Bill Roache: Soap star uses exercise to stave off health issues – ‘it worked for me’

In a special documentary airing tonight on ITV, the star’s life and career are celebrated, looking back at his legacy and achievements. The film also follows him on set as beloved character Ken Barlow, and at his Cheshire home as he approaches his special birthday, which takes place on April 25. Despite approaching a momentous age, in 2018 Roache himself said that ‘getting old is a system of relief’, going on to say that he is open to living to the age of 120. Having “barely had a serious illness” in his entire life, it’s easy to see why the actor strives to live so long. But what does he attribute his good health to?

“I once had a small duodenal ulcer that burst and I lost four liters of blood because it went straight into an artery, but that was quickly healed and I had no further problems. ever since,” Roache shared, opening up about his previous health ailments.

“My hearing is not good but that has nothing to do with age. It’s the result of an accident when I was 21 and in the military.

“I was on a three inch mortar training course at Chiseldon in Wiltshire when a bomb went off near where I was standing which left me totally deaf for about three weeks .

“I lost 50% of my hearing, but I learned to live with it. When my eyesight started to deteriorate, I went to an optician who said, ‘How old are you?’ I answered ’45’ and he said ‘That’s it’.

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“I decided that wasn’t it. And I bought a book, Better Eyesight Without Glasses, and started exercising my eye muscles like it suggested. I could feel those muscles working and delayed my need for glasses for 12-15 years.

Although Roache was thankfully able to delay his need for glasses, his hearing loss issues remained. Having faced 50% of their hearing from an early age, for others, hearing loss can be a common problem caused by aging.

The National Institute on Aging (NIH) estimates that one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss, and nearly half of people over the age of 75 have difficulty hearing. If ignored, these hearing problems can get worse over time.

Signs that an individual is gradually losing their hearing due to old age include:

  • Having trouble hearing on the phone
  • Having trouble following conversations when two or more people are talking
  • Asking people to repeat what they say often
  • Need to turn up TV volume so loud others complain
  • Have a hearing problem due to background noise
  • Thinking that others seem to be mumbling.


Sudden hearing loss, like the one Roache suffers from, is usually caused by damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve. Continuing to explain his remarkable talents for overcoming any health-related issue that has presented itself over the years, he added that he drinks alcohol in moderation, only having the ‘odd glass’ of brandy when special occasions.

He went on to say, “Smoking is really, really bad for your health. I say this as someone who smoked about 40 a day, until I was 40. To quit, I forced myself watching movies about lung cancer.

The star also revealed that he regularly attends “fun fit” sessions, an hour-long session that includes a host of activities, from basketball to boxing.

The actor added, “It gets your heart rate up and sweaty. I found it all worked for me. In a more recent interview, Roache said he always attends these sessions, marking them as the secret to staying in shape.

He added: “It’s not like going to the gym and doing a serious, intense workout. It’s called fun fit for a reason. We play games like zombies tag. It’s like kind of a school game, you run around. We do things we love all the time. It’s good to be together.

As well as exercise, speaking to former This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes in 2019, Roache said lifestyle and food choices are also hugely important to staying healthy well into old age. advanced.

The star urged viewers to ensure they get enough sleep, avoid foods containing chemicals and take things in moderation, while encouraging individuals to try the ‘discipline’ of meditation, in order to relax. get rid of any stress or worry.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain that it is important for older people to stay physically active in order to prevent or delay many health problems that seem to occur with age.

Exercise can help reduce the risk of premature death by up to 30%. The NHS adds that physical exercise is not only a great way to lose weight, but also to reduce the risk of serious diseases such as:

  • Coronary disease
  • Caress
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer.

In addition to physical illnesses, research shows that physical activity can also improve self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reduce the risk of stress, clinical depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

For this reason, adults over 65 are recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. This could include brisk walking or cycling. At least two days a week, individuals should aim to do activities that strengthen muscles and at least three days a week exercises that improve balance.

For any type of activity to benefit your health, you need to move fast enough to increase your heart rate, breathe faster, and feel warmer. If you work at a moderate intensity, people should still be able to talk, but you won’t be able to sing the lyrics to a song.

About Shirley A. Tamayo

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