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Me and my health: Radio presenter Sonya Mac on her lifestyle



Running fan: Sonya Mac

Running fan: Sonya Mac

Sonya Mac in training for a marathon event

Sonya Mac in training for a marathon event

Mandatory Credit Darren Kidd/Pre

Running fan: Sonya Mac

Popular local radio presenter Sonya Mac is still hosting events across Northern Ireland during frequent visits home from Abu Dhabi where she is working on a national radio station.

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

A: I run - it's great cardio and also fantastic therapy. I use my time alone running to think through issues, come up with ideas for on-air shows and promotions, or just to get away from the stresses of day to day working life. I've been running since 2010 when a friend asked if I fancied running the New York City marathon. Before that I was a couch potato. I'd been working at night on Cool FM for a few years at that stage and due to a poor eating routine I'd put on weight. I was injured badly in early 2011, so I couldn't run for around a year. I got my trainers back on in 2012 and to date I have run 29 marathons, plus numerous half marathons and 10km runs too. I often hit the weights in the gym and have attended various cardio classes as well, but spin classes just take way too much out of me. I've taken part in a couple of duathlons and I took up playing rugby for Malone ladies in September 2016, but left Northern Ireland in March 2017, so had to leave the team too.

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

A: I have never fallen badly ill, but after being bitten by a dog my leg became very badly infected leading to four months on crutches, then reconstructive surgery. Having my dressings changed every day, and not being able to bear weight was awful for me, not to mention the pain. I was three weeks from running the Paris marathon when I was bitten, so all of that training went to waste. It was March 21, 2011 and I was out on a 13-mile run. I had only got to the outskirts of Newtownards when a staffie appeared from a house and sunk his teeth in.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: My diet is relatively healthy; I usually eat only whole foods, mainly vegetables and proteins etc. I make all my dishes from scratch and my lunchbox is usually filled with salad and chicken breast or green leafy veg. However, I do have my downfalls, such as beer, wine, chocolate and sweets! When I'm in proper training mode, though, I do try my best to cut all of the bad stuff out.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: Yes, all the downfalls I mentioned in my previous answer! I just have my arm twisted way too easily to open a bottle of red or go out for a drink and a natter.

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

A: I don't smoke and am quite hard on people who do. I drink, probably a little too much, depending on how crazy work has been. But if I'm on a health kick, I can cut it out.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: That all depends on whether I'm training or not. Obviously I will hit the vitamin C supplements over the winter time as I'm often suffering with a cold or flu.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: If I can, I get outside into the air for a run or a long walk. I also enjoy getting out with friends to escape any work pressures. Now that I'm not working at weekends, I look forward to them to just get a lie-in or some chill time. Hitting the beach to lie in the sun is also an advantage of now living in a hot climate.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: I've just finished two weeks of covering the breakfast shift at the station, plus all my other duties, and running a marathon. I was tired and am still recovering, but ordinarily I sleep very well, setting at least four or five alarms to wake me!

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: Old? No... I'm eternally 21. I see myself as a bit of a Peter Pan who will never grow up!

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

A: Again, that would have to be grabbing my trainers and hitting the road.

Belfast Telegraph