Sunday 18 August 2019

Simon Harris says Leo Varadkar would beat him in a 'press up' contest

Kate O'Flaherty, head of Health & Well Being Department of Health, with (Back row L to R) Minister of State Catherine Byrne TD, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD & Minister for Health Simon Harris TD during a Healthy Ireland Campaign Launch 2019 at Richmond Barracks, Inchicore, Dublin
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Kate O'Flaherty, head of Health & Well Being Department of Health, with (Back row L to R) Minister of State Catherine Byrne TD, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD & Minister for Health Simon Harris TD during a Healthy Ireland Campaign Launch 2019 at Richmond Barracks, Inchicore, Dublin Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Eilish O’Regan

Health Minister Simon Harris has admitted that gym fan Taoiseach Leo Varadkar would beat him in a “press-up” contest.

But he said he joked that he would emerge the winner in if they went head to head to find out their metabolic age.

Mr Harris, who is in his early thirties, and Mr Varadkar, who turned 40 in January, were launching a €1m Healthy Ireland fund to be distributed to local authorities in a bid to get more people to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Mr Harris said: ”I haven’t had my metabolic age checked but I am willing to give him a run for his money on that one but I think he would win on the press-ups.”

He was referring to Mr Varadkar’s recent assessment on the TV programme Operation Transformation showing him to have a “metabolic age” of 53.

Mr Varadkar said it is not something to be embarrassed about and it is important that people take part in these assessments.

He said: “When you are trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle, it can be hard to know what to do and even where to start.

“The Healthy Ireland 2019 campaign aims to help you get the information you need to make positive changes to improve your physical and mental health. Through Healthy Ireland, we are growing awareness in every county to make it easier for you to know where you can make that healthy start in your own community so you can eat better, exercise more and feel better.

“If you want to get started, check out gov.ie/HealthyIreland for more information.”

Mr Harris said the new phase of the campaign being launched today “will help us get the messages of Healthy Ireland to an even wider audience.

“The work already underway through Healthy Ireland at national and local level, including through the growing Healthy Cities and Counties initiative, will be expanded as we seek to engage every family and community in improving the health of the nation.”

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