Health Scan: Philip Cavanagh


Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle? Overall I do. I enjoy socialising at the weekends, but I have a nice balance because I’m active most days. I’m lucky enough to have a gym at work so I can squeeze in a quick training session in at lunchtime.

How often do you exercise? Ideally about six times a week. Practically, with the amount of things that need to be done for any successful expedition, it’s not possible to get the level of training required when so many other things, such as safety and navigation courses, fundraising and sponsorship, need to be done. It’s a catch-22 but sometimes the training has to suffer in order to get to the start line. If you don’t get to the start, you won’t get to the finish. Do you get your five fruit and vegetables a day? Usually three to four – always a banana after training and a heap of vegetables with lunch and dinner.

Do you worry? Always. I’m constantly on the go, trying to overcome hurdles in our expedition planning, but our crew work as a team and, as a result, we get things done quickly. If you build a solid team environment, it makes things easier in the long run.

What do you do to relax? Exercise. Climb a mountain, camp on a hill, kayak down a river, get out on a bike, join a rowing club. It doesn’t have to be strenuous to be enjoyable. Anything outdoors is a great way to relax and you’ll be a happier person for it.

What’s your worst habit? Probably my Coca Cola habit. I drink way too many fizzy drinks and not enough water.

Philip Cavanagh is the Irish team captain of Team Battleborn who, with the help of sponsor, is rowing 2,100 miles across the Pacific Ocean.

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