I’m Dr. Mark Rowe, Welcome to my VitalityMark™ Podcast.
As a practicing Medical Doctor, I’m an expert in Positive Health & Lifestyle Medicine, an Author, Corporate Speaker, Vitality Expert & Life Strategist. I started podcasting sporadically a couple of years ago, and now, having spent a lot of time during Covid 2020, delivering to organizations about ‘Living with more Vitality & Building a resilient mind’ I’m answering the call to share my knowledge and practice, & that of my guests, with you, on this weekly VitalityMark™ Podcast. My passion is to Empower YOU to Live your life with Vitality on Purpose.

Dr Trudy Meehan PhD is a positive health lecturer and psychologist based at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. In this episode, she puts me in the Doctor’s Chair to ask me some questions about self-development and my new Self-Development Club…………

 

Health and wellbeing are the greatest assets you have, they are priceless. Unfortunately many people can take them for granted.

Now, more than ever, can be a great opportunity to revitalise your wellbeing,  reconnect with the essence of who you are, rediscover your purpose and embrace a mindset of growth and possibility.

This is why I’m launching the ‘Self-Development Club’, and in this episode, I invite you to join. Empowering you to make positive lifestyle changes. Learning by doing. Appreciating the potential of small positive changes to compound and make a big difference over time…..

Dr Sue Stuart-Smith is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and author of The Well-Gardened Mind, the British Sunday Times Bestseller 2020 and Gardening book of the year. In it, she analyses the relationship between gardening and mental health. Sue shares amongst so many other things, the importance and benefits of cultivating robust relationships in life; and how, like gardening, cultivating relationships requires much care and attention. Join us to hear how the positive anticipation of gardening is such a benefit for our mental and physical health……….

 

This is the time of year when people are thinking about making lifestyle changes. For me, it’s a great time to recommit to simply being better to yourself and others. In this episode, I share a mnemonic to help you make this year your best year yet, even if it just means making one small change that sticks.

Today, I break down the mnemonic BEST YEAR…….

“Microbiome” is the term given to one of the most exciting recent biological discoveries: the trillions of tiny bugs that live in your gut. We’re still learning about the microbiome, but what we know so far has incredible potential in the realm of lifestyle medicine and physical and mental health……………

Today, in this time running up to Christmas 2021 I take the opportunity share about a habit fundamental to a resilient mind, a rich emotional bank account of positive energy, robust relationships, and physical energy: the habit of gratitude………..

Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. But of course, it can be a time of great pressure of many kinds as well, which can lead to anxiety, which in turn has consequences of its own. All of this tends to lead to holiday weight gain.

Today, I talk about why the holidays don’t need to be synonymous with weight gain. I note the power of choosing gratitude over scarcity and negativity in any situation. I discuss the importance of avoiding an all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to dieting. I define mindful eating and explain why it’s so impactful………..

Loneliness has become common in recent times, with more people than ever feeling disconnected and isolated. A problem even before COVID-19, loneliness has been exacerbated over the past 18 months of the pandemic.

Today, I talk about this problem. I share research on how common loneliness is, explain all of the reasons this matters, and talk about what we can do about it……….

Irish Prime Minister An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has served as An Taoiseach in the Republic of Ireland since June 2020 and as leader of the Fianna Fáil political party since 2011. Previous to being An Taoiseach, he served as Leader of the Opposition from 2011 to 2020 and held numerous ministries including Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Minister for Health and Children, and Minister for Education and Science. During his time as Minister for Health, Micheál Martin exhibited tremendous leadership and delivered unprecedented health impacts by introducing a ban on tobacco smoking in all Irish workplaces. This made Ireland the first country in the world to introduce a full workplace smoking ban. Today, he leads in an era of unprecedented global challenge. We hear how influences in his own life have prepared him for such leadership governance.

