women

The Sky Sports presenter and mother of two, 36, just can’t live without exercise. We reveal the fitness regime that keeps her looking and feeling great.

With a cup of tea – strong, dash of milk, no sugar – in one hand and a toasted English muffin in the other, Kirsty Gallacher relaxes onto the sofa to begin our interview. H&F has been invited along to Kirsty’s first photoshoot with sportswear brand USA Pro (sportsdirect.com/usa-pro), for which she is the new ambassador.

“It’s a wonderful brand to be working with,” says Kirsty. “It means a lot to me to help with their relaunch, because training is a big part of my life.” USA Pro’s new range of fitness basics include bra tops, vest tops, T-shirts, shorts, leggings and Capri pants. Coral and red feature heavily in the range – colours Kirsty previously rarely wore when working out. “It’s all about comfort for me and usually dark colours,” she says. “But [pointing to the USA Pro clothes] these bright colours definitely perk me up! When you’re training you don’t want to wear something that’s unflattering – I always wear capri pants because I think they flatter my legs the most.

“I like tight-fitting fitness wear because then I feel like everything is contained! Your clothes have to be supportive, especially for the upper body. I have a bust, although it’s not as big as it used to be. With a proper bra, your posture is better for exercising, too. So that’s how Kirsty dresses for exercise, but how does she maintain the enviable figure underneath?

Kirsty’s workout regime

“I aim to do three short exercise sessions per week of, at the very least, half an hour each,” says Kirsty. “I go to the gym to do interval training and circuit-based workouts. I’m in and out; I don’t slog it out for hours. I make every exercise I do count. It’s quality, not quantity.”

Kirsty’s fitness regime could be called the 20-20-20 workout. “I power hard and fast on the rower for 20 seconds then return to a normal pace for 20 seconds before doing it again and again” she says. “I do this for about 20 minutes. It’s great for cardio and strength.” Next Kirsty hits a circuit of press-ups, weighted lunges and stomach exercises, doing 20 reps of each exercise before taking a rest for 20 seconds. “I keep doing this until I fatigue. The whole workout takes about half an hour in total.” she says.

As a mother of two young boys, Oscar, aged five and Jude, aged two, Kirsty admits that she does have body insecurities, despite being a svelte size 8 and weighing in at a healthy eight stone 10lbs. “My skin has changed a lot since having children, it seems thinner and baggier, especially on my stomach and my arms. When I’m standing up you don’t notice it, but when I sit down it puckers up. It makes me feel old. Maybe I’ve just got too much skin now!

Maintaining a good skincare routine and putting in plenty of hard work at the gym is Kirsty’s way of boosting her confidence and sense of wellbeing. “Exercise, or just being active in general, keeps you in touch with your body. When I say “in touch” I mean in control,” she says, “I like to think I’m controlling how my body looks and my own perception of my body is better as a result”

Description: I love feeling pain. When I’m sore after a workout I actually think “Wow, yeah, I feel really good!”

I love feeling pain. When I’m sore after a workout I actually think “Wow, yeah, I feel really good!”

Role models

An athletic body is Kirsty’s ideal. Working with and interviewing female athletes (for Sky TV) on a daily basis has given Kirsty a deeper appreciation of what the female body is capable of. “The ideal body for me is one where every muscle is accounted for – but not in a bodybuilder way!” she says. “That’s my dream, but I don’t have time to train like an athlete. I’d love to set a couple of months aside to just train and train. I love men and women to have strong bodies, not skinny bodies,”

Over the years Kirsty has been inspired by a great number of sportswomen, but none more than Paula Radcliffe. “When I interviewed her we were both about six months pregnant,” remembers Kirsty. “She told me she intended to carry on running until she was seven months pregnant and I sat there thinking, “Oh my God, you’re incredible!” I felt so huge next to her, she didn’t look six months pregnant! Her doctors had said it was fine because her body was used to it. That’s the key, I guess your body adapts to any level of activity.”

 

Everything in moderation

Despite following a disciplined exercise and diet regime, Kirsty allows herself one cheat day per week. “Curry is my ultimate comfort food. I love really hot and spicy food. This is closely followed by Italian food,” she says. On an average day Kirsty has a breakfast of porridge made with water and a sprinkling of salt, upholding her Scottish roots, topped with a dribble of semi-skimmed milk. At work, Kirsty orders a vegetable soup with a wholemeal bagel for lunch. At home Kirsty joins her children for dinner, cooked by her nanny, of spaghetti Bolognese, made from scratch with quorn mince and lots of vegetables.

“Paul [Kirsty’s ex-rubgy player husband] and I went vegetarian for a while,” reveals Kirsty.

“I only lasted seven months though because I was getting horrendous headaches. I think I was lacking in vitamin B. I’d rather not eat meat, but when I do I make sure it’s the best-quality organic meat I can find.”

Not one to diet, Kirsty prefers to curb bad habits occasionally to keep her weight under control. ‘Sometimes I might say to myself, “Right, this week is a healthy week”. This just means I won’t have two portions of dinner and I’ll say no to the biscuits being handed round at work. I don’t cut out food groups, that’s crazy,’ she says.

Description: Paula Radcliffe’s inspiring attitude makes her Kirsty’s role model.

Paula Radcliffe’s inspiring attitude makes her Kirsty’s role model.

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