Health scan: Pat Spillane, former Kerry footballer


Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle?
It’s not too bad. I’d swim five or six days a week – in the sea from June to October and in the pool for the winter. I have a slight problem in that my knee is banjaxed. I can walk for about an hour at a time but that would be probably be just once a week. I need a knee replacement but I’ll hold off on it as long as I can.

How often do you exercise?
I’d swim for 25 or 30 minutes and then I’d spend the next hour between the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. That’s the benefit of being retired. My father died of a sudden heart attack in his early 40s so there is a history of heart disease. I was still playing when I discovered I had high cholesterol. I was shocked because you presume fit people don’t have high cholesterol. I’ve been watching my diet every since. My wife is very good at keeping me off the unhealthy foods – no fries, no butter and no salt.

Do you get your five a day?
I wouldn’t make the five. I’d have one or two vegetables with dinner. I’ve never cooked in my life so whatever I get, I eat. I don’t eat enough fruit.

Do you worry?
I can sleep for ten hours and I rarely worry but I would occasionally get stressed. It would probably be monetary. Or if I’m watching my young lad playing in a game.

What do you do to relax?
My therapy is watching sport, I watch all sports, morning, noon and night. I can detach myself and enjoy them all. I can go ten hours watching everything from Gaelic, to rugby to soccer to racing. I devour sports books and the sports pages too. That’s my escape.

What’s your unhealthiest habit?
I don’t smoke but I like my few drinks – an occasional can of Coors Light during the week and a pint of Smithwicks on a Sunday.
Pat is a Flora pro.activ Cholesterol Club ambassador. Email for a starter pack.