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Me and my health: Ruth Sanderson

Me and my health: BBC NI presenter Ruth Sanderson

By Stephanie Bell

The 34-year-old is joint presenter with Mark Thompson of the new BBC Two Northern Ireland series Hame, which started on Sunday night at 10pm, and showcases people and places at the heart of Ulster-Scots communities across Ulster. She lives in Killinchy with her husband Henry (34), a landscape architect.

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

I do go to the gym when I can and I love running although I am a bit of a fairweather runner and will only run if it is not wet. I try to get to the gym a couple of times a week and there is a great guy at Comber Leisure Centre who has a very good way of making sure I turn up. I was a tubby teenager growing up - part of that was your mother feeding you up out of love, but I also didn't exercise and I now know that I do need to go to the gym. I do find it hard to make myself exercise but I always feel that doing so gives me more energy and really makes me feel better. I should be doing more to stay fit, but when I am very busy I definitely don't do as much as I should.

What's the worst illness you have had?

I've been very lucky and never had any serious illness. The worst thing I have had is a toothache but generally I keep quite well.

How healthy is your diet?

It is pretty good but it can be a game of two halves. My main meals are always very healthy, but I am a terrible snacker. My car is always full of chocolate wrappers, especially in the glove compartment where I hide them from my husband.

Any bad habits?

Probably snacking. I eat far too much chocolate and when I am very busy I would kill for a Wispa. Last week we had this really lovely Sunday dinner and then I fancied dessert and went out and bought a box of Milk Tray and we ate the lot. Also I am terrible for procrastinating over going to the gym.

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

I don't smoke and I don't drink a lot. I would probably have a bottle of wine over the course of the weekend. I don't drink at all during the week. I think it helps that we live in the middle of nowhere as you have to drive everywhere. If we are not going out at the weekend I would enjoy a couple of glasses of wine, usually red if it is cold and white wine when the sun is shining.

Do you take any health supplements?

No. I do keep Berocca (a multi vitamin effervescent drink) in the cupboard and if I feel really tired I would take that. I am not sure if it helps or not - maybe it is just a great placebo.

How do you take time out?

I love to chill out and read. I used to work as a producer on Open Book on Radio Four and was always reading whatever book was sitting about the office. I have just read Bernard MacLaverty's Midwinter Break. I also like to catch up with friends. We lived in England for a while so it's nice to get back over there to visit them.

How well do you sleep?

My husband always says I sleep like a canary. When the lights go out I am dead to the world. I can even fall asleep while he is talking or when I am still talking.

Do you worry about getting old?

I don't worry about getting old but I always think when I get older I am going to look like a potato - a Maris Piper, to be precise. My parents have kept really well and look amazing for their age and hopefully I've inherited those genes. I have never been a pretty girl and I am looking forward to seeing what I look like when I get older.

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

There are two - Vaseline and Kiehl's Ultra Face Cream. I always have Vaseline in my handbag. I use it a lot, on my lips, and to take my eye make-up off. I just feel better if I have it close by.

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