Voices: All the ways Michael Mosley changed my life (and could still change yours)

Michael Mosley’s body was found on the Greek island of Symi on Sunday  (Alamy/PA)
Michael Mosley’s body was found on the Greek island of Symi on Sunday (Alamy/PA)

I often think of Michael Mosley when I’m taking a shower. Let me hastily add that it’s because I can hear his voice in my head with its distinctive delivery, telling me that turning it to icy cold for 30 seconds at the end and gradually building up the time is going to boost my immune system, perhaps helping my longevity.

I don’t need to invest in an outdoor ice tub or go on a Baltic retreat; this is Wim Hof for normal flawed people like me – and therein lies Mosley’s USP.

Like many who have been educated and entertained by Mosley, I’m struggling to come to terms with no longer hearing that voice telling me how I can make subtle tweaks to my life to enhance it.

Unlike so many podcasts that would endlessly drone on exhorting me to get up at 5am and buy unspeakable sludge to drink or meditate for hours, Mosley’s Just One Thing was a 15-minute power booster shot.

There he is, often exhaling hard struggling to maintain a plank and then encouraging the viewer – who would rather use their core to digest crisps – on how a 30 second plank can benefit them. An appropriate professional, interviewed by Mosley, then tells us (in an accessible way) why this is a good thing. We’ve not lost hours of our time waiting for someone to get to the point – and we decide we will indeed try core over crisps.

These auditory nuggets have been a comforting companion. On walks, trying to get those steps up whilst grabbing some vitamin D (thanks Michael) I’d scroll through a smorgasbord of bitesize episodes. By the end of the walk, I felt not only physically better, but my brain had received a massage, too.

I’d be keen to impart what I’d learned to my husband, but he’d already listened as a way of making the commute to work bearable. Reflecting on the deeply sad news about Mosley has made me realise just how much of an impact he’s made on my own habits.

Slogging away on a treadmill once for what seemed like an eternity, my knees screaming, it was listening to Mosley’s episode on the benefits of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) that saw me switch to a mercifully short lung-bursting minute on the rowing machine, followed by an easier recovery row. Not pleasant, but strangely exhilarating and infinitely less boring.

You might also hear the odd thump in my bathroom at night after I inelegantly lose my balance after trying to balance on one leg at the same time as brushing my teeth – why? Well, because Modley encouraged me to do so in an effort to reduce the risk of falls and injuries when I’m older.

I admit: the violin that I spent many years playing growing up is gathering dust accusingly in the corner of a room. Yet I am determined to swallow my pride and pick it up again – after all, Mosley has taught me the benefits to the brain that learning an instrument can afford.

I might even extend that by starting something from scratch – such as learning the drums, with all that extra rhythm and coordination and in honour of my favourite Muppet, Animal. I’m also toying with picking up Italian again ignited by Andrew Scott’s efforts in Ripley.

To say he’d changed my life would be an understatement – he has, in a thousand practical ways. As I write this, I am ignoring the nut naysayers who would be aghast at my snack because of the calories or the fat content, knowing that they would see me through an afternoon at the desk better than a chocolate bar... (unless of course, it was a couple of squares of the bitter dark stuff – but that’s another episode).

As for tonight: a glass of wine? Yes please, but make it a red, to give those antioxidants a boost.

“Boost” is a word often used by Mosley and was recently parodied in an episode of Radio 4’s Dead Ringers. Their depiction of wholesome, avuncular Mosley as someone advising people to sprinkle ketamine on their muesli or strengthen their pelvic floor muscles by concealing cocaine as a drugs mule was genius – and I only hope he was similarly amused.

Essentially, I’m one of the many who felt their lives were made better by Mosley. I think we all hoped beyond hope that the man who provided us with so many healthy life hacks would defy the odds and be around forever.

Right now, it’s inconceivable that we won’t hear the next tip he’s eager to share, but what we do have is his backlog of truly helpful advice. I’ll be seeing if I can withstand the cold blast a little longer at the end of my next shower.

Just one thing, Michael. Thank you.