Bear Grylls Reveals His 6 Keys to Staying Fit at Any Age
TV outdoorsman Bear Grylls dishes on his nutrition must-haves, the surprising role of his faith—and how he relaxes when he's home from the wild.
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There’s no question that getting outside can have serious benefits for your health. Just taking a walk every day can reduce your dementia risk, help your mental health, and even lengthen your lifespan. But for people like Bear Grylls, spending time outdoors is even more than a self-care practice—it’s a lifestyle.
Grylls, 48, is an adventurer, writer, and former host of the TV show Man vs. Wild who has climbed Mount Everest and crossed the Atlantic in an inflatable boat, among hundreds of other adventures…so it’s no surprise that he takes his health and fitness seriously.
The Healthy @Reader’s Digest recently spoke with Grylls to learn how he stays grounded, the launch of Ancestral Supplements’ nutrient-dense Bear Grylls Survival Pack, and how he finds downtime amidst adventure.
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Bear Grylls’ secrets to adventuring
The Healthy @Reader’s Digest: Tell us about your work with Ancestral Supplements. Do you have to be a non-stop outdoor adventurer to enjoy the health effects of these products? What was it about this brand that made you interested in partnering?
Bear Grylls: I’ve spent a lot of time searching, trialling and testing for the best supplements out there to help my body withstand stress and perform at the highest level. When it comes to survival and adventure you need to give yourself the best advantage—especially when you’re in genuinely demanding environments. Ancestral Supplements are here to support anyone facing life’s challenges and stresses, whether in the wild or simply getting through a stressful day at work. It’s about tackling life on your terms and on the front foot.
The Healthy: For someone who’s inherently active, what do you make of it when people say aging automatically leads to aches and pains and slowing down? Do you think there’s truth to that?
Bear Grylls: Aging does challenge us all, of course, which is why it’s so important to do your research and seek out the support that really works. I just wish I’d discovered this way of living and eating and supplementing years earlier! The keys for me have been fresh air and movement. Sunlight and cold water. Nutrient-dense, red-blooded food. Ancestral supplements. Good sleep. Faith in my heart.
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How Bear Grylls stays grounded
The Healthy: We often see you in these gorgeous locations where it looks so appealing just to chill, but you’re climbing trees or doing something active. Off-camera, do you have an easy time relaxing? Are you disciplined about setting your phone down?
Bear Grylls: People always think it must be all adventure 24/7, but I love to unwind and go slow, as well. There is a time for both in life. And there should be. But for me, when I’m on and the adventure is on, I tackle life with a front-foot mentality and sense of real focus. The wild rewards that, and punishes us when we operate in neutral! But when I’m chilling, I love a good mug of tea, maybe a good adventure mag, and long bath—then I’m happy.
The Healthy: We read a recent interview where you’d spoken openly about your faith. Whether it’s out in the wild or just in show business, both come with a lot of pressure. Does your faith play any part in your mental health?
Bear Grylls: To lean on something greater than myself. That’s the key to so much in adventure and in life. That’s what faith really is. I remember a quote saying: Never trust a person without a limp. I always liked that because we all have our many weaknesses and struggles, but those are also the things that make us real. The solution is to look up to find strength. Love covers over all our failings.
The Healthy: We also read about your work to launch the Big HelpOut in the UK. We’ve covered how volunteering can actually benefit our health. As an advocate for volunteering, are there any benefits you personally have experienced?
Bear Grylls: It is a huge honour to launch this and to see the amazing work people are doing to change and better local communities worldwide. Volunteering really does transform lives. Helping others has a magical way of turning our own lives around for the better. Whether a volunteer quietly helping a young scout tie a friendship knot on his scarf, or watching a volunteer visit and cheer up an elderly person. It’s simply the act of service and being able to share small kindnesses that changes our world for the better.
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