit heavy. I probably average about seven hours a night. When I wake up, I tend to have to jump out of bed quickly and get started. I get ideas in the waking hours, random thoughts, things I want to write about, paint or talk about. I feel recharged and energised and ready to walk, swim or just tickle the dog for ages.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: No, not at all. I never did and never will. The vessel of the body, the human spaceship in the vast universe of evolution, hurtling ceaselessly toward the abyss and the infinite nothing, may give up, but I was always determined to keep a sense of curiosity and wonder and exploration, and I'll never lose that.

The secret to staying young is to stay on that road and keep the fire lit. Rail against the things that will drag you down and make you feel bad - just try to be brave and be kind. We all have our hang-ups and the hard times and the low points, that's life isn't it?

But we are all going through it together. We are all we have. Hold each other close, listen more, talk more, compare less and realise that we're all alive at the same time and isn't that just a wonderful thought? And stay hydrated.

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

A: Love.

Joe Lindsay chats to award-winning visual artist and author Oliver Jeffers about his life and career in Oliver Jeffers - Here We Are... BBC Arts NI Presents, this Thursday (October 17) at 10pm on BBC Two Northern Ireland. The programme is part of Book Week NI (Monday, October 14-Sunday, October 20), a celebration of books and reading

Joe Lindsay with Oliver Jeffers
Joe Lindsay with Oliver Jeffers

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