By Adam MacDougall, News.com.au
ONE crucial health decision has left Big Bash commentator Mark Howard confident of playing a big innings in life.
“Ah, that would be Mrs Howie,” he says.
“She is just a hottie like you wouldn’t believe. She is really, really fit, and so she has helped me with my diet and stuff like that.
“But as I said, Mrs Howie is hot, so I need to keep to a certain level or she might just send me packing.”
But soon after, the voice of the Big Bash on Channel 10 and host of hugely popular The Howie Games podcast quickly settles into something approaching serious.
“I’ve got a couple of young kids now, a seven-year-old and a five-year-old, and I’m just starting to teach them to surf. And my daughter has just really gotten into running,” he says.
“And if I don’t keep myself fit, then in three or four years I’m not going to be able to do those things with them.
“I want to show them what you can do with life. There are a lot of people who struggle with issues of fitness and weight, and so your kids are looking at you at the dinner table or going for a run or going to the gym, and they want to be like you. It’s so important to set a good example.”
As a Big Bash commentator, Mark’s the first to admit he’s got what many consider a dream job, but he says the amount of travel involved makes sticking to a strict diet almost impossible.
“How could you not be excited about the Big Bash — I get to sit next to Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist and talk cricket all day. It’s the best gig in the world,” he says.
“It’s like I’ve won a prize.
“But it’s hard when you’re travelling, because you end up eating so much crap, whether it’s on the plane or in the hotel or when you’re out to dinner. And I found myself getting so tired all of the time.
“So I tried something completely different.”
THE biggest single change Mark made to his diet was to quit sugar, a decision he says “changed his life”.
“About 18 months ago, I was talking with a couple of mates who had gotten rid of sugar,” he says.
“And I thought I was eating pretty healthy, but I went and looked at everything I was eating and found sugar in just about everything.
“So I went really hardcore for about six months and didn’t have any sugar at all. Even now, I only have natural sugar in fruit and things like that. It really did change my life.
“I feel so might stronger and healthier. I think it gives you so much more out of life. You can run and swim and play and surf, you just bounce out of bed every morning, and you don’t feel that tiredness.”
THE BIG BASH TREATMENT
MARK admits he hadn’t even seen the inside of gym until he turned 32, preferring to get his exercise outdoors by playing sports.
And just like the Big Bash turbocharges cricket, he reckons you can do the same for your fitness by doing short, high-intensity workouts rather than spending hours slogging away in a gym.
“I love being outside. Whether that’s running or surfing — it’s the best exercise you can get,” he says.
“But you don’t need to spend hours doing things. Even if you think you’re too busy, 20 minutes of exercise outside can make a huge difference.”
What’s your favourite healthy food?
Nuts, nuts and more nuts
What’s your favourite treat meal?
Ice cream. Definitely cookies and cream ice cream
What’s your poison?
Carlton Draft. It’s the best beer on the planet
What’s your favourite motivation music?
U2, U2 and more U2. And maybe a bit of Taylor Swift — but please don’t repeat that.
Best tip for people struggling with motivation?
Just get up tomorrow morning and do it. I know it sounds cliche, but you just need to start somewhere.
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