My Wellness Wins: Davina McCall

The TV presenter and fitness guru reveals her secret to a Zen Christmas, why she’s no longer a slave to chocolate and the motivational motto to make exercise irresistible

My bedtime routine is… unwinding with a bath. When the kids were younger, I was in bed by 10.30pm. But now they’re older, I can sleep in a bit more, so my bedtime has become later and later. Once my head hits the pillow, I’m dead to the world – it’s because I’m so ‘go-go-go’ when I’m awake!

My morning ritual is… lying in bed for five minutes, thinking. I’ve been coming up with some really creative thoughts! I find walking my dog quite meditative if I don’t take my phone with me, and at the weekends I meditate properly with the Headspace app.

I always tell my loved ones to… give more than is expected. It’s our family motto, which I’ve had turned into a neon sign. In life, it’s easy to give less, but we notice when someone goes the extra mile. It’s made the kids think, ‘I’m going to do that for someone else.’

My favourite mantra is… ‘You’ve never regretted a workout’. Just start and it will be fine!

I love to cook… without wasting stuff! During lockdown, I got quite inventive and created meal plans so I had no waste in my fridge. Even with three kids at home and cooking three meals a day, my food bill each week was lower than usual.

My favourite way of relaxing is… watching TV. It’s a luxury. Christmas is an amazing time for TV programmes that can bring you all together as a family. In fact, our tradition is to have two Christmases! When I was married, we’d do one with my family, then another with Matthew’s, in the US. Now my kids do the same, because they spend one with me and one with their dad.

Exercise to me involves… fitting it in around work and home life. Ideally, I work out four times a week. This week it has been sparse – I did a small run and an arm workout on Monday and will do a little something at the weekend. If I’ve had a hard week’s work and I’m tired, I’ll do a yoga session at the end of it. It feels counterproductive to beat myself up if I’m super-tired.

My biggest turn-on… will be kept under some Christmas wrapping – it’s a secret! What makes me the happiest is family time. When your kids get older, it all starts fragmenting, so it’s nice when we’re all together.

The bad habit Im glad Ive kicked is… milk chocolate. I’ve not had any since January 2020. I’d always been a sugarholic – I used to stop off at petrol stations to buy chocolate when I didn’t need petrol! There’s a sense of freedom now that I don’t crave it any more, but I can’t let any chocolate touch my lips, because I know it’ll start again.

I inject positivity into my life by… exercising. It brings me happiness, because that feeling of being fit is amazing. Another thing that brings me joy is being in nature with my dog, Bo.

No.1 on my gratitude list is… my health. The older I get, the more I appreciate it. I know how fragile our bodies are and by being extremely healthy and fit, I can be the mum I want to be, active and full of energy. I know that’s difficult for some people, so I’m grateful for that.