Teddy Sheringham’s playbook for staying healthy and active at 58 years old.

As Euro 2024 kicks off, Manchester United’s legendary striker and England Euro 96 hero Teddy Sheringham is urging Brits to get active. Collaborating with The FA and Nuffield Health to promote the Healthier Nation Index, Sheringham highlights the benefits of low-intensity but still big-benefit activities like walking football and golf, as well as exercise that can be performed within the confines of the best exercise mats, like yoga and Tai Chi. I caught up with Teddy, now 58 and enjoying a break in the Maldives, to learn more about his fitness regime.

According to the Healthier Nation Index, nearly 3 in 4 Brits aren’t hitting the NHS’ recommended 150 minutes of exercise weekly. You did this consistently during your playing days – how about now?

Teddy Sheringham: I’m definitely maintaining that 150 minutes a week, if not more. Nowadays, my passion is golf, and I walk the course instead of using a cart. Playing golf at least twice a week keeps me active for around four hours each session. 

And in the Maldives, where there aren’t 18-hole golf courses?

TS: It’s more about mental health here. I just took my first Tai Chi class, which helps release stress and improve energy – it’s great for detoxing. 

Tai Chi is relatively low-intensity, but do you still kick a ball about?

TS: I’m running a football camp here, joining in games with the kids and coaching staff. While I do play occasionally, my knees have taken a toll over the years. These days I enjoy putting my cycling shoes on and going for a ride, as it’s easier on the joints. High-impact activities like running aren’t a big part of my routine anymore.

So now it’s about remaining active without heavy impact?

TS: Correct. I’ve been lucky to avoid severe injuries, though my knees aren’t what they used to be. Golf, gym workouts, and occasional at-home exercises like press-ups keep me fit. 

Any fitness habits from your playing days that you still follow?

TS: My eating habits have remained pretty strong, and I’m big into golf, which involves hours of walking. I mix in upper-body exercises like press-ups and swimming for the odd full-body workout.

How do you keep mentally sharp?

TS: I’m out here in the Maldives with my family, and me and my son have had the Scrabble board out. And if he beats me, I challenge him to a game of table tennis. I always like to compete. You name it, I’ll keep competing and keeping that side of my brain active.

Any nutrition habits from your football days that you still follow?

TS: I didn’t have the best diet as a footballer but now I believe in moderation. Staying active helps manage my weight, so I don’t stress over food.

Teddy Sheringham is raising awareness about the importance of physical activity, supported by findings from Nuffield Health’s Healthier Nation Index.