Part of a soap star’s job is to look good for the camera. However, when performers take care of themselves, they do more than look good — they feel good. In this latest installment of Wellness Wednesday, actor Wally Kurth talks about staying in shape both physically and mentally.
Kurth is busy not only as Ned Quartermaine on General Hospital but he also plays Justin Kiriakis on Days of our Lives. So the actor has a schedule that’s regularly in flux. Still, the performer does his best to adhere to a schedule in order to stay in shape.
Soap Hub: Every day can be different for you, so how do you schedule fitness into your life?
Wally Kurth: Every day is different, but I do have a regime. I play tennis on the weekends when I can. I take a Gentle Yoga class, which is a stretching class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I swim. That’s my workout. That’s it. I like to get out and play tennis on the weekends. If I can’t get to my regularly scheduled yoga class, I’ll get into one later. It’s so important to keep my back open and stretch the shoulders and muscles and open them up. I want to keep expanding.
Soap Hub: Do you meditate? If so, how did you get started with it?
Wally Kurth: I came from a family where my older sister teaches transcendental meditation. She taught me when I was 15. Growing up, I might have been diagnosed with ADD. I was not a great student. Somehow I got into UCLA. I had a hard time concentrating. I was the class clown. Reading was always hard. When I went to college, I knew I had to step up. I wasn’t doing any medication, but I was doing meditation. That really helped me. When I left UCLA to do The Pirates of Penzance on Broadway, I’m convinced that my meditation gave me the concentration to take on certain [challenges].
When I first started DAYS and I was working every day, I’d meditate and that helped me with memorization. I could handle this immense amount of work. I believe in the power of mediation. I’m a big believer in it. There are times I don’t do it regularly. I don’t do transcendental meditation like I used to, but if I have a concert lined up or a lot of work on set, then I’ll close my eyes and try to stay in the moment to prepare for [what’s next]. So much of acting is being in the moment and meditation helps me.
Soap Hub: Do you have advice for people on how to get started with a wellness plan?
Wally Kurth: My advice would be to just get started. There are yoga classes all over this country. Take Gentle Yoga. I find that it’s just as effective as the more strenuous classes. You don’t need a 90-minute class. I take 50-minute ones. You may think a yoga class isn’t working if you’re not sweating but it is. Look up yoga in your local town. I have yet to meet a yoga teacher who is not a lovely soul or who isn’t there to help people improve their lives.