The TV presenter is no stranger to nature and the great outdoors, crediting fresh air as her ultimate wellness wonder. Finding time between filming her new TV programme, Australia With Julia Bradbury, and motherhood, the 48-year-old chats to us about staying healthy
Since I’ve had kids, my social life has changed significantly. It used to be about seeing friends; going to cocktail bars and the cinema. Now, I try to find one night a month without children where I can go and see my friends – a true social life is very difficult when you have three little ones! But, it’s important, and spending time with your friends is a crucial part of your health. I’m lucky that a lot of my friends had kids at the same time, so we’re all under the same pressure: we try to take time for each other and get that balance right. Parenthood is very rewarding, but those nights out (and the hangovers!) have certainly become few and far between.
I really enjoy yoga, and thanks to YouTube I can do it anywhere. I love going to classes because of the energy in the room, plus you have an instructor and can ask questions, which helps. But yoga is something I can also do in my bedroom – I put down a mat and I’m set for half an hour, and it really focuses me for the day. On my days off, I like to play tennis – I have only recently taken it up again after playing it as a kid. I’ve really enjoyed going back and learning something that I was quite good at as a teenager, and now I’m pushing and challenging myself to improve.
I don’t have one as my work is so varied. One day I could be getting up super-early (around 5am) and doing a radio show. The next day I could be packing and preparing to go filming in the UK or abroad. I can be climbing mountains, before spending the next day in a TV studio. Today, for example, I haven’t had time to do any exercise apart from 20 minutes this morning when I got up – I did some stretching and a bit of yoga. Settling into a routine is really hard for me, so I have to try to fit in one hour of me-time.
I am definitely addicted to sugar! I’ve always had an incredibly sweet tooth, which I get from my dad. We’ll go out for dinner as a family, and my dad and I will always order the same food (or should I say the same pudding). I’ve now become so much more aware about how much sugar is in everything, so I’ve tried to reduce my intake every day. So for breakfast, I’ll have low-sugar muesli and a handful of blueberries or strawberries. I eat a veggie meal once a week with the whole family. We’ll cook veggie bolognese with kidney beans, or egg noodles and veg stir-fry with sesame seeds. I also love using Quorn to make a tasty lasagne. I like bean burgers and veg patties with a bit of halloumi on top. I’ll also make pasta with cheese and veg; easy, speedy dinners that always go down a treat. Asian food is a real treat – I love dim sum. I try not to eat too much red meat, but I like duck as it’s quite lean. I enjoy cooking, and I’d class myself as a real foodie!
Making the most of daylight is so important. You don’t always get enough fresh air if you’re in a city, so I recommend getting outside and visiting the nearest green space – parks are a godsend for all of us across the country. We should love our parks, treasure them and utilise them. We all know that the closer you get to trees and plants, the cleaner the air is going to be. If you are bound to a city, try to take the back roads, because research shows that pollution is lower when you’re away from the traffic. I wholly recommend getting out to the countryside when you can. It’s quite well-known that when I started walking, it was primarily in the Peak District. My dad took me hiking for the first time, so because of my childhood memories the Peak District will always be one of my favourite places to go. I also love places like the Lake District, and Cornwall, as the coast is incredibly invigorating. We are spoilt for choice in the UK as we have so many fantastic locations to choose from.
Inspiring people and their families to get outdoors, Julia has partnered with one of the UK’s leading outdoor clothing and equipment retailers, Cotswold Outdoor (cotswoldoutdoor.com), and walking website The Outdoor Guide (theoutdoorguide.co.uk).