Health: Celebs reveal spring shake-ups

Gary Linekier
Gary Linekier

Tomorrow, Friday, is the first day of spring and the ideal time to ‘spring clean’ your health and wellbeing. Celebrities reveal the secrets to their health and wellbeing

GARY LINEKER, 54, former footballer and BBC’s Match of the Day host

“I’ve been physically challenged already this spring by filming the new Walkers crisps adverts where, of course, I’ve been the butt of the joke in silly situations. Some of them have been outside including one on a bitterly cold day where I had cement poured all over me - it looked funny but it wasn’t,” he says.

“I’ve always worked out - I just carried on the training after I retired from football - and even though I don’t enjoy it, I like the feeling when I’ve finished. We’ve just moved back into our renovated house and I’ve got a real luxury - my own new gym with a treadmill, weights, an exercise ball, and a Kinesis machine. It means there’s no excuse for not working out and it’s great for me because I don’t like cycling outdoors and can’t run for too long because of an old sporting injury.

SPRING TIP: “Try to do as much regular exercise as you can because it helps hold the years back physically and mentally and there’s really no need to give in to age or accept an expanding belly. Try to burn off what you take in food-wise even if it’s just walking instead of taking the car and doing at least one gym session a week.”

l Brand new Walkers MixUps are available now in family-size sharing bags of Snacks, Popcorn or Crisp Mixes at retailers nationwide. Watch the ad at

SARA COX, 40, Radio Two DJ and mum of three

“I’m probably the fittest I’ve ever been because last year I dropped some weight - I snack on fresh berries rather than energy bars these days - and I joined a gym, and took up running which has really worked for me,” she says.

“In the spring, my goals are to take up outdoor swimming and return to horse riding. I think it’s vital to do things which are a total distraction and a change from routine because they’re great for your wellbeing and help destress you.

SPRING TIP: “Try new ways of keeping fit to ‘surprise’ your body and help keep you motivated. I did body combat for years but now I’ve switched to interval training and going on a running machine. I was always scared of the treadmill and thought I’d embarrassingly fly off it but now, although I look like a baby giraffe going the wrong way up an escalator, I’ve got the hang of it!”

l Sara Cox is supporting Seasonal Berries who have launched the Snack Smart challenge to help change the nation’s snacking habits for the better, by making one simple snack swap a day. Sign up to the challenge at


actress, singer and presenter

“I just think the best thing you can do for your immune system in spring is to exercise outside,” says Denise, who has a four-year-old daughter, Betsy. I love walking as well and gardening because both of those activities give my spirits a lift and boost my energy.”

SPRING TIP: “Run in a park rather than the gym because not only is it free, but it’s so much more enjoyable than being surrounded by machines and sweaty people!”

l Denise Van Outen is presenting the XLS-Medical documentary series, charting and supporting the weight-loss journeys of a selected group who want to make a real life change in 2015

LUCY MECKLENBURGH, 23, former star of TV

reality show The Only Way Is Essex and competitor on BBC’s Tumble

“I’m trying to work out up to five days a week so that I won’t have that last-minute panic when summer’s a few weeks away - I know how hopeless that is because nasty, unflattering press photos of me on holiday a couple of years ago shocked me into action!”

She says: “I keep my exercise programme fresh by doing different things from interval training and pilates to zumba and ballet. The best advice my trainer gave me was set yourself a weekly or monthly goal of one lifestyle change. Trying to make too many changes means you’ll probably give up completely. So aim to say cut out fizzy drinks one month, and join a fitness class the next.”

SPRING TIP: “Always start the day with breakfast: I have eggs, for protein, so something like scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toast. I also drink chlorophyll water, which comes from plants and algae and is thought to be an antioxidant. Throughout the day, I snack on fruit and nuts to stop me craving sweet things and for lunches stick to salads, with maybe a stir fry or fish for dinner with lots of vegetables, and then I feel able to indulge a little at weekends.”

l Lucy Mecklenburgh has joined forces with chef Paul Merrett and British Lion Eggs to create 12 healthy meals in minutes using eggs. Visit

JOHN TORODE, 49, chef and judge on BBC’s MasterChef

“I’m a bit of a fair weather cyclist, but getting back into cycling now spring’s coming - I regularly cycle to and from the MasterChef studio - and I’m encouraged by the good weather,” he says.

