Bradley Walsh health: TV host had to make lifestyle changes to tackle high cholesterol
Bradley Walsh, 62, was worried he wouldn’t make it to 60 after his father died at 59. The Chase presenter was even urged by his doctors to make lifestyle changes to boost his life expectancy. Fortunately, the presenter didn’t let the “silent killer” condition win.
The actor turned presenter was warned by doctors that he was at a high risk of developing heart problems.
Walsh was prone to cardiovascular issues due to high levels of cholesterol circulating in his blood.
High cholesterol describes a fatty substance that hikes your risk of serious health problems like heart disease and strokes.
Speaking to The Sun, Walsh said: “I was a time bomb. I produce too much cholesterol. It’s a silent killer. My heart guy said, ‘Look, Brad, you need to get fit’.’’
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After his father died of heart disease aged only 59, reaching the age of 60 was a personal goal Walsh had become fixated on.
The 62-year-old revealed: “I was 33 when he passed away. I’d just done the Royal Variety Show performance which helped launch my career, but my dad died from heart failure two weeks after that and never got to see it.
“Once you know it’s hereditary, you start having regular tests. Of course, it’s a concern.
“I had it in the back of my mind that I just had to get past my dad’s age. So turning 60 was a bit of milestone.”
Fortunately, he swapped fatty foods for more fruit, vegetables, salads and fish in order to tackle the “silent killer”.
According to the NHS, one of the key interventions that can help get your cholesterol back from the danger zone is cutting back on saturated fat. This type of fat is found in the likes of butter, cheese, sausages and biscuits.
The good news is you can still eat foods with fat as long as you stick to the unsaturated option – think nuts, seeds, avocados.
Cutting back on alcohol and quitting smoking are also great ways to keep cholesterol in check.
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Furthermore, exercise can also provide aid as physical activity helps stimulate enzymes that help remove “bad” cholesterol from the blood to the liver.
Walsh also took up exercise and settled on boxing. He said: “I’m back boxing training now. Full time. I’ve done about a stone and a half in weight.”
“I got the 5K done. I thought, I’m going to keep going. I thought I’d done maybe four times that – I looked at the watch, it was about 8K…
“I’ve lost a bit, put a bit on.. I’m still in profit. From my heaviest to my lightest was about three stone. I’ve spent a stone. So, I’ve still got 2 stone in the bank.”
Apart from lifestyle changes, some patients with high cholesterol have to take a medicine called statins that helps to lower the levels of the fatty substance in your blood.
However, this wasn’t the presenter’s case. Walsh said: “I’m not on statins but what my heart guy said was, ‘Look, Brad, if you start training, all that (cholesterol) will drop. You need to get fit’.”
Following the doctor’s orders, Walsh made these drastic changes during the lockdown.
“This was literally just prior to lockdown,” he explained. “Then lockdown hit. I got on the scales and saw I’d hit 14st 9lbs, the heaviest I’ve ever been. I really was quite big.
“I thought, ‘Oh crikey, I’m going to be bang in trouble here if I don’t lose the weight and start dealing with this’. I decided to get consciously stuck in. So, touch wood, I will be OK.”