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Me and my health: Chris Smiley discusses his lifestyle

 

By Helen Carson

The 25-year-old lives in Carrickfergus and is a racing car driver with the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) team Norlin Racing. He also works at his dad, Charlie Smiley's car dealership, Eden Car Sales, in the town.

Q: Do you take regular exercise - and if so, what?

A: I go to the gym two to three times a week to do cardio and keep myself fit generally. I also run up to five miles about three times a week. There are a lot of reservoirs near Carrickfergus where I go to run as it keeps me away from the road, so it is safer.

Q: What's the worst illness you've had?

A: I've never been ill apart from the odd tummy bug. And, thanks goodness, I never had any injuries such as broken bones, so touch wood it stays that way.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: I've always eaten well as long as I can remember. I was Irish Mountainbike Champion when I was seven, so I've always been aware of the importance of eating good food - it's the way my dad brought me up. For breakfast I have porridge, then a salad, soup or chicken for lunch. Dinner is pasta or rice again with chicken. Of course I have a treat every now and again which I think is good for you, too.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: I like to drink coffee. When I'm out it's a latte in a cafe but at home it's just an ordinary cup of instant. I never drink more than one coffee a day which I have first thing in the morning to give me a lift.

Q: Do you drink and/or smoke - if so, how much?

A: I have never smoked in my life but would take a drink, although very rarely. I have been out drinking twice since Christmas Eve and like a few beers. It really depends on the occasion how much I drink but it's not that much - I'm just not a drinker.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: No, just rehydration supplements at the weekend during the racing season.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I enjoy running, even though it is part of my exercise routine. Getting outside for a run clears your head and lets me unwind. I always feel better afterwards. I also like to watch motorcycling on TV and spend a lot of time doing that.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Really well and I go to bed very early every night at 10pm. I'm up again at 7.30pm. Very little wakes me up in the middle of the night, but I notice I won't sleep as well if I spend too much time on my mobile phone before I go to bed. That definitely affects the quality of my sleep.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: I honestly don't think about it even in terms of racing. My team-mate is 50 and still competing, so if I can get another 25 years out of this then I will be very happy. Motor racing isn't anywhere near as dangerous as motorcycling where one bad injury and your career is over. The cars are so safe nowadays, in fact, the sport is nearly safer than driving down the road.

Q: What is you go-to product or habit that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: Eating fruit and vegetables, drinking water, doing regular exercise - all those things that are good for you and make you feel better. I have been keeping these habits since I was in primary school and it has stood me in good stead. They are habits that my dad taught me and I have stuck with it and am very grateful for that. He spent a lot of time and money on me to keep me on the right track. He always made sure I had something to do.

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