General Hospital’s Brad Cooper is happy to be out of prison, which has been good for his well-being. His portrayer, Parry Shen, recently shared his thoughts on his own personal fitness and wellness for Soap Hub’s latest installment of Wellness Wednesday.
Parry Shen Talks Wellness
The actor recently celebrated nine years (!) playing Brad on GH. He brings humor and intelligence to his baby-swiping ex-lab tech character. And when the story calls for it, he’ll surprise you like he did with his role in causing Peter August (Wes Ramsey) to double over in pain after Brad served him a special prison meal. You can count on Brad to say what he’s thinking, and in the following Q&A, Shen is also forthcoming about wellness, fitness, meditation, and more!
Soap Hub: How do you schedule fitness into your life?
Parry Shen: I’m pretty bad in that I don’t really integrate it into my daily life. I don’t find much enjoyment in hikes, I’d much rather [use an] escalator than stairs (this is what technological advances are for, right?) There is a definite time and place when I am focused on “fitness time.”
Soap Hub: What’s a typical fitness regime?
Parry Shen: Mon: Abs/core, Chest & Triceps (90min), Wed: Abs/core, Biceps & Back (90min), Abs/core, Fri: Shoulders & Legs (90min); Tues & Thurs: 15 hitting the heavy bag; spin bike for 30 mins after each session on all days. This is the ideal schedule and will lessen depending on shoot/travel days, where I would just pick up where I left off in the schedule, to consistently be working out different parts of my body.
Soap Hub: Do you have a “cheat” day? Do you believe in them?
Parry Shen: All days are cheat days, so yes — a great deal. I have chips a lot of times after a workout. So my six-pack will never be as good as it could be, but honestly who cares? I need to have a sustainable lifestyle and not being able to have desserts & fried foods whenever I want (in moderation), is just not going to be mentally good going beyond 6-8 months. The workouts balance out my occasional cravings.
Soap Hub: What’s one thing that you’d like to work on – more water? Shut off the cell phone after a certain hour?
Parry Shen: I need more core work, but it’s hard to always focus on it with each workout. But I believe I would have less back issues if my core was stronger.
Soap Hub: Your GH co-star Jeff Kober (who recurs as Cyrus) is big into mediation. Do you meditate?
Parry Shen: Not in the traditional sense you see in movies, but I do like a lot of quiet time and I zone out and daydream pretty often — so I think it is a type of meditation.
Soap Hub: Have you always been active?
Parry Shen: I was going to answer, “No,” but then realized that I’ve had a consistent weekly workout routine for the past 22 years. So, planned activity — yes.
Soap Hub: Did you change your exercise regime during COVID? What positives may have come out of learning to do things differently?
Parry Shen: I built my own garage gym, and varying types of equipment to keep it fresh. As a result, I work out more frequently with it being so easily accessible. I also have learned to be creative and achieve the same results without heavy and expensive equipment.
Soap Hub: Everyone is different and has different needs but do you have any advice for those who are looking to work on their wellness?
Parry Shen: It needs to be a realistic and sustainable routine for basically as close to forever as possible. Doing something that is challenging yet not backbreaking or causing injury/ discouragement. Having a healthy and balanced mind/attitude towards it and diet (indulging in “bad stuff” too) is more important than just the physical end result.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.