Cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham took time out whilst in Australia to speak to Izzy Ferris about his impressive sporting career as well as his advice on keeping fit after retirement.
Sir Ian, OBE, is best known for his contribution to the England, and Somerset cricket team and is world-renowned as one of the greatest all-rounders the game has ever seen.
Known to many by his nickname, Beefy, he also managed to make his way into the football world and has played for a number of professional teams, including Crystal Palace .
Now in retirement Sir Ian, 58, is still keen to keep fit and healthy and advises other over 50s to do the same.
Speaking from Australia where he was commentating on the pitiful – our words not his – Ashes Test series, he said: “In terms of a career highlight the 1981 Ashes is obviously an experience I’ll always remember.
“But winning the Ashes in their back yard in 1986/87 is probably the biggest achievement we managed to gain as a team.”
Since retiring from life as a professional sportsman, Sir Ian has been keen to keep fit and healthy in a number of different ways.
In recent years the legend has taken up walking and recently took part in a charity walk across Sri Lanka.
He said: “I’ve always stayed active and been a big fan of the outdoors whether it be golf, fishing, shooting or, of course, walking.
“My latest project was a walk in Sri Lanka and it was a great experience.
“We covered 160 miles in 8 days and raised £250,000 and counting for a village south of Jaffna as part of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation project.
“The distance itself wasn’t a problem at all, it was the conditions that made it difficult. Every day was 50 degrees centigrade and 98% humidity and that takes its toll on your body!”
The sporting star was quick to add that it’s not just ex-sports people that should keep fit.
Exercise is the key
He said that exercise is key for everyone over the age of 50 and that getting out and about really isn’t as hard as some people imagine.
He added: “My advice is always for people to remain as active as possible, no matter how old you are.
“You don’t necessarily have to be going to a gym every day, just get outside and walk, increasing the distance a little more each time.
“I also recommend Revitive IX, a device which increases circulation through muscle stimulation. It helps in reducing the swelling in the lower legs after being on your feet.
“At the end of the day though, I don’t think its rocket science, just get out there and get going.”
Sir Ian now enjoys working for Sky, where he is able to continue to travel and watch his beloved sport.
He has recently been in Australia where he was been working as a commentator at the Ashes series.
He said: “I really enjoy my work for Sky Sports. I’ve been doing it for many years now and it allows me to remain involved in the game.
“The atmosphere for any Ashes series is always incredible and it’s fair to say the Aussies have given us the usual welcome.
“Being an Englishman in Australia at the moment is not the best considering the performances England have put in on this tour.
“We’re taking a fair bit of stick from the locals but it’s all banter and I’ve always enjoyed that.”