By Adam MacDougall, The Sunday Telegraph
HE interviews some of Australia’s biggest sporting personalities for Foxtel’s The Back Page, but when it comes to keeping fit, radio star and TV presenter Tony Squires takes a leaf out of ex-Prime Minister John Howard’s book.
Tony Squires and Adam MacDougall talk nutrition at Bronte. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts
“I don’t move at the same clip as John Howard or wear all the Australia gear, but I don’t mind getting out and having a bit of a walk,” Squires said.
“When you hit the big 5-5 and you’ve got a sedentary job like mine, moving gets more important than going to the gym, and you can do it just by going for a walk.”
Staying active pays big dividends in the high-pressure world of live TV and radio, Squires says. “Your back is straighter, your head is clearer and you feel ready to tackle the world and the camera when you’re moving more and eating the right foods. It opens up so much in terms of your career.”
But professional success is not the only thing motivating Squires to stay fit and healthy.
“I’ve got two young kids and they keep me physically fit chasing them up and down the stairs and kicking the footy around. Being a parent actually requires you to move more, but it also makes you think, ‘Am I going to be around to speak at your 21st?’ That’s motivation! Plus you want to appear as sprightly as the other dads doing the school pick-up.”
Staying active pays big dividends in the high-pressure world of live TV and radio. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts
Squires says keeping active is key to beating a sedentary lifestyle. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts
A bit of healthy competition and camaraderie is Squires’ top tip for days when exercising seems too hard. “I’ll admit I can get very lazy and when that happens I find it helps to grab a friend and say ‘Let’s do this together’. When you’re exercising with someone else you’re much more likely to stick with it.”
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“I played footy as a kid and as a young man, and the team environment made it easy, but I find trying to exercise by myself in a serious, huge sweat workout a struggle,” Squires said.
“I prefer going to the gym with a group. I always go with the same group so we know what level everyone’s at and we partner up and help each other along the way. It’s a matter of getting into a routine, going and doing it, and having a laugh with everyone.”
“Fitness isn’t just about physical health, but also social interaction. That’s important for your health too.”
A great way to get fit if you have a desk job is every hour set your alarm and see how many push ups or chair squats you can do in a minute.
“Diet directly affects my ability to do my job. If you’re not eating the right foods, it comes out in muddled thinking and feeling not quite together,” Squires said.
“As a kid I grew up in a very carb-loaded environment but now if I OD on carbs I just feel stodgy and tired. It’s like most things in life, you need to find the right balance.”
A good starting point, he says, is to get some expert help.
“It’s really easy, and I’ve been guilty of it, to go to the shop and think ‘that looks healthy’ or ‘that says it’s healthy’ when nine times out of 10 it’s not. So asking someone who knows what they’re talking about, like a dietitian, can help you make better choices.”
Squires’ breakfast of choice is high in protein and good fats, for a cracker start to the day.
“You can’t go wrong with eggs and avocado on toast. You get your protein from the egg and the avocado replaces the butter, which is good for me because I’m a bit of a butter lover and I have been known to overuse it,” he said.
“A breakfast like this gives me the kickstart I need in the morning and keeps me going.”
Tony Squires and Adam MacDougall are exclusively managed by The Fordham Company.