Hi Harry, tell us about you and your work.
I’m a trainer and performance coach. I’ve spent my career trying to bridge the gap between fitness and medicine, helping my clients perform at the highest level possible today, whilst safeguarding their wellbeing in the future. I work with a much smaller group of clients these days, with my primary focus being senior level executives with far higher mental and physical demands that your average PT client would experience in their day-to-day life. I apply the performance principles of an athlete to drive good practices in mental and physical performance, as well as mental and physiological recovery.
So how and why did your interest in health start?
I have always been sports crazy (either playing or watching) for my entire life, and that has really formed my passion for movement and physical activity. As I’ve got older, I have become far more connected to mental health and performance exercises, but the roots of my passion stem from a love of sport.
What are your three top tips for looking after your physical health?
- Find activities that you love. You must enjoy the things that you do, or adherence becomes an enormous issue.
- Cook! Cooking is a passion of mine and I love making food for friends and family. I gravitate towards healthy foods (plus a little wine at the weekend) but because I love it so much it means I can be creative around making healthy food taste great. My feeling is that if you cooked it then you know exactly what is in it (that’s a good thing!)
- Work towards a challenge. Every year I work towards a physical challenge that focuses my mind and gives my training purpose. I’ve run three marathons, had a boxing match in front of 1000 people and cycled 1000s of km through Europe for charity. After a few years out I will be getting back onto the bike this year and riding over 450km through Tuscany for charity in June. Set yourself a challenge that is currently out of reach (physically) and then set about smashing it.
And your mental health?
- Meditate. If only for 10 minutes each day. Meditation was the most transformative thing for my mental wellbeing, managing my stress and improving my cognitive ability and sharpness.
- Maintain a positive mindset. Out of every scenario you can draw a positive. If you can reframe challenges into lessons and try to draw learnings from your mistakes, then you can grow. Positivity breeds positivity and I genuinely believe in this as a tool to drive good energy into your life.
- Take care of your gut. The correlation between gut health and mental health is incredibly strong. Manage your stress, reduce refined foods, and prioritise sleep.
When have you struggled with your health the most?
I think just before my son was born (around 3 years ago now), I definitely found my stress levels had risen to the point that they started to negatively impact me on a daily basis. My sleep wasn’t good, my mental focus was down and my motivation to exercise seemed at an all-time low. This was the time in my life when I had to take a look inside and ask myself some serious questions. It was also when I started meditating. I believe in trying to recognise symptoms of both mental and physical illness before they take root and doing something about them before they escalate. This was certainly a time in my life when I had to practice what I preach.
How did you hear about Symprove?
I’ve been using Symprove long before I became an ambassador. I’ve been studying the microbiome and its effect on mental and physical performance for many years, and the brand just kept coming up. I attended a gut health seminar as they had a number of fantastic speakers that I’ve admired for a while, and I guess the rest is history as they say.
What motivated you to get involved with Symprove?
In a nutshell, my passion for health. Having something that I could use continuously was key for me. I’ve also enjoyed learning about the science behind it.
What do you do in your ten-minute wait after you've taken your Symprove?
My mobility routine - you can actually see it on the Symprove Instagram channel!
Morning person, or night owl?
Naturally, I’m a night owl but am forced to be a morning person via my career and young family. I’m up and at it by 6am and in the summer I love it, but I have to admit even after all these years I still hate getting up when it's dark in the winter.
Mango and Passion Fruit or Original?