Pillar of strength: BBC's Doctor in the House, Rangan Chatterjee

DR RANGAN Chatterjee believes in walking the talk and so do his children. His seven-year-old son and five-year-old daughter literally follow in the footsteps of their dad, a GP from Manchester who is also the presenter of BBC’s

Pillar of strength: BBC's Doctor in the House, Rangan Chatterjee

DR RANGAN Chatterjee believes in walking the talk and so do his children. His seven-year-old son and five-year-old daughter literally follow in the footsteps of their dad, a GP from Manchester who is also the presenter of BBC’s Doctor in the House, writes Irene Feighan.

“Often at home before dinnertime, we will do something active together — whether it’s doing animal moves on the floor or 20 squats each in the kitchen or putting on music and dancing,” he says. “Just something to make movement fun and exciting and I get involved with them.”

Later, around the dinner table, they play a family game. “Each person has to answer three questions: What have you done today to make somebody else happy?; What has somebody else done to make you happy?; What have you learned today? I thought it would be great for the kids but my wife and I have found so many benefits ourselves.”

Passionately believing in the importance of lifestyle, in his new book The 4 Pillar Plan (Penguin, €19.99) he lays out a template for health and vitality following four principals — relax, eat, move, sleep. But he is also aware of the vital importance of modern medicine. “I’m very proud of my medical school training. What I’ve realised is that it’s very, very good for certain kinds of problems and in particular acute problems – pneumonia, heart attacks, road accidents,” he says. “But I think the health landscape has changed — a lot of what we see now is in some way driven by our collective modern lifestyle.”

He’s quick to acknowledge that this approach may not reverse all symptoms but it can help to “manage their condition better.

“It’s the same approach if you just want a little bit more out of your life if you want more energy, more vitality, less brain fog and to be less reliant of caffeine to get you through the day. The fundamentals of how you create health remain the same.”

What shape are you in?

By and large, I am fit and well. But if I look at my four-pillar framework I’m not doing very well on the relax pillar at the moment. There is certainly room for improvement on that. Exercise varies depending on how busy I am. But I will do a good five-minute kitchen workout — press-ups, tricep dips and lunges — three or four times a week. These can be done anywhere and you don’t need equipment.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

We don’t keep any junk food — sweet treats — at home. We’ve all got a finite amount of willpower.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

It changes all the time but the thing that I’m craving at the moment is a beautiful piece of strawberry meringue cake. Generally speaking though, I eat well most of the time. That is something I did not do five or six years ago.

What would keep you awake at night?

A lot of work deadlines. Certainly, when I was writing the book my mind wasn’t switching off and I’d often waken in the middle of the night with a new idea.

How do you relax?

One of the things I do to relax is to sit with my guitar when the kids are gone to bed and just sing and play. But sometimes it will be binge-watching Netflix — my wife and I are currently watching Designated Survivor.

What’s your favourite smell?

I love the smell of fresh mint. I find fresh mint tea really hits the spot — it’s so easy to make, cheap, and it tastes great.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I’m sure in my 20s I would have had multiple things that I would like to change but as you get older and have children and hopefully start to mature a little bit ... I’m aged 40 now and pretty OK with the way things are.

When is the last time you cried?

Around Christmas time when I was talking to someone about my dad — he passed away nearly four and a half years.

What traits do you least like in others?

I’ve got a lot more tolerant as I’ve got older. However, one thing that I really find difficult is rudeness, whether it’s in person or on social media.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I can be a bit stressy at times. I’m always looking for the next thing — I’m a bit of a perfectionist. And I ‘m not sure that’s always helpful. I wish I could sit back and chill and just accept things the way they are. I’m working on it.

Do you pray?

No. I do practice gratitude.

What would cheer up your day?

The sun coming out would be huge. I’m always in a better mood when it’s sunny. And seeing my kids — that puts the biggest smile on my face.

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