Today, Micheál joins us to share some of his story ………

Helen Brophy is Director of University College Dublin (UCD) Smurfit Executive Development at Smurfit Business School. While Helen manages & leads the strategic development of UCD Smurfit Executive Development she also specialises in programme design & delivers across the portfolio in areas of Leadership, Change Management & Organisational Effectiveness. She holds an Executive Masters in Consulting & Coaching for Change from Insead Business School, as well as an MBS from UCD Smurfit School.

Today, Helen joins me to share her story. She shares how the past 18 months have affected how she leads. She shares the three guiding principles that helped her to manage through a crisis and notes the power of team unity……………….

Many people feel sluggish, tired, and even a little more down during the winter months. If this is you, you may be suffering from Winter Blues, which is also known as SAD Syndrome or Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is a common problem, and it manifests in many different ways and with varying levels of severity.

Today, I talk about the Winter Blues. I explain what it is, share some statistics on it, and list its symptoms. I share some………….

David McRedmond was appointed CEO of An Post in October 2016. He has driven the Company’s Transformation programme and return to financial stability and revenue growth, delivering a third successive year of profit by taking big steps to fix the Company’s economics…..

……..This has been demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 crisis with An Post supporting the Government, citizens and businesses by keeping the essential supply lines running through Post Offices, Digital, and Mails and Parcels deliveries, while ensuring the safety of staff, postmasters and customers. 

Today, David joins me to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on An Post, both bad and good. He talks about how the pandemic provided clarity about the company’s mission to serve the common good, and he explains what sustainability means to him…………..

 …………….“It sounds cliché to be optimistic: it’s hard, and it can be a struggle at times. But it’s so, so worth it, because the world is full of goodness.”

– David McRedmond- ……………

Mary Buckley is the Executive Director of IDA Ireland. IDA Ireland, also known as the Industrial Development Authority, was founded in 1949 and is the Irish agency responsible for the attraction and retention of inward foreign direct investment into Ireland….

Today, Mary joins me to talk about how her team responded to COVID-19….. She discusses her role in bringing certainty into an uncertain world through openness and frankness, and she talks about the process of formulating a hybrid working strategy. She notes that a hybrid workplace affects different people in different ways, and she stresses the importance of equality, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability throughout the transition. She talks about the culture of Ireland and discusses what she hopes post-covid health and well-being will look like…….

Breeda Bermingham, a former practicing midwife and public health nurse has most recently been working with women in menopause, emphasising the interconnected dimensions of this universal midlife stage. Her Master’s research has resulted in the ‘Midlife Women Rock Project.’ Breeda’s recently published book, as well as her public engagements, inform and educate women to acknowledge the tremendous skill set they have developed by midlife. She encourages women to transition consciously during menopause, empowering society to change the age-old negative narrative around this life stage, reframing, and moving the dial towards an enlightened, empowered future.

Today, Breeda joins me to talk about……….

The search for happiness is age-old. Numerous answers have been given over the years and in my research I’ve come across many of them. Today, I compile them for you.

In this episode, I list 15 ways to boost your happiness, emphasising the power of gratitude, kindness, physical health, purpose, and …….

Feargal O’Rourke is Managing Partner of PwC Ireland. He has served in various leadership roles in PwC EMEA and PwC Ireland since his admission as a partner in 1996. From 2014 to 2020, Feargal was a member of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, the leading representative body at both Government and Industry level for the 700 US companies based in Ireland. Feargal is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and an Associate of the Irish Taxation Institute. He is  regularly sought after  by Irish politicians and officials on a wide variety of commercial matters.

Today, Feargal joins me to talk about leadership, resilience, agile work practices and the power of culture in the workplace. He talks about the effects of COVID-19 on his leadership style, and he notes the importance of honesty, transparency, and humility.  We discuss the relationship between physical and mental health and ………… 

Frank O’Keeffe is Managing Partner of EY in Ireland. Today, Frank joins me to continue my series of conversations with Managing Partners & CEOs about Leadership and Organisation Health & Wellbeing, while tapping into the future of work as we navigate the return to the office post-Covid-19. Frank talks about the ways that Covid-19 has impacted how he leads and shares the three priorities he chose to focus on when the pandemic hit. He emphasizes the importance of recognising the humanity of each employee and discusses how that recognition translates into better service for clients……….

