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Celebrity Health - Alan Brogan

Sporting fit

Born into a famous GAA family, Alan Brogan played in the senior Dublin football team for 13 years and was in the team that won three All-Irelands before his retirement last year. He lives in Dublin with his wife and two young sons

What sort of exercise do you do to keep in shape?

When I was in the Dublin inter-county GAA team I was in training 4-5 times a week, but since retiring, having two young kids and work I have toned it down. So now I would do three sessions per a week, with a couple on the pitch. My GAA career came to a natural end after winning three All-Irelands, but I am still trying to maintain the best shape as possible. I got into very good habits over 15 years of playing and nutrition was a very big part of our training regime – I have carried those habits into the rest of my life.

What sort of foods do you eat to stay healthy?

For breakfast I would have porridge with honey, a bowl of granola or Weetabix. I tend to get bored and switch them around. I also eat yogurt and I think fruit is very important - I try to get my 4-5 a day. I drink healthy orange juice with very little sugar. Lunch is usually high protein such as a chicken salad sandwich, or pasta if I am training that evening. Dinner is a family meal and it could be anything from lasagne to steak with plenty of vegetables. I make sure I am eating enough fruit and vegetables as these are essential. I do have the odd snack like ice-cream or chocolate if I have been working hard all week, have done my training – I think it’s important to reward yourself. We favour brown bread over white at home and try to do the right thing and follow guidelines as best we can. I have always liked food and trained hard. I think a small amount of anything will do you no harm. Balance is key and portion sizes need to be right.

Do you take any natural supplements?

When I was playing GAA competitively we used to take protein powders and multi-vitamins. Now I want to get all the vitamins and Omega 3 I need out of one capsule and take Cleanmarine Omega 3 Krill Oil for Men which also has vitamins D3, B1, B2 and B6. It ticks all the boxes in one supplement. It is good for your heart, skin and hair and testosterone which is important, and joints. I have had my troubles with joint pain after playing for years, so this is important to me. Like anything, you have to take it for a while to get the benefits. I have committed it to my daily routine.

Do you ever worry about your health?

Not really, but you do become more aware. I have had a healthy lifestyle over the last 15 years. I think it’s important to do the best you can, keep active and you will get the rewards in the long-term.

How do you relax when you are not in the public eye?

I spend time with my family. I now have more time to spend with my wife and children (age 7 and nearly 2). I like to watch a box set, I play a bit of golf – although have less time for it now. We go for family walks; we have a healthy family lifestyle.

Do you have any health tips for Rude Health readers?

From a nutritional point of view it’s important to plan your food at the start of the week. It’s impossible to eat healthily if you have to organise it after you get home from work every day. For training make a plan. Commit at the start of the week and follow through – don’t worry about 6 months at a time, just worry about that week. If you don’t plan, you definitely won’t do it.

Interview by Lucy Taylor. Photographs: Mark O’Sullivan.

                                         

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