"It forces you to have a very different relationship with your body," Naomie Harris recently told Health
The British Fashion Awards, Arrivals, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK - 10 Dec 2018
Naomie Harris
| Credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Naomie Harris has made a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

In the November 2020 issue of Health, the actress opened up about how having scoliosis as a child had a profound impact on her.

“My obsession with health,” The Third Day star, 44, explained “definitely started as a result of having scoliosis as a young child — going through this huge operation where I spent a month in hospital, had a rib removed, my lung deflated, and a metal rod put along my spine.”

“It forces you to have a very different relationship with your body,” she explained. “I know what it’s like to spend a month not being able to walk. And I never, ever want to be in that position ever again.”

The desire to “be at peak health at all times” has also influenced Harris’ behavior when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

“It’s the reason I don’t drink alcohol and I never experimented with drugs or anything like that,” she said. “I always felt the most important thing for me is health.”

73rd British Academy Film Awards, Arrivals, Fashion Highlights, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK - 02 Feb 2020
Naomie Harris
| Credit: David Fisher/BAFTA/Shutterstock

Even when considering various diets, Harris says she's learned how important it is to listen to her body.

“I’ve tried a ton of different diets—a bit too many, I think. Anything that they said was healthy, I was like, “I’ll try it.” It’s amazing that it’s taken me so long to realize this, but nobody can tell you what works for your body,” she said.

“It’s all about you being in tune with your body enough to listen and be like, 'No, this doesn’t work; this does.' It’s coming back to that internal wisdom,” she added. “It’s about coming to that realization that actually nobody knows better about my truth than me.

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Fitness also plays an important part in Harris’ commitment to a healthy lifestyle — and in order to stay active amid the coronavirus pandemic, the actress had to switch up her routine.

Already a Pilates fan, Harris also began using the Couch to 5K app while quarantining in London.

“I used to swim a lot, but then, obviously, with lockdown, you couldn’t use the pool. So I thought, 'What am I going to do for my cardiovascular health?' " she said. “My friend told me about that app, and I was like, 'But I hate running.' Then I discovered I love it.’ ”

“It’s a form of meditation as well because you get confronted with your mind. Your mind says, 'OK, stop here. We don’t have to finish this. We can do it tomorrow.' And you have to just block it out,” she added. “It’s about mental strength.”