Emma Gunavardhana caught up with Kirsty Gallacher to talk New Year’s resolutions, fitness, diet and the trial-and-error nature of her beauty regime
With the New Year comes resolutions and the desire to be a little bit better than you were before. Kirsty Gallacher, 37, loves the fresh start, but it isn’t about unrealistic goals or unachievable expectations. The Sky Sports News presenter, who is mother to two boys Oscar, seven, and Jude, three, says ‘variety’ is the key to keeping health and fitness fresh all year long.
Kirsty, who is married to former England Rugby Union star Paul Sampson, has recently rediscovered her passion for tennis, but cites brisk walks with her dog, sprint training and classes as her key to staying healthy. GTG caught up with Kirsty to get the low-down on being focussed in 2014, her beauty regime and how she manages a healthy diet with her busy work schedule.
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?
I love a fresh start and I love the New Year, but I don’t write down my resolutions. I used to, but I felt sad or that I’d let myself down if I ever didn’t stick to them. The beginning of the year always feels like a good time to start over with lots of things though.
Are you a perfectionist in your approach to a fresh start?
I’m definitely a perfectionist. I’m a little obsessive in how tidy and organised I am and I absolutely love a clear-out, it’s my ideal time. I love how it allows me to do the things I want to do. In terms of resolutions I tend to make a decision I want to do something and then I take some time to think about how to make it happen.
Leaving 2013, what are your hopes for 2014?
It’s not been a great year for us. It’s been fantastic work wise, but in other ways it has been challenging [Kirsty’s golfer father Bernard Gallacher suffered a heart attack in August] so I’m embracing the New Year. For a lot of people who’ve had tough times it’s a chance to put a bad year behind them and that makes it quite exciting.
Perhaps the most common resolutions centre on health; do you have a fitness philosophy?
I’ve always been active and one thing I’ve learned is that being active is key. Trying to keep fit and exercising is good, but active can mean not taking shortcuts in your daily life or doing things that’ll elevate your heart rate and get you going.
Has the way you stay active changed?
In my 20s I used to have a personal trainer, but I couldn’t do that now because I’d be forever cancelling sessions due to work commitments and the kids. I work full time so I switch-up my routine depending on how much time I have and from week-to-week to keep my body guessing. With fitness it can be easy to lose momentum when you aren’t keeping it fresh and exciting.
How do you change it up to suit you?
I do all sorts of things to be active whether that’s walking the dog and making sure it’s a brisk walk or sprint training on the treadmill. Some weeks I might try to do classes, workout with friends or run in a group because staying fit doesn’t need to be lonely. There are so many things you can build into your day that’ll keep you healthy, like using the stairs, going for a bike ride etc, it’s just about building them into your lifestyle.
What’s your favourite exercise?
When I was growing up I wanted to be a professional tennis player and I’ve recently taken it up again and it has been lovely. The thing I enjoy most is that I’m much more in control of what I do. I’m not as knowledgeable as a personal trainer, but that’s where the variety and keeping my body guessing helps. Plus, you don’t have to slog it out for an hour to tick that box if you haven’t got the time, you can still fit something in and feel great.
Do you ever train with weights?
Yes, I incorporate them into controlled exercises such as lunges, squats and bicep curls. I think using weights has a bad reputation for either bulking up or being difficult, but resistance work is great for tone. Plus, you can think laterally with something like weights; if you don’t have a dumbbell use a heavy book or a bottle of water.
Is your active lifestyle why you are working with sportswear brand USA Pro?
I jumped at the chance to work with them because it’s such a female friendly, vibrant, affordable brand. I love all the designs because they are so wearable and I felt I was always looking for fitness gear that was lighter, brighter and a little more fashion, and USA Pro ticked that box. I also like that you can mix and match and that it looks so good that it’s wearable in and out of the gym.
How do you approach your diet?
We have a very balanced diet in our household and I’m actually quite anti-diet. My mum is a dietician and she says ‘everything in moderation’ so that means you can have a bit of chocolate and the odd take-away. The fact is if you deny yourself, you want it more. I listen to my body and I know that having a balanced diet works for me.
What do you eat the most of?
We eat quite a lot of vegetarian food as I’m not a huge meat eater. I am a huge animal lover and I tried being vegetarian, but it made me unwell, so I make sure we only eat very responsibly farmed meat.
What do your boys, Oscar, seven, and Jude, three, like to eat?
My kids are interesting; one eats meat and the other doesn’t. So we’ll have veggie sausages and meat sausages. We might eat out with them now and again, but we’re always mindful to keep it healthy and again variety is important.
How do you eat healthily with such a hectic schedule for Sky Sports?
For me it tends to be last minute, but I always eat well. When I’m working my husband has the children and I’ll leave food or suggest meals, but Fridays and weekends are my time in the kitchen.
Are supplements something you add into your diet?
I do take supplements and again I try to change it up. So, for example, I take Echinacea in the winter to help me fend off colds and viruses and then I take Well Woman tablets and a good multivitamin. Occasionally I’ll take vitamin D in the darker months, especially as I don’t drink a lot of milk. It’s something I stay aware of and change-up depending on the time of year.
What’s your favourite beauty secret?
I’m a big fan of cleansing with muslin cloths and a foaming gel or cleanser to take my make-up off. They are brilliant for getting all your make-up off and gently cleansing and exfoliating the face. That’s probably my secret, taking off all my make-up before bed, using a thick night cream and drinking tonnes of water.
What beauty secret would you share with your 20-year-old self?
I’ve always been very respectful of my skin and I’ve never not used the right skincare. The only thing I’d say is that I might have started using anti-ageing skincare earlier. I’m a big fan of hyaluronic acid and use the Rodial and Nip + Fab products for that reason as they have some great skincare with that in it.
Do you feel you really know your skin now?
I really look after my skin and I have to use gentle skincare so I never use soap. I think it’s so important to respect your face and your skin especially in London with the pollution. I’m much more aware of it now being a bit older and I feel like I need to step it up.
What’s the key to finding the best skincare for you?
For me it was trial and error. We’ve all bought Crème de la Mer and thought it’s going to be brilliant… I’ve tried a lot of products because I love them so I know I can’t do rich products and oils, they just don’t agree with me at all. Again, I’ve settled with brands like Rodial and Dr Murad because the suit my skin.
Kirsty Gallacher is the USA Pro Ambassador. For more information, visit www.usapro.co.uk and follow @USAProUK on Twitter