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‘Training early in the morning sets me up for the day’

Michelle During, area manager for PureGym, on staying healthy and why she needs to work on taking time out


Michelle During spends a lot of time on the road with her job

Michelle During spends a lot of time on the road with her job

Michelle During spends a lot of time on the road with her job

Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?

Yes, I started training and competing sports at a very young age. I would mainly compete in athletics — high jump, long jump and triple jump representing Ireland at International level.

I kind of lost my way for a couple of years when at university focusing on my studies whilst having a bit of fun. I fell in love with fitness again when I started working in the fitness industry 15 years ago. I train six days a week mainly HIIT sessions. I feel this has the best effect on my body, both mentally and physically.

I like to train early in the morning as this sets me up for the day, I feel much more productive.

Having just rediscovered my love for competing again I had my first competition at the Irish Indoors in Athlone in February this year, where I took home the gold medal..

The key is consistency with exercise, I try not to beat myself up if I miss a day of training, just get back on it the next day. I find exercise is great for your mood, boosts your energy levels, and does wonders for your sex life.

How healthy is your diet?

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I love food. I do try to eat quite healthy during the week, meal prepping helps me to keep on track especially when I am working. I travel across Northern Ireland daily with my job and spend lots of time in my car so having my food prepped helps me to make healthy food and drink choices when I’m away from home.

I do enjoy my takeaways and restaurant food at the weekend. My favourite go-to restaurant in Derry is Fitzroy’s. It has such a great variety of tasty food, and the service is just impeccable.

I don’t really focus on tracking calories; I just make sure that I am eating a variety of nutritious foods from all food groups.

I always try and encourage my children to try new flavours and foods from around the world as I think its important to start them loving food from a young age.

Any bad habits?

Eating my lunch my desk or in my car. I really wish there were more hours in the day. I tend to eat while I work.

I’m always making sure everyone else around me is taking some time for themselves, I really need to practice what I preach on this front.

Do you drink and smoke and if so how much?

I enjoy a wee drink at the end of the week. My go to drink would be a nice dry rose wine, although I also enjoy Porn Star Martinis. When I was younger I could drink most boys under the table (I probably still could now) but I try and stick to my limits as the hangover the next day just isn’t worth it.

Do you take any supplements?

The only supplement I take is my whey protein and I would take this mixed with water after my morning workouts. This has over 80% protein per serving, with nine essential amino acids which is ideal for building and repairing tissue.

Getting all of these essential amino acids in one protein sets you up for a well-balanced daily intake.

How do you take time out?

I need to work on taking time out. I am on the go for about 16 hours a day, I am a workaholic. When I’m not in work, I’m raising my two kids with my husband (with A LOT of help from my mammy when we work). We both work very long hours and try to squeeze in as much fun with them. On the weekends when I put them to bed, I will have a glass of wine and have a wee hour to myself to just relax and reflect on the week.

How well do you sleep?

I am generally in bed by 11.30pm most nights, which is probably quite late as I am up at 4.50am every morning. When I was younger, I enjoyed a wee lie in. I should try and switch off a bit earlier at night. I don’t drink coffee but my drink to perk me up when my energy levels are low would be Nocco. These have vibrant flavours that contain 3000mg of BCAAs, 180mg of caffeine, six different vitamins and are sugar free.

Do you worry about getting old?

The ageing process isn’t always kind. As we march through our decades, we sometimes slowly realise we could have done more to take care of ourselves.

One of my steps is to preserve my physical muscle strength which I do through regular exercising. I also have a bit of Botox with the lovely Gavin Kirby at Dermal Synergy.

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

As I get older I have put a huge focus on my skincare regime. Cleansing and toning daily with a good moisturiser. My favourite range is No.7 — all their products leave my skin feeling nice and soft.

This month over 2,000 PureGym colleagues will be taking part in the Hearts & Minds Relay event to support both the British Heart Foundation and Mental Health UK. For more information see www.puregym.com

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