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Me and my health: Eilish Rutherford on her lifestyle


The 61-year-old, who is a semi- retired physiotherapist, is chair of the Mary Peters Trust. She lives in Belfast with her husband Allan and has two stepsons, Stuart (23) and Thomas (20).

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

A: I do hour-long classes twice a week in Pilates and spin. Allan and I go out cycling at the weekend as we did as a family when the boys were small, but if the weather is bad I will go to another spin class. I live near to Belfast Castle so we will head out from there to the SSE Arena and onto the Comber Greenway on the bikes or in the other direction to Jordanstown and Carrick.

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

A: I've been very lucky in my life in that I've never been seriously ill. I have the cold at the minute and it is killing me, but then again so does half the population. I credit exercise with my good health. I also like to walk - which is the only exercise Mary Peters does now. She is 79 and says exercise is the reason why she is so healthy.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: I like to think my diet is pretty healthy. I usually have a juice for breakfast with banana, apple and kale, but if I do take a cereal it will be porridge. What I eat for lunch really depends where I am; if I'm home then it will be soup but if I'm out and about it's just a sandwich. We love stir fries at dinner time and also enjoy chicken and fish ... as well as the odd takeaway. I'm not a big fan of pizza but other takeaway food.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: My biggest downfall is savoury food, as I've not really got a sweet tooth - I could easily live without chocolate. My favourite food is cheese, all types of cheese - blue, brie, anything like that with crackers. They are my biggest vices.

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

A: I don't smoke but we will have wine with dinner on Friday and Saturday night and I enjoy a gin and tonic. I don't drink Monday to Thursday. In the winter it's red wine and white in the summertime.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: No, I prefer to get all my nutrients from my food. I think I can get all the vitamin C I need from fruit. Every now and then people will recommend a supplement that I should be taking but I never seem to stick with it.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: Getting out on the bike is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the scenery all around you. Going for a walk too. Rain and bad weather won't put me off getting outdoors as I played hockey all my life so I am used to it in this country. I am, though, a fairweather golfer - I won't go out on the course in the rain. I have always enjoyed exercise - even though I have a cold at the moment I went to my Pilates class and I really enjoyed it, and I will go to my spin class as I will feel better afterwards.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Very well. I've never suffered from insomnia and am an early riser, getting up at 6.30am every day. Most nights during the week I will go to bed around 10.30pm.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: Not at all. At this age I just feel so lucky to be fit and healthy. Both my parents lived until they were in their mid-80s. Ageing is an inevitable process so there is no point worrying about it, nor is there a point denying what age you are. Our age is who we are.

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

A: Exercise - it always makes me feel better.

The Belfast-based Mary Peters Trust supports up and coming athletes by providing access to a team of experts who help and support their pathway to success. For more details on the Mary Peters Trust, visit www. mary

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