Young at heart

As ambassador for this year’s Flora pro.activ cholesterol roadshow, fitness expert Pat Henry was nervous before he got his cholesterol level checked earlier this year, but — at 3.9mmol/l — it was well below 5mmol/l, the maximum number recommended by health professionals.

“It’s really important to get your cholesterol checked. When people get that checked, they become aware of other areas of health — many men get their PSA test done, too,” says Pat, who describes himself as “63 going on 21”.

A yoga therapist and fitness consultant, his clients have included David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Helen Mirren, Matt Dillon, Dolores O’Riordan and Michael Flatley.

Dad to Cathal, 39, and Karl, 30, Pat has been married to Marie for 44 years. The couple have a retreat and fitness centre in Castlefreke, West Cork, where Marie lives. “I commute there at weekends — it’s paradise down there,” says Pat, who is in Dublin the rest of the week.

The cholesterol roadshow travels to locations across Ireland until May 31, offering cholesterol checks and expert advice on diet and lifestyle. For more, visit www.floraproactivroadshow.ie.

What shape are you in? I’m probably in better shape than I was at 21. I’m very healthy. From an aerobic point of view, I surf down at Inchydoney. I do weight-training. This has been found to be the most effective anti-ageing exercise of all.

Do you have any health concerns?

I get asthma if I’m in a house with cats and dogs. It only takes about 10 minutes to kick in. My eyes get very itchy and my breathing gets laboured, and this is despite taking anti-histamines. My wife has two Jack Russells and they have kennels outside — I’m OK when I’m outside with them, the allergy affects me when I’m in an enclosed space.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I eat a lot of fish — such as good, organic salmon. I eat salads, too. My diet is pretty good — obviously, everybody has a blow out every now and then.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

My occasional treat is fish from Burdock’s in Christchurch.

What would keep you awake at night?

I really fancy Ellen Barkin. She’d keep me awake at night. My wife fancies Gabriel Byrne, so there’s no problem. I once told Ellen Barkin that I am madly in love with her — she gave me a big kiss.

How do you relax?

By playing music.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I’d invite Jesus — I’d love to ask him a few questions about religion and about what he thinks of it today. I’d invite Roy Rodgers. I’ve met him and his whole life is so fantastic — he adopted several children. I’d also invite Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren.

What’s your favourite smell?

Frederic Malle perfume. I have an extraordinary sense of smell and this perfume has such an amazing scent. It’s a passion flower — so natural. One of my clients was wearing it and I got it for my wife. Steak and onions would also do it for me.

What would you change about your appearance?

I’d love to still have my dark hair and my dark beard. They’ve gone silver — they used to be nearly black.

What trait do you least like in others?

Falseness — not being genuine.

What trait do you least like in yourself?

Impatience. I especially get impatient when people are late for appointments. I’m always on time and I like other people to be. Whether I’m at an osteopath’s or in a restaurant, I don’t like to sit around. If I’m booked in and kept waiting, I just leave.

Do you pray?

Every day — I meditate every morning from 5am until 5.20. My mantra is ‘let this day be not of my will but of what is’. This is how I get out of the way and let God’s energy take over.

What would cheer up your day?

Being down in West Cork at the weekend with my wife and family, and having a nice meal in Deasy’s, or An Súgán, in Clonakilty.


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