Me and my health: DJ Pete Snodden discusses his lifestyle
The 35-year-old Cool FM DJ lives in Bangor with his wife Julia (35) and their two daughters, Ivana (4) and Elayna (1). Pete, along with his co-presenter Paulo Ross, will be taking part in Pound The Grounds on February 16 when they will run laps of sports grounds all over the city to raise money for Cash for Kids.
Q: Do you take regular exercise - and if so, what?
A: I play competitive hockey for Bangor, so we train on a Tuesday and Thursday night with a game on Saturday and I try to get to the gym one night of the week. Off season I will go to the gym for a training session with weights three nights a week. I also go out running around Crawfordsburn Country Park and the Bangor Parkrun. I've been playing hockey since school and only stopped temporarily in my 20s due to work commitments, but then got back into it at 25.
Q: What's the worst illness you have had?
A: When I was 19 I went to the doctor with stomach pains and spasms and was diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), but when no treatment worked I consulted the late Jan de Vries - but the meds he gave me didn't work either. Eventually, I was told I had an infection in the wall of my bowel and it cleared up with treatment. I would be doubled over in pain with spasms and that lasted about six months - but I still don't really know what it was or what caused it. The symptoms that presented at the time were the same as IBS, so I can understand why the doctor thought that was what was wrong with me.
Q: How healthy is your diet?
A: My mantra is everything in moderation, so I do try to eat well during the week, starting the day with breakfast, having lunch and dinner - so there is no skipping meals. Dinner every week night is a home-cooked meal with Julia and the girls. Having said that, come the weekend after the girls come home from GB we will order a pizza or have a takeaway.
Q: Any bad habits?
A: I used to skip breakfast when I started working at Cool FM all those years ago, so by lunchtime I was so hungry and would overcompensate by eating too much. Now, though, I cannot function without breakfast, which is nearly always porridge followed by fruit - an apple or an orange. I get up in the morning at 4.45am, so at 10am when I finish the show I will have scrambled eggs then soup at lunchtime. Dinner time is 5pm-6pm, when I will be home for a home cooked meal. I never drank coffee until about three years ago; now I will have one about 3.30pm in the afternoon when you have that energy dip, and will drink about two cups - any more than that would make me feel ill and quite jittery.
Q: Do you drink and or/smoke - and if so, how much?
A: I don't smoke, but like a few glasses of wine or a few beers at the weekend. For me, drinking is purely a social thing to do; if Julia and I are going out for a meal with friends or if I'm catching up with some mates on a Friday evening. I don't have wine with dinner at all during the week, but I can see how that can become a habit. Because I work on a Saturday, going out at the weekend never really became something I did. Again, it is everything in moderation. I see people persecuting themselves in January by not drinking, only to get to the end, then overdo it.
Q: Do you take any health supplements?
A: In fits and starts - occasionally I buy a multi-vitamin and take it until it runs it, then I don't bother.
Q: How do you take time out?
A: Playing sport always helps clear my head. It is something away from work and when I'm not playing sport it is spending time with my family. I sometimes play golf in the summer, but not as often as I would like. I don't get a lot of time to watch TV, as there is bath time and bed time for the girls - but you can be sure I will have the TV on in the background if there is any live football on.
Q: How well do you sleep?
A: I wish I did sleep longer than I do, as I realise how important it is. Again, I have a young family, so although I aim to get to bed by 10pm during the week sometimes it's not until 11.30pm - then I have to get up at 4.45am. Before the girls were born, though, I would get my head down for a sleep in the afternoon - but then there was a chance of ruining your sleep for the night-time.
Q: Do you worry about getting old?
A: Age really is just a number to me ordinarily, but when I lost my dad Jackie to cancer last year, getting older became something that preys on my mind. Before, I wasn't phased by age, but I didn't really understand what it was to lose someone until it happened to me - although cancer can happen to anyone at any age. I am now more aware of my health.
Q: What is your go-to product/habit that keeps you feeling healthy?
A: While I appreciate the benefits of weightlifting and going to the gym, I personally feel better after a run. Don't get me wrong, the thought of going out for a run on a cold, wet day is not appealing, but afterwards you feel great. Running is a chance to be on your own, put the headphones on and listen to some good tunes and really clear your head.
- Pete and Paulo Pound The Grounds takes place on February 16, beginning at Windsor Park, taking in O'Donovan Rossa GAA grounds in west Belfast, Solitude in the north of the city and then The Oval in east Belfast. The day-long marathon effort, which will involve the presenters running laps of each sports ground, one after the other, will finish in the SSE Arena where the Belfast Giants will be playing at home and the guys will take to the ice for the final three laps. For more information, or to donate, visit http://www.coolfm.co.uk/charity/