Lifestyles - Mary Kennedy

Self-discipline is the essence of top RTE news-reader, Mary Kennedy's philosophy on healthy living.

Mary is currently toying with the idea of running the Dublin City marathon in October and, in preparation, runs between four and five times a week.

She reveals to "I haven't actually committed myself to running the marathon yet but I'm really enjoying the training right now, so who knows?

"Some years ago, the late Noel Carroll had a marathon training schedule published in the RTE Guide and I recently got it out of the library. Basically, it encourages you to increase your distance by maybe ten minutes a session.

"I'm actually finding it works too, there's no great hardship involved."

Mary's endlessly healthy appearance is maintained by a common-sense approach to exercise and diet. Having been a sprinter during her college days, she has always maintained a love for athletics and, even when not in training for any specific event, she likes to do at least three 40 minute runs a week.

From October 2, she will be returning to our screens with the popular Open House live afternoon programme from the studio in Donnybrook and this, evidently, will curtail her running.

But Mary explains "my routine will all fall apart terribly when the programme returns if I let it. But I'm determined not to. If I don't run, I just feel bad about myself. Say, if I didn't run for three weeks, I'd just feel awful.

"I'm a great believer in the connection between feeling good physically and mentally."

Mary doesn’t have a sweet tooth and, as much as possible, her diet is concentrated around salads and vegetables. She reveals "I'm lucky in that I actually love that kind of food.

"I get a box of organic vegetables delivered to the house once a week with recipes attached for quiches, soups and that. There's always some weird and wonderful stuff in the box and, because they’re not cheap, you’re certainly not inclined to let them rot.

"I mean one thing I would never really have eaten in the past is spinach, but I love it now."

Mary hugely enjoys eating out with friends, but prefers not to dine too late at night. She doesn’t drink spirits or beer, preferring white wine.

Aromatherapy is also part of her health routine and she adds "I also burn the oils. To me, relaxation is very important and I mean real as distinct from imaginary relaxation. I'm nearly 46 and just don't believe you can abuse your body without suffering for it afterwards.

"I also believe that one of the greatest innovations of recent times has been the water machines in work-places. I drink a lot of water during the course of the day, much more so than coffee now."

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