Health Scan: Malcolm O’Kelly

Former rugby international


Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle?
I certainly try. I work in healthcare now so it’s very much in my mind, but it’s not easy because I am so busy. When you are a professional athlete, you spend all your time being fit, but then when you get into the real world, you spend all your time trying to work. I have to make time to stay fit.

How often do you exercise?
I do a little bit every day. I try to walk the dog every day and do a bit of yoga or get out for a game of golf once a week. I’m doing the Great Ethiopian Run for Plan Ireland in November so I’ll start training by doing some runs but not too much mileage because of the old knees. I’d row as opposed to run and then rely on that mileage to do the run itself.

Do you get your five a day?
If I listened to my stomach, I’d eat twice as much as would be the norm. Back in the day, I would have been eating for the calories because I was doing so much training. I love apples and bananas and I eat a lot of greens so I would eat a balanced diet definitely, mainly because my wife insists on it.

Do you worry?
Transitioning out of sport, you can get preoccupied with where you are going but now, I wouldn’t worry as much because I’m living very much in the present moment. If there is something big coming up, I’d go through it a lot in my head but I’d try to do something about it – there is nothing worse than worrying and not doing something about it.

What do you do to relax?
I play golf when I can but I also like to walk my dog to relax.

What’s your unhealthiest habit?
I drink way too much coffee, six or seven cups a day. I like a few pints and I find it hard to have just a few when I go out, I like the odd binge.


at 7.30, Malcolm hosts a Great Ethiopian Run information evening at the Great Outdoors, Chatham Street, Dublin. Visit