Mary Lou McDonald is a TD Teachta Dála  (Member of the Irish Parliament) for the Dublin Central Constituency. She was elected leader of Sinn Féin by the political party membership in 2018 and is the first woman to lead the opposition in the Dáil (Irish Parliament)……………………………….

Today, Mary Lou joins me to discuss managing stress and the importance of self-care in a dynamic political life. We talk…..

Paul Kelly has been the Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland since 2017. Paul is leading Fáilte Ireland, the Irish National Tourism Development Authority, through the deepest crisis ever for our country’s tourism industry.

This work is to ensure the industry’s survival, enable reopening and re-imagine a different future post-Covid. The future will build on Fáilte Ireland’s previous successes including the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, the Dublin brand refresh and The Gathering.

Today, I speak with Paul about health and wellbeing in the tourism industry, and…….

Elizabeth (Beth) Pegg Frates MD is a pioneer in Lifestyle Medicine education and an award-winning teacher at Harvard Medical School, as well as at the Harvard Extension School. At Harvard Medical School, Dr. Frates’s passionate teaching style has earned her several Excellence in Teaching awards for work in multiple pre-clinical courses. She specialises in connecting one-on-one with her clients.

Today, Beth joins me to talk about the power of a healthy body, peaceful mind, and joyful heart.

Dr Barbara Ryan specialises in gut health. She is a clinical professor at Trinity College Dublin and a consultant gastroenterologist. Her mission, along with clinical dietitian Elaine McGowan, is to digest the science of gut health so that women and men can learn all they need to know for a healthier, happier gut. The gut experts want to cut through the noise; share expert, science-based information; and reduce the stigma that surrounds gut health by using the three E’s: Education, Empowerment, and Eating healthily

The world of work has changed. For the past 18 months, COVID-19 has brought a blurring of the boundaries between “at work” and “away from work.” It’s now harder to switch off the business of life mentally, physically, or emotionally. The employee experience is now a key to decision-making more than ever before. All people are unique, and their needs will change depending on the person, project, and time. The hybrid model of working has the potential to optimize flexibility and choice, especially when enabled by technology to support a more holistic and inclusive experience regardless of whether you are in or out of the office.

Today, I talk about how you can optimize the hybrid model. I discuss what your job is as an employer …….

Daniel Mulhall is the Irish Ambassador to the United States of America. He joined the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in 1978, with early diplomatic assignments in New Delhi, Vienna, Brussels, and Edinburgh, where he was Ireland’s first consul general from 1998 to 2001. He served as Ireland’s Ambassador to Malaysia from 2001 to 2005, where he was also accredited to Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. In 2005, he was conferred with an honorary fellowship by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland for his work in connection with the Asian tsunami. From 2009 to 2013, he was Ireland’s Ambassador to Germany, and before departing for Washington in 2017, he served as Ireland’s ambassador in London……..

Tama Duffy Day works at Gensler as a firmwide leader within the health sector. Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 49 locations across the world. In a career in design that spans more than three decades, Tama’s expertise in health ranges from projects in academic medical centers to community hospitals and senior living. As a frequent advocate for the benefits of generative space, Tama is dedicated to raising awareness of the impact that design has on health and longevity, and she is a global advocate for older adults. Tama is focused on representing the positive side of aging in her work and is looking to eliminate bias in every industry.

It’s a well-known fact that people living in many Mediterranean countries–as well as a few other parts of the world–tend to have relatively few health problems and relatively long, healthy lifespans. As a result of research on this fact, scientists have called the Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle one of the healthiest lifestyles out there.

‘Sitting is the new smoking.’ Though this may be an exaggeration in some respects, it’s not in others. The dangers of prolonged sitting are numerous and very real.