“I can tell I need to do it because as an old bloke in my autumn years, I start to feel it around the girth! We eat so much when sampling contestants’ food on the series that I have to watch my weight. I aim to cycle around 25 miles a day.”

SPRING TIP: “Just get out and do something you genuinely enjoy and don’t associate it with duty, make it fun.”

lMasterChef is back on BBC One now

CAMILLA SACRE-DALLERUP, 40, former professional dancer with BBC’s

Strictly Come Dancing

“I’ve been busy working and had a couple of debilitating winter bugs, so I feel I’ve been in hibernation for a while. I’m not a winter kind of girl, I love the sun, so now spring’s on the horizon, I’m getting my bounce back and will start getting outdoors walking.

“I’m aware of looking after my digestive health, which is key, and I take acidophilus capsules which helps keep a healthy balance of bacteria in your body. I also take a food supplement, Royal Jelly capsules, and when I’m travelling, I always have a jar of Manuka honey with me because it’s anti-bacterial. I take a daily dose to ward off germs you pick up on planes.”

SPRING TIP: “Meditating’s changed my life because I have a very fast brain and, in the past, my thoughts raced, which prevented me relaxing and sleeping properly. Nowadays, I do five minutes meditation in the morning and evening, by listening to calming sounds. It’s helped me enormously and I think has impacted on my health and wellbeing, making me much less susceptible to stress and illness.”

l Strictly Inspirational: How I Learnt To Dream, Act, Believe And Succeed by Camilla Sacre-Dallerup is published by Watkins, priced £14.99. Available now

DONNA AIR, 35, TV presenter and actress, who’s

raising awareness of


“For me, the best way to shrug off winter is to have traditional acupuncture, as it gives my body a reboot and recharges my energy levels,” she says.

“I respond so well to the treatment, that after around 10 minutes, I can feel my body relaxing. It’s wonderfully calming and a great de-stresser! I also like to swim and love yoga, which really makes me feel revitalised.”

SPRING TIP: “I use Epsom Salts for detoxing and as a brilliant body scrub and bath soak, which gives my skin a healthy glow.”

l To find a fully qualified traditional acupuncturist in your area, contact the British Acupuncture Council: 020 8735 0400/


author of cookery and

nutrition books for

children and adults

“It can be hard after a winter of eating carbs to start eating more healthily. The best way is to stock up on salad ingredients for a week and pre-make dressings to ensure you can easily make them interesting and full of flavour. One of my favourite dressings is a honey vinaigrette, made with clear honey, rice wine vinegar, and grated ginger. I also flavour water with elderflower cordial.

“I go to the gym twice a week, have a personal trainer and a massage once a week, and walk my three dogs twice a day, and it must all work because I haven’t seen a doctor in 10 years! I’ve learnt how to get a balance in life these days, and don’t push myself beyond my limits of stamina.”

SPRING TIP: “Inner contentment is so essential for good health - so work out what makes you happy - even just little daily pleasures - and then allow yourself to enjoy them regularly and you’ll avoid ‘sweating the small stuff’. My pleasures are seeing my children, stroking my dogs and long walks in the park.”

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JENNI FALCONER, 39, Scottish TV and radio presenter

“I’m competing in my fourth London Marathon in April, so I’m continuing the same training I’ve been doing pretty regularly through the winter. I’m always out before breakfast, otherwise I end up making excuses not to do it later in the day,” says Jenni, who has a three-year-old daughter Ella.

“Now the cold days are waning and summer’s on the horizon I’m returning to my ‘everything in moderation’ rule. I think the minute you say ‘no’ to chocolate or sweet things, they become all you want because it’s deprivation. So from March onwards, I just limit myself to regular treats and, for me, that’s the best way of not over-indulging.”

SPRING TIP: “If you’re embarking on a new exercise regime or trying to get fit, always warm up by stretching slowly first and then at the end of a session cool down afterwards. Oherwise it’s so easy to abandon a new ‘get fit’ plan because you get off-putting stiffness and aches. When I cool down directly after a long run, I massage my legs with Nelsons Arnicare Arnica Cooling Gel, a life-saver which really minimises any tightness the next day.”

l Nelsons Arnicare Arnica Cooling Gel, £5.49, is available from Boots and Holland and Barrett, as well as pharmacies and health food stores nationwide. Visit