Davina McCall on Her Number On Workout and Why Her 50s Are Her Best Decade Yet

·5-min read
Photo credit: Zoe Zoe McConnell - Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Zoe Zoe McConnell - Hearst Owned

As we head into a January that - once more - seems like it's going to require a big dose of pep, motivation and positive energy to get us through, who better to provide all those things then Davina McCall.

The 54-year-old is one of the UK's most loved and recognisable presenters, frank and fearless menopause advocate, adoring mum-of-three and walking embodiment of why committing to regular exercise is a thoroughly wise shout - for mind, body and spirit. All in all, a wholly good influence.

You can check out her, frankly ridiculous, shoot pictures in our new bumper issue of Women's Health.

We're willing to wager that's by far the most glam anyone has looked in the south east London boxing gym that provided the backdrop.

While there was no sparring on that autumn day, given just how strong our cover star looks, we'd also suspect that had she been pulled into the ring for some impromptu fisticuffs, she would have indeed been in fighting shape.

In the January/February issue, you'll also find an interview that will gee you up to go for your goals, make your snort with laugher and nod furiously when Davina gets down to the passion point that's driving her formidable sense of mission.

You know: demystifying the menopause and pushing for the change needed help women - of all backgrounds and financial means - make the most of all that this time can bring.

But, because we're incurably nosy, we couldn't resist pulling Davina for another chat to put some further - pretty personal - questions to her.

And you can bet the perennially-game presenter, answered our 12 questions with characteristic candour. You can check out the full thing on Women's Health's YouTube channel.

Which, in case you're not yet acquainted, is a veritable treasure trove of workouts for every type of mood and chats with all of your favourite healthy celebs and superstar fitness influencers.

Highly subscribe-able (if we do say ourselves).

Davina McCall on her Number One Workout for Body and Mind

Every personal trainers - and peer reviewed research paper on exercise motivation - will tell you that the most effective workout plan is the one that you show up for not because you feel like you have to - but because you bloody love it (okay, I'm paraphrasing with the last bit).

And Davina? There is one way to get a sweat on that gets her properly buzzing.

'I would say that drum and bass boxing is my favourite way to work out,' she enthuses. 'I get so excited by the music that the workout doesn’t feel like a workout, it just feels like I’m clubbing.'

Yes, Davina! If you're curious, you can try the workout on Davina's Own Your Goals fitness app.

The high octane, endorphin-triggering sweat sesh serves a dual purpose for our cover star who, over the course of the pandemic has learned that she really need to head out and dance more.

'Something I should do more often is…to go clubbing. If lockdown has taught me one thing it’s that I need to go out - a lot.' (In accordance with present Covid restrictions, obvs.)

*This* is Davina McCall's Absolute Worst Habit

We applaud a self-aware woman able to own her flaws as much as she owns her goals. And for our cover star? She admits that she has a couple.

The first?

'I leave cupboard doors open. I don’t know how it happens but I think when I’m cooking I get something and then I [get distracted] and leave the cupboard door open and them sometimes I’ll turn around and think “oh my god, what’s happened to the kitchen? Every single cupboard door is open!”,' she tells WH.

'I sort of leave a trail or carnage wherever I go! I’ve got marginally better as I’ve got older but I am still definitely a work in progress in this area.'

The other speaks to her fast-moving, dynamic personality - which obviously serves her well in many ways - but has a shadow side.

'My partner [Michael Douglas, hairdresser and co-host of her podcast Making The Cut] would tell me that my first habit is I’m too quick to respond. This could apply to almost everything,' she shares.


'Things like [when] an email comes and I may not have read the email properly because I have speed read it and I get [angry] and I’m typing a response,' she says.'He’s always like, "wait".'

The act-before-thinking reflex isn't simply triggered by jarring emails, either.

'He might say "that looks like a good pub" and I’ve already booked it for dinner before he has had a chance to finish the rest of the sentence,' she continues. 'I just have to slow down a bit.'

Kind of cute, though.

This Would be Davina McCall's Alternative Life Plan

Having had her on our screens for decades, it's strange to imagine Davina doing anything else. So, if she hadn't enjoyed her glittering broadcasting career - that's pivoted towards both wellness and female health activism - how would she earn her crust?

Barely taking a beat, Davina answers: 'If I didn’t do what I do now then I would be a midwife.'

She has a deep, deep respect for the profession - deeply embossed by her own birthing experiences.

'I had three home births, all led by midwives, in fact the same midwife - Pam Wild - and she literally changed the way I view birth.'

Our final bet on Davina? That she's be fantastic at pretty much whatever she turned her hand to.

But she's undoubtedly blooming where she's planted - and making things better for her contemporaries and the generations of women to follow - so we're pretty chuffed the chips fell as they did.

Read the full Davina McCall interview in the January issue of Women’s Health UK, on sale now, also available as a digital edition.

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