Today, I talk about these dangers. I share research on the subject and I explain why it’s so bad for your body to sit for prolonged periods of time. I note that these dangers exist independently of how much you exercise, and I note the positive effects of movement on your mental and physical health, as well as your emotional wellbeing.

Ibrahim Halawa, a now 25-year-old Irishman, spent more than four years of his life in prison in Egypt after he was arrested while on a family holiday in 2013. Then aged 17, Ibrahim was detained by the Egyptian security forces after he and three of his sisters were caught up in a siege at a mosque in Cairo in August 2013. The women were allowed to return home to Ireland within three months, but their teenage brother was kept in Wadi el-Natrun prison outside Cairo.

The teenager was accused, along with nearly 500 others, of inciting violence, riot, and sabotage and faced a mass trial under threat of the death penalty. 

1,497 days/4 years later, Ibrahim Halawa was acquitted of all charges. He was released from Wadi el-Natrun on 20 October 2017, returning home to Dublin and his family. In March 2017, as a Medical Doctor, I was asked by the Irish Government to visit Ibrahim in the bleak, stark Wadi el-Natrun prison to establish his level of health and wellbeing. Ibrahim, then 21 was physically frail and fragile.

David Fryburg, M.D., is the President and co-founder of Envision Kindness, a nonprofit organization that promotes kindness, compassion, joy, and love through kindness media. Dr. Fryburg is also the author of a blog series entitled “The Science of Kindness,” which is distributed by Psychology Today and other outlets. In his previous work, David led teams of scientists from academia, government, and industry to solve problems in how we measure or diagnose disease for the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Biomarkers Consortium.

“Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” These words from Benjamin Franklin couldn’t be more true. Today, so many of us don’t get enough sleep, and as a result, we’re left to deal with reduced life expectancy, less energy, more anxiety, and numerous other negative health effects.

Today, I talk about the importance of sleep.

Having a Health IQ is important. A great way to start building it up is to keep track of your cholesterol numbers. This can seem like a daunting task, so today I talk all about cholesterol: what it is, why it matters, how to keep track of it and how to leverage lifestyle changes to keep it at healthy levels thereby reducing your risk of chronic illnesses.

 

 

Broadcaster, entrepreneur and human rights campaigner Norah Casey was formerly a Dragon in the popular television series, she is a well-known Irish radio and TV personality, an author   and creator of  Planet Woman – a digital learning platform that seeks to empower women. She is a Global Ambassador for Vital Voices, and a member of the International Women’s Forum. In addition to owning Harmonia Publishing Ltd., the journalist and former nurse holds many awards including but not limited to the Irish Woman of the Decade Award, the Irish Publisher of the Year award (five times), and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Award. 

Today, Norah talks with me about courage and the willingness to face your fears. We talk about….

Elaine O’Brien, Ph.D., MAPP is one of the most informed academics on the intersection of Science of Happiness and Human Movement Science. Elaine is a speaker, writer, and Certified Health Coach. She is one of the first people in the world to earn a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology, under Dr. Martin Seligman.

Today, we talk about positive movement, what it is and why it’s powerful. We discuss the positive contagion uplift effect and note that even a small amount of regular movement can build up and make a difference.

Today, we live in a society where kindness is often looked down on as weakness. But in reality, kindness–which stems from the Golden Rule–has benefits that are spiritual, physical, and mental.

In this episode, I talk about why kindness is an essential part of a lifestyle of vitality. I share 

Dylan Moran boxed for Ireland as an amateur, becoming a kick-boxer for a few years where he won Irish, European, and World titles before turning to professional boxing in 2017. Born in 1994, Moran started boxing at age five. The Waterford native earned his first professional victory in his debut against Chris Jenkinson in Manchester, England. In just over a year, Moran stepped into the boxing ring on six different occasions, winning all of his outings. By March of 2019, Dylan Moran boasted an impressive record of 10-0. This earned him an American contract including a fight against Dennis Okoth. 

