Hayle pensioner eats at least six bananas a day to keep young
YOU MIGHT think him a little bananas but a Hayle pensioner who claims to feel as fit and healthy as he did at 30 puts his wellbeing down to his favourite yellow fruit.
Robin Phillips, 68, who has a family history of fatal heart disease, eats at least six of the potassium-rich fruity treats every day, although before January his daily intake was even higher at nine.
He said: "The main fruit in my diet is banana. Eating a minimum of six per day, seven days each week ... I have got a lot of friends who are extremely fit but all their joints are gone. I have not got an ache or pain anywhere. I am just now like I was at 30 years old."
The former owner of Phillips butchers has not had a day's sickness in 40 years and can boast a resting heart rate of 44 beats per minute – considerably less than the average of 60 to 100 for adults.
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Mr Phillips always worked in manual jobs and estimated that he worked more than 6,000 12-hour days.
His father and eldest sister had fatal heart attacks at the age of 54 and his other sister died of a heart attack aged 60.
He said: "My first day of taking care of myself was July, 14, 1978, which I have continued to the present day, also keeping records of my various activities, blood pressure, heart rate and body weight.
"My theory is you can break the hereditary chain by adopting a completely different lifestyle to that of your family."
Mr Phillips, who has been married to his wife Pamela for 47 years, has also taken part in 15 British indoor rowing competitions in Birmingham.
In November 2010, against 2,500 competitors he came fourth in his age group, ranking him 10th in the world.
He trains four times a week for an hour on the rowing machine and also keeps active with cycling and walking.
The keen rower also works as a volunteer for Hayle in Bloom, the Befrienders and Hayle Time Bank and has 11 neighbours whom he regularly helps.
But he said anyone embarking on a fitness regime needed to realise it had to be a lifestyle.
"It is not for this week or this month, you have got to keep it up for the rest of your life because as soon as you give it up you will deteriorate," he said.
John Tillyard, a chiropracter and founder of the Cornwall Chriopractic Centre in Foundry Square, Hayle, said the keys to a healthy mind and body included a lot of things that Mr Phillips already did.
He said not smoking, eating well, regular exercise, no stress and a happy marriage could all helped with fitness.
"Rowing is a really strong health exercise if you can sustain it and a good way to keep fit.
"He sounds like a sensible chap. So many people allow their lives to deteriorate because they are under stress, so being positive (can help).
"We are what we believe, if you take a positive attitude in life you are more likely to see the benefits."