Dennis Quaid on what makes him ‘feel better’

This Morning: Expert discusses the health benefits of walking

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Best known for the films Innerspace (1987) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004), how has Dennis Quaid kept physically fit throughout the decades? “I always start [the day] with a solid breakfast,” he said, adding that he is committed to “getting up early in the mornings”. Quaid creates time for movement too, telling US Weekly he “always feels better when [he] gets off a bike than [when he] got on”.

Noting the carefree element of cycling, he added: “Every time I get on a bike, I feel like I’m 12 years old again.”

The family man also plays golf “once a day”, enabling him to get some fresh air while stretching his legs.

Meanwhile, it seems that playing the father role in The Parent Trap (1998) wasn’t too much of a stretch for Quaid, as he already had a son, Jack.

Now a parent to twins Thomas and Zoe, 14, the dad-of-three resides in Nashville with his fourth wife, Laura Savoie, 29.

Quaid’s previous marriages were to real estate broker Kimberley, and actresses Meg Ryan and P.J. Soles.

In a candid interview with Men’s Health, Quaid revealed that he has been active for most of his life.

“I used to box when I was in my 20s,” Quaid recalled. “There was this guy at the time at the Hollywood Y, who was in incredible shape in his 50s.

“I asked him that same question. ‘How do you do that?’ He told me, ‘You take care of yourself in your 20s and 30s and the rest will take care of itself.'”

Quaid remarked: “He was right.” Previously, the performer was a keen runner, but Quaid added “that gets hard on the knees and the joints”.

This is why his high-impact cardio of choice, jogging, was replaced by cycling and yoga in his later years.

Older adults, regarded as those aged 65 and above, are encouraged by the UK health body, the NHS, to “do some type of physical activity every day”.

Not only does activity feel good, but it can also help reduce the risk of life-limiting diseases.

“Speak to a GP first if you have not exercised for some time, or if you have medical conditions or concerns,” the NHS advises.

“Make sure your activity and its intensity are appropriate for your fitness.”

Light activities are recommended, which can include:

  • Getting up to make a cup of tea
  • Moving around your home
  • Walking at a slow pace
  • Cleaning and dusting
  • Vacuuming
  • Making the bed
  • Standing up.

Moderate activity is better, which can include: walking, water aerobics, cycling, dancing, doubles tennis, and hiking.

Strength-based activities are also useful, which can include yoga, tai chi, and working with resistance bands.

“You can do activities that strengthen your muscles on the same or different days as your aerobic activity,” the NHS adds.

“Muscle-strengthening exercises are not always an aerobic activity, so you’ll need to do them in addition to your 150 minutes of aerobic activity [per week].”

Dennis Quaid stars in The Day After Tomorrow, airing on Saturday, September 24 at 5.55pm on Channel 4.

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