Celebrity Health - Linda Barker

A photo of Linda Barker

Linda's love of holistic living

Liz Parry talks to interior designer Linda Barker about her love of healthy eating, exercise and holistic living

Q: You wowed the British public with your diving prowess in the ITV show Splash earlier this year. Have you continued with the diving?

Linda: "I swim a lot, especially in the summer, but no, unfortunately I haven’t carried on with the diving. It’s very difficult to do on your own, especially on the high boards. You really need to be part of a diving club. Taking part in the programme was one of the best things I’ve ever done but also one of the hardest. Tom Daley was a fantastic coach but he pushed me to the limits of my capabilities, both physically and mentally. The experience was hard work, very stressful and demanding, but also phenomenally rewarding."

Q: You showed that you have an amazing figure for a 52-year-old! What’s your secret to keeping in such good shape?

Linda: "I eat very healthily and I exercise regularly. I’m usually in the gym twice a week and I also run and practise yoga. I did a half marathon in October so that tends to focus the mind, although the training wasn’t as intensive as when I took part in the London marathon."

Q: What benefits do you get from practising yoga?

Linda: "I’ve been practising yoga on and off for just over 10 years now and the physical and mental benefits are far reaching. You do end up being very strong physically but it’s also about gaining mental clarity and a sense of wellbeing. You also learn how to breathe in a different way that is much more beneficial for the body. If I could only do one type of exercise it would definitely be yoga. It’s amazing."

Q: You mentioned that you like to eat healthily. Tell us more about that.

Linda: "I’m naturally drawn to healthy foods, so it’s not a chore for me to eat well. I’m always looking out for recipe books or cookery demonstrations that show you how to cook healthily and use the best possible ingredients. I eat lots of greens, plenty of vegetables and meat and fish. I eat a lot of vegetarian food too. If I can eat out and go to a vegan or vegetarian restaurant I will do so happily. I’ve dabbled a little bit in raw food too, which is really lovely."

Q: Do you take any supplements?

Linda: "I have recently started taking more vitamins but I’m not very good at remembering to take them! When I was training for the marathon I took glucosamine for joint health. I think that if you eat well you don’t need that many supplements. I try to get all the nutrients I need from food."

Q: Do you take a natural approach to health?

Linda: "Yes, definitely. I try to heal my body through good food, exercise, fresh air and lots of water. I also visit a homeopath. If I was ill I wouldn’t think twice about going to a GP, but I do try to take a natural, holistic approach to health and wellbeing. I would rather ease a headache with water and fresh air than by taking a tablet."

Q: Do you ever worry about your health?

Linda: "Of course. As you get older you become increasingly aware of your health. I think I’m healthier now than I was in my twenties and much more aware that I have to look after my body and mind if I want to be strong into my fifties. It’s a responsibility that people need to take on board. I think too many people pop pills and rely on the doctor."

Q: How do you feel about growing older? Do you have a positive attitude to ageing?

Linda: "I think ageing is a hard fact of life but you can’t beat yourself up about it as everyone is heading in the same direction! I definitely look after myself more than I did in my younger years because I want to make sure that my skin is as good as it can be and my body isn’t going south too much! I feel good in my body and that’s because I take care of myself. I think that as long as you’re looking the best you can do at your age then that’s the name of the game."

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