After a busy day of work, it’s important to take time to de-stress for your health. That’s why I’ve recently started to prescribe walks as a therapeutic tool because it is so effective at helping people destress. Spending time in nature is important for everyone. As we spend more and more time in front of a computer screen, we need to remember that sometimes we need to disconnect. Being in nature is a great way to relax, but it also has many different health benefits.

Dr. Rhonda Cornum holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Nutrition. She is a surgeon and urologist. A distinguished war veteran holding the rank of brigadier general, she has earned honors including the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Army Service Medal. She served in the Army during the Gulf War, when she was captured by Iraqi forces. She is a pioneer for resilience training.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is incredibly common in the western world. Huge percentages of people suffer from it, and many don’t know they have it or don’t get help. This is a pity, because hypertension is, in many cases, highly preventable through a positive lifestyle.

Professor James Pennebaker is a renowned psychologist and the region centennial chair of psychology at the University of Texas. Professor Pennebaker has done extensive research on the benefits of expressive writing, and in this episode he joins me to talk about his findings.

Nowadays, anxiety is an epidemic. It’s one of the most common conditions around, and many people who suffer from it suffer in silence. Today, I talk about why you should take it seriously.

Tom Brennan co-founded EirGen Pharma in 2005. The company has since successfully completed the development and commercialization of many drugs in the oncology area from its US FDA-approved facility in Waterford.

Men’s lifespans are, on average, shorter than women’s. While there are many potential reasons for this, one is undoubtedly men’s tendency to neglect their health.

Roy F. Baumeister is one of the world’s most prolific and influential psychologists. He has published well over 500 scientific articles and more than 30 books. In 2013, he received the highest award given by the Association for Psychological Science, the William James Fellow Award, in recognition of his lifetime achievements.

Roy F. Baumeister is one of the world’s most prolific and influential psychologists. He has published well over 500 scientific articles and more than 30 books. In 2013, he received the highest award given by the Association for Psychological Science, the William James Fellow Award, in recognition of his lifetime achievements.

We live in a culture that promotes a pill for every ill. Increasingly, we’ve been made to become passive consumers of healthcare instead of taking an empowered, active role in our health. Today, I look at the role of lifestyle medicine in increasing your agency when it comes to your health and improving your wellbeing.

Traditional psychology is incredibly important and helpful, but it’s focused on turning negative mindsets into better mindsets. Positive psychology, on the other hand, is focused primarily on the positive. Instead of asking how you can move away from a negative mindset, it asks how you can move towards a positive one.

Heather Fennimore has been an owner and partner at Humanscale since 1986.  Ms. Fennimore has established a successful sales organization of over 300 sales professionals and managers in the Americas.  She created the Humanscale University Program, the Recruiting Division, Humanscale Consulting, and Customer Service.

Chronic health conditions are running rampant right now in the western world, and most medicine is aimed at treating the symptoms rather than the root causes. Today, I talk about lifestyle medicine and the power of small, incremental lifestyle changes.

Dr. Doireann O’Leary is a practicing medical doctor, health advocate, blogger, and social media influencer. She is passionate about health education and empowering her patients and social media followers to look after their health and wellbeing. Dr. O’Leary has overcome many adversities in her life and her story is an inspiration to others. Her medical practice is based in Co. Cork, Ireland.

We all face fires in our lives, whether in relationships, careers, ourselves, or a number of other places. Today, in my first short solo episode, I talk about how to respond to these setbacks and move forward through acceptance and resilience.

Leo Cullen has a history as a prolific rugby player. He won 32 caps for Ireland and 221 for Leinster, and he has won titles at Blackrock College, Leinster Rugby, and Leicester Tigers. His success as a player has followed him to management: he became Leinster Rugby head coach in August 2015, and in 2018 he became the first man to win a Champion’s Cup title as both a player and a head coach.