The former Bachelor star reveals the wellness mantras he’s picked up over the years…
Exercise combats my anxiety
Working out is a way to balance my stress and anxiety, and to feel like I’ve done something positive.
The physical effects of exercise are important, but they take months to develop. For me, the mental benefits are instant. If I’ve been a bit anxious or I’m feeling flat, exercise gives me an immediate boost. If I don’t work out for a while, I start to get antsy and feel foggy. During our honeymoon, my wife Anna [Heinrich] and I weren’t able to train as much as we usually do and we both felt so lethargic. After a quick game of tennis, though, we felt much better, so to me it’s important to fit some kind of exercise in on a daily basis — even if it’s just 10 minutes on the bike.
Changing my perspective keeps me calm
When my schedule gets hectic, I get a bit frantic. What I’ve learnt is that my anxiety is based on the fear of something negative happening.
When I feel that creeping up, I change the way I look at things and ask myself why I’m feeling anxious. I reassess whether my belief is valid or if I’m exaggerating, because sometimes it’s easy to jump to the worst-case scenario.
I don’t get hung up on a diagnosis
My mum was sick for about eight years when I was growing up. She used to have seizures and be bed-ridden for days, but we never received a formal diagnosis. She had a lot of different symptoms that didn’t make any sense, and after watching her go through all the medical tests I came to realise that sometimes there isn’t just one overall diagnosis — sometimes a problem has many dimensions.
I apply that way of thinking in my own practice as a chiropractor and I also apply it to my own health.
Treat the cause, not symptoms
When I was younger I had really good skin, but as I grew older I started to suffer from acne. I went to a beautician who gave me a heap of products, but my skin only got worse. It reinforced the idea that you can’t just patch things over — I didn’t have acne because I wasn’t using all of these harsh products, I had acne because of my hormones, which can be influenced by your nutrition.
These days I use gentle, organic products like Handsome Men’s Skincare and I limit my intake of sugar and acidic foods.
Flexibility is my new best friend
I played a lot of touch footy and squash in the past and I used to do bodybuilding-type weights in the gym. All that lunging, bending and twisting really hammered my knees, and I’ve got a bad disc in my back, so now I’m all about switching on my smaller muscles instead of the big ones.
If all you do in the gym is use a chest-press machine, you’ll gain muscle strength but you won’t build joint strength and you won’t have a great range of motion.
A lot of the workouts in my own training program, The Robards Method, involve rings. They’re great because they shake around and require you to switch on your stabiliser muscles. You get a much larger range of motion and that’s a lot better for the health of your joints, ligaments and tendons.