Life

20 Questions on Health and Fitness: Turning 35 an epiphany for UTV's Paul Reilly

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: Paul Reilly, UTV reporter and presenter

UTV's Paul Reilly – I have too many guilty pleasures to mention but chocolate is the biggest one
Gail Bell

1 Up and at it – what is your morning routine? I'm a bit of a creature of habit. My shifts vary, but my weekday routine is usually the same. I have to admit, if I have to be in the newsroom before 9am, I'm unlikely to have breakfast at home. I'm looking forward to filming at the Balmoral Show because although it's incredibly early starts and our producer Petra always treats the team to breakfast.

2 What might you eat in a typical working day for...

Breakfast? Breakfast can be as simple as a coffee and bowl of cereal.

Lunch? Lunch just depends... I'm terrible at planning ahead and making a packed lunch. In this job you eat when you can and sometimes that can mean convenience foods.

Dinner? For dinner, I will try to cook. I'm not great at it, but I try. My other half is much better than me in the kitchen.

3 Is nutrition important to you?

I turned 35 this month and I've promised myself that I'm going to be more conscious of what I eat. I rarely think about nutrition and carry a lot of guilt about that. I don't eat fruit, but I'm a big fan of vegetables, so when I'm being good I'll stock up on my greens.

4 Best meal ever?

It's almost impossible to say what my best meal ever was but when we were staying in Wicklow a couple of years ago I had an amazing breakfast in Bray. It consisted of ham hock and Eggs Benedict and it was outstanding.

5 Do you have a guilty pleasure?

I have too many to mention... chocolate is the biggest one. We have a tuck shop in the newsroom and there are afternoons when you just need a sugar hit and the chocolate bars are too easy to find.

6 Have you ever been on a diet? If so, how did it go?

I've done calorie counting a couple of times and got some results but they were only short-term fixes, like any fad diet. It's all about changing habits and willpower – I'm hoping to get grips with both soon.

7 Do you take health supplements?

No, I don't – I did for a while but I honestly didn't feel any different after taking them.

8 How do you relax?

I read, walk and I'm working on mindfulness at the moment. It's a pretty simple concept, but I do struggle to switch off sometimes. Taking a few minutes to breathe and centre yourself can transform how you deal with certain situations. Trust me, I'm no Buddha, we all have to work at keeping stress and anxiety under control.

9 Teetotal or tipple?

Nowadays, it's tea and usually a packet of biscuits instead of alcohol. I'd take the occasional social drink but, bar the odd beer at home, I honestly can't remember the last time I'd more than two or three drinks in an evening.

10 Stairs or lift?

I'll always try to take the stairs – unfortunately that isn't an option at City Quays 2 where UTV is now based.

11 Do you have a daily exercise regime?

No, I've had gym membership since the start of the year and I'm ashamed to say I've only been a handful of times. But that's going to change over the coming weeks as we clock up the miles walking about during the five days of filming at Balmoral Show.

12 Best tip for everyday fitness?

Keep moving. It's not very often I spend the entire day in the newsroom, but if I do, I'll rarely sit still for more than 15 minutes at a time.

13 On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are and how fit would you like to be?

I'd say I'm a five, but I'd like to be about a seven. I'll never been an athlete or a gym bunny, but I would like get a bit fitter.

14 Have you tried, or would you try, alternative therapy?

No. Thankfully I've never had to consider going down this route.

15 Were school sports happy times or do you have a memory you would rather forget?

Outside of playing rounders, I had zero interest in sport at school. I did try a bit of football, rugby and hockey, but none of it stuck. My younger brother is one of the sportiest people I know and I think it's a bit disappointing for him that I've never really given him a run for his money. We did, though, play a charity football match together a few years ago at Seaview.

16 Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?

Last week was an epiphany when I turned 35. We'll have to see what happens...

17 Best health/lifestyle advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?

Get outside, get some fresh air, clear your head.

18 Who inspires you or who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness / attitude to life?

Sara Moore is a wee machine – she'll often give me a look, or a text to say, "Reilly get yourself to the gym!" And she is right, I always feel better afterwards.

19 What time do you normally get to bed and do you get enough sleep?

It just depends on my shift, but I'll rarely stay up past midnight now. I think, like most people, I often wake up promising myself an early night that evening. But I am very good at getting up when the alarm goes off.

20 Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?

Yes, I think so. No-one wants to get sick, we all want to be around as long as we can. I've two wonderful nephews and two beautiful nieces with whom I love spending time and I look forward to seeing them grow up.

:: Paul will be reporting from the Balmoral Show this week, with a round-up programme airing on UTV on Sunday at 6pm.

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