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Me and my health: Johnny Simpson on his lifestyle

By Linda Stewart

Lisburn man Johnny Simpson climbed Ben Nevis three times and last year scaled the highest peak in each part of the British Isles, also climbing the second to fifth highest UK peaks in two days.

The 48-year-old is married to teacher Maureen (47) and has two sons, Daniel (18) and Ethan (10). He has Director of Financial Services at Belfast Wealth  Management company Johnston Campbell, he is leading a company team in the Invesco Perpetual Snowden Challenge in September, hiking 27km across three peaks including Snowdon, a 50km mountain cycle and a 5km canoe trail in two days.

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

A: This year my exercise was reduced due to injury, but I normally exercise up to four times a week. I love spin, circuits and I've just started getting into the Stairmaster, which I absolutely killed myself on today. Hillwalking would be a hobby and I have a walking group. I try and get out a couple of times a month with the hillwalking . With a few pounds back on, I need a goal so I've signed up with a team of colleagues for the Invesco Perpetual challenge to raise money for charity and get the fitness back on track.

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

A: The worst was a form of hepatitis which I got from the water in Lough Neagh in 1993. I took a year to recover. The only other major thing was when I had an accident in 1990 which had me in a wheelchair for a number of months. I was on a balcony in New Jersey and it collapsed.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: For the last two weeks I was in Cornwall so it was terrible. Normally, now that the training is kicking back in, my diet is not too bad. I'm a big fan of porridge, yoghurt, berries and seeds in the morning, especially blueberries (above). I would have a salad most lunchtimes.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: Portion control and snacking. I am trying to counteract that with more water at the minute. My lifestyle means that set mealtimes can be awkward. I refuse to give up coffee.

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

A: I don't smoke, but I drink socially. I tend to like a rum and Diet Coke and a glass of Malbec with dinner. I would say I drink 6-7 units a week.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: I would take AlphaMen tablets and a multi vitamin, both by My Protein. I find them very good - they're a bit awkward to swallow but it's a great way of getting lots of supplements in one go.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: It's something I am accused of not doing much of. The hillwalking for me is one way of winding down. And music - I would be a big fan of Mozart. I'm currently reading John Suchet's book on Mozart. I've an eclectic mix in musical taste. I am involved in Scouting - that might not sound like down time but it's a big part of my life. I am a Cub Scout leader and I'm involved in Duke of Edinburgh expeditions as well.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: I've never slept a lot. Five hours a night would be my average. I've been checking my sleep activity on my phone. As long as I can remember I've never seemed to need a lot of sleep. My average bedtime could be 2am but I'll still be up and about in the morning. I am a great believer in 'sleep when you're dead'.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: No. To me, it genuinely is a natural thing. In fact, I have found myself getting more active the older I get - so no. I have no control over that so I am not particularly worried about it. I just intend not to let it be an excuse not to do anything.

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

A: Water. I am sitting here with a litre of it beside me now. It certainly increases the energy levels. I've noticed that if I am not drinking it as much, I definitely feel more lethargic.

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