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Me and my health: Richard Maguire on his lifestyle


Wellbeing: Richard Maguire

Wellbeing: Richard Maguire

Wellbeing: Richard Maguire

Richard Maguire (37) is the Communities in Transition health and wellbeing co-ordinator for East Belfast Community Development Agency and for the past year has been working on the new Health Hub East Belfast app, a community guide created by and for the people of East Belfast to help those in need access essential information and services. He lives in East Belfast with his wife Kelly, son Jonah and new arrival Nora.

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

A: Lockdown has thrown everything for a loop, but usually I play rugby with Instonians, Crossfit with the Berserk Gym and play Gaelic football with East Belfast GAA. Exercise is really important and there are some really good fitness programmes in my local area which we have also included on the Health Hub East Belfast app.

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

A: I'm lucky to have no major illness, but I do have to manage gout which I do through watching the dairy in my diet.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: It could always be better. I probably enjoy my treats a bit too much and usually have the appetite of a horse. I do try to keep a healthy amount of vegetables in each meal to fill up. Food is such an important part of health and can have a huge impact on how you feel. That's why we also have food-focused community organisations on the app, including food banks and meals on wheels services.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: I like a coffee and a biscuit... sometimes half a packet! I have been tied to a desk at home for all of lockdown, so with this I have noticed the step count go down and I miss the chance to get out with others to exercise.

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

A: I don't smoke, but I do enjoy a drink, my local would be The Mill Girls Cloud. They serve a lot of craft beers and I like to pretend that I am learning something while enjoying a drink.

Q: Do you take supplements?

A: I take vitamin D and cod liver oil, especially through the winter.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I feel at my best after playing rugby, it's a great way to let out any frustrations or stress. Banter with friends and team-mates is the best remedy for most things. This is definitely something I've been missing while in lockdown and I know other people are missing it as well. That's why I'm proud that there's a designated mental health section on our Health Hub East Belfast app. It's important that people look after their mental health and know that there's always someone who can help.

Q: How well do you sleep?

Like a log, much to the frustration of my wife! I keep the sleep hygiene good and have regular bedtimes and mornings. It could also be just being a parent and being exhausted at the end of the day.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: Not at all, I intend to keep myself fit and active. My mum is still cycling, bowling and hiking, so is a good role model for me. I don't think anyone should feel held back by their age, especially when it comes to being active. The programmes listed on the app are for everyone to get involved with, regardless of their age.

Q: Your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: I don't have any products that I rely on. I do increase the amount of leafy green veg and cut the sugar down when I want to feel a bit lighter. I also get involved in a few TED talks on YouTube and see if I can learn anything new about health. I know the world of health is constantly changing so I like to keep on top of the latest updates. That's another reason we decided to create this health focused app - it's something we can continuously update as services in the local area evolve with the needs of local people.

The Health Hub East Belfast app is a community guide which promotes positive mental and physical health by connecting people with vital local resources. It features information on community organisations that provide health services within the East Belfast area across a wide range of issues, and includes a summary of each organisation, with contact details. Download for free by searching Health Hub East Belfast in the App Store or in Google Play.

Belfast Telegraph

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