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Me and my health: TV presenter and journalist Graham Little on his lifestyle


Healthy outlook: Graham Little enjoying the outdoors

Healthy outlook: Graham Little enjoying the outdoors

Healthy outlook: Graham Little enjoying the outdoors

TV presenter and journalist Graham Little (43), from Enniskillen, is encouraging people to explore their surroundings with a series of short videos for WalkNI, exploring five coastal trails and their connection to the Ulster-Scots in the Danders Aroon series. He owns NPE Media and lives in Bangor with wife Claire (44) and children Christian (11), Reuben (9) and Isla (5).

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

A: Yes. I always have done and it's really important to me, physically and mentally. I run, cycle, swim and have a home gym set-up as well - I can go in there, close the door and sweat out all the frustrations of lockdown.

I used to do a lot of endurance events, including Marathon des Sables, swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco and a stage of the Tour de France, but mostly these days I just keep fit apart from the odd adventure challenge.

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

A: I've been really fortunate not to have had too many illnesses. I've had the usual clutter of sports injuries over the years but apart from some back issues nothing that's kept me out for too long.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

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A: I'm lucky to really enjoy healthy food! I genuinely much prefer the crunch of some vegetables to the squelch of a burger. I like feeling fit and strong and I think diet is a big part of that.

I grow a lot of fruit and try to only eat processed meat once a week now. I love the odd fry and takeaways too - I'm not a monk - but generally I like to think I keep things fairly balanced and eat well.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: I slouch too much and have bad posture. I'm constantly trying to improve that - I'm starting to stretch more but I need to do more of that.

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

A: I love pubs… I really hope they come back. I do enjoy a social drink but hardly ever to excess these days and I do make sure I stay pretty close to safe weekly limits.

Even if it's only two pints, I am happy if I can sit the whole night, enjoy the convivial atmosphere and the noise and the buzz. I'm looking forward to some nights out when we're allowed. I don't drink much at home.

Q: Do you take any supplements?

A: I take vitamin C every day and vitamin D in the winter months. I hate the short days and lack of sunlight. I probably get enough of those vitamins from my diet but I like to keep them amped up! I also make a protein shake after any hard training session.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I'm really good at that… I try to prioritise time with family and friends plus lots of hobbies and diversions. I'm lucky to be self-employed and in charge of my own time to a large extent, apart from the huge chunk taken up by having three kids especially in lockdown. I don't stick to a nine to five and I'm an active relaxer.

Gardening, reading, playing the mandolin and guitar, saunas, you name it, I'm into it and I always make time for the things I enjoy and for trying new things.

I think it's important to have more life than work in your work-life balance!

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Very well, mostly. I always aim for at least seven hours a night. I like getting up early and don't think I miss too much craic on weeknights by being asleep before midnight. I think proper sleep is hugely important to us all and should be focused on a bit more.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: Not in the least. I'm very aware of mortality and I'm resolved not to die wondering or regretting, but I think these days people are enjoying longer and more active retirements and both my father and my father-in-law are brilliant examples of two people who are incredibly fit and active in their seventies, wringing as much out of life now as they ever have. That's my plan too.

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

A: No specific products. Just the tried and tested natural health-givers of sleep, diet, exercise and outlook! There is no magic elixir but what has worked for millions of years still works today.

Graham Little explores five trails along the coast of Northern Ireland and unlocks their connection to the Ulster-Scots. Each walk is inspired by their links to the early Ulster-Scots arrival in Northern Ireland, from tales of smugglers on the Antrim coast and traditional Ulster-Scots poetry to insights into the history of the people who first settled on these shores. To find out more, visit walkni.com/blog/danders-aroon-with-the-ulster-scots

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