We sat down with Irish rugby star Tommy Bowe to discuss health, fitness and his views on tackling the childhood obesity epidemic hitting Ireland.

Childhood Obesity
Tommy joined Subway's Sports for Schools initiative in order to encourage children across Ireland to get fit and healthy. As it stands, Ireland has one of the highest obesity rates in Europe with one in four Irish children being overweight.

"It's a pretty scary thought but I think that initiatives like this and actually getting started early and getting into schools, getting into primary schools, secondary school, and getting people out and getting them active...

He added: "It doesn't have to be taking part in sports that maybe they're not interested in, it could be really simple things that you could do on your own or with your friends.

"I think sport is about making friends and I think, certainly in my past, that's why I loved it so much and hopefully other people find that too."

Getting Fit
When it comes to staying fit in when you're short on time, the Monaghan man has one routine that never fails.

"My favourite exercise, although I hate it, is on the rowing machine because it works your arms, works your legs, it works all over your body.

"It is really tough but you can go on it for five or ten minutes, go as hard as you can and it gets a really good workout in a short space of time.

For me, shorter is better even though it is pretty brutal.

Staying Fit
In terms of staying fit in his later years, Tommy is more than aware that his life on the rugby pitch has led to more than a few injuries that he will need to stay on top of as he gets older. 

"As you get older - certainly for me, I feel like I'm one of the older guys on the rugby team - it is harder to keep up with the young guys who are coming through who are so fit and so active but I think it's important, as you get older, to keep [up] with your fitness.

I know as I get older, after rugby and even into the future, it's very important to not just give up. It's important not to just kind of be happy with walking; exercise can come in so many different forms.

"I think you have to look after your body and certainly with the injuries that I've had over the years, it will be important for me to maintain a certain level of fitness to hope that those aches and pains stay away but when they do [appear] its a case of working hard, getting into the gym, getting into the pool, onto the bike. 

"There are so many different ways of getting out there, getting a sweat on and keeping healthy."