My health - Denny Elliott

Denny Elliott, 62, is head of Self Help Africa NI

By Helen McGurk
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 10:36 am
Denny Elliott, head of Self Help Africa NI
Denny Elliott, head of Self Help Africa NI

Do you consider yourself to be healthy?

Yes I am fairly healthy but have put on weight in recent years as a result of an injury to my shoulder, sustained after a fall from my bike. I am seeing a physio now though and expect to start the long road back to full fitness in the coming weeks.

Did you contract Covid? If so, how did it affect you?

Yes and it affected me pretty badly as I was sick for about 10 days. It can be a bit scary when you get that feeling that you are struggling to get oxygen into your lungs with severe coughing. I never felt in any real danger though and I am glad I was triple vaccinated.

Do you smoke/drink?

I have never smoked and restrict drinking red wine and a few beers to a Friday or Saturday evening. I hate smoke as I am the oldest of 13 and everyone, including my mother and father, smoked like a train at home in a small, terraced house, and I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face sometimes with the cigarette smoke. I suppose with all the smoke I inhaled I was on about 40 a day at that point!

Do you take supplements?

No I don’t take supplements but I do eat lots of fruit and vegetables.

Ever been on a diet?

Loads of times and they don’t work for me as I don’t have the discipline necessary. Only weight loss that has ever worked for me is good old-fashioned exercise.

Any big health scares?

Kidney stones are a condition I wouldn’t wish on anybody and I’ve been hit by them twice but thankfully I have had no health scares.

Have you tried alternative/complementary therapies?

No but if I needed to consider it to tackle an injury or ailment in the future I would be up for it if I thought it would do me some good.

Do you take regular exercise?

I try to. I have just been given a 62nd Birthday present of an Irish Red Setter. We call him Reo and I’ve had him since he was EIGHT weeks. He’s keeping me active as I will have to do two long walks with him a day. I also go to spin classes in Queen’s PEC twice a week.

How well do you sleep?

Not great to be honest. I find it difficult to empty my head at night so I do a lot of ‘listing’ and then panic in case I don’t remember things I need to do the next day. I am always buzzing about the next visit to Uganda or planning the next fundraiser so I find it hard to switch off. I’m currently excited to be planning a trek to the Camino which will be a once in a lifetime experience for those taking part while raising vital funds to help rural development programmes in Africa. So I probably have about four hours good sleep and two-three hours not so good. I’ve stopped eating and drinking water or orange juice after 8pm and I think that helps as well.