Health Scan: Mairead McGuinness


Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle?
Well, yes and no. I know what a healthy lifestyle is and there are days when I’m right up there with the best of them and then there are days when I fail miserably. I’m a disgrace when it comes to rest and relaxation.

How often do you exercise?
In my mind, I never stop exercising, but in reality I do very little. The European Parliament is a very large building and walking to meetings at a fast pace is probably exercise enough for now. I walk around airports a bit too. A year ago I gave up trying to do regular exercise and it was a very good decision to stop torturing myself about not going to the gym.
Do you get your five a day?

Yes, most days I do. I love fruit and veg. I eat a banana to recharge my batteries but I really love summer fruits, especially raspberries and strawberries because we grew them on the farm when I was young. My real weakness is for home-grown Victoria plums. I have two trees.

Do you worry?
I knit my own worries – don’t we all? Of course I worry, but I’m getting better at streamlining them on a need-to-worry basis. I have to admit I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

What do you do to relax?
I take to the fields and wallow in the delight of it all. I get on very well with myself and I absolutely adore nature. I love the ordinary things, which most of the time are unavailable to me because my work takes me away.

What’s your unhealthiest habit?
The failure to switch off – this is a really serious vice. My brain is always on overdrive. And I probably don’t get enough sleep but I’m not convinced that people who stay in bed too long are any better off.

Mobile technology is a really unhealthy part of my life – I need to learn to switch it and myself off. But at least I know what needs changing and isn’t that half the battle?