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Me and my health: Jim Rodgers discusses his lifestyle

By Helen Carson

The 66-year-old is High Sheriff of Belfast and Ulster Unionist councillor for east Belfast. He lives in the city with his wife Greta and is involved with Glentoran Football Club's plan for a new stadium.

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

I used to run, but these days I walk - at a leisurely pace not a power walk. I am a fit person and everyday I will take an hour to go walking, usually around Belfast City Hall. But as a public representative I never get far as I will get stopped by people who want you to help them with an issue.

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

I have been fortunate with my health and the most serious condition I have suffered from is polymyalgia, although it wasn't diagnosed until I told my sister about my joints stiffening - she had the same complaint. Initially I thought it was an old sports injury. GPs find it hard to diagnose and usually recommend a course of steroids to treat the pain, but thankfully it has cleared up. It certainly never stopped me working.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

I love my food but have never been overweight. I always have a good breakfast of cereal, two rounds of toast with butter and jam and two cups of tea, with a light lunch and a full meal at dinner time. At the weekend or when I'm on holiday I will have an Ulster Fry.

Q: Any bad habits?

Arriving about 10-15 minutes late for appointments or meetings. I have tried to improve my time management but very often people will stop to speak to me about an issue and I don't want to be rude and rush off. Maybe it could be my New Year's resolution?

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

No, I have never smoked nor had a drink or had any desire to do so. I don't even have a glass of wine and I know others who love a drink or cigarette, but it's just never been something I have done.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A cod liver oil tablet everyday. My late mother took cod liver oil and lived to 97. I believe it is a great lubrication for the joints and I have never suffered from arthritis or rheumatism which is very common in our wet climate.

Q: How do you take time out?

That is exceptionally difficult because I work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But I do like to take time at the weekends to watch football, rugby, bowls or cricket - any sport really. I have always been a great advocate for sport as it brings people together of any background, social class or religion.

Q: How well do you sleep?

Very well, as soon as my head hits the pillow. I get eight hours sleep every night and get up at 6.30am. I think I sleep well because I am physically active.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

No... I am old, but I don't worry about it. I would love to be young again, but I wouldn't change a thing about my life. None of us knows what is around the corner regardless of what age we are.

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

It's not healthy - it's sweets like chocolate or boiled sweets. I always have sweets in my pocket. I also love cream buns and could easily eat four with a cup of tea or coffee.

Belfast Telegraph


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