Health Scan: Dr Clare O'Leary, Everest climber

Dr Clare O'Leary: grew up on a healthy diet.

Dr Clare O'Leary: grew up on a healthy diet.


Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle?

I’d say I do, yes. I’m pretty disciplined because between balancing my work as a doctor and training, you have to be. My diet is not particularly strict but it’s healthy.

How often do you exercise?

I train five or six days a week. That’s a mixture of strength training in the gym and aerobic training. In the evenings I run, or cycle on a stationary bike for about two hours. A lot of what I do involves pulling a sled weighing 70-90kg. Pulling tyres simulates that, so at weekends I usually do that.

I’m heading to Lake Baikal in Siberia on February 17th.

The aim is to ski the length of the lake which is about 700km. It will be covered in snow in places and some of it is just pure ice. The lake is about the size of France but is surrounded on all sides by mountains so you can get really ferocious winds. It’s my first time there, so it’s very much a trip into the unknown. It hasn’t been done by an Irish team before.

Do you get your five a day?

My diet is healthy because it’s just what I’ve grown up with. It’s not that I try to get five a day, I just usually do. Breakfast is usually porridge with some fruit, or scrambled eggs and a bagel.

Do you worry?

Sometimes, but I definitely wouldn’t describe myself as a worrier.

What do you do to relax?

Training helps me to relax. I do some yoga as well. If I can get plenty of air and exercise, I’m usually fine.

What’s your unhealthiest habit?

I have a sweet tooth. I love apple pie with ice cream. I’ll probably be burning about 5,000 calories a day in Siberia so I have to carry a lot of high calorie food. You end up eating a lot of chocolate.

Clare O’Leary is a patron of Cork University Hospital.