Home Truths with Denise Lewis - can you guess what she does every single day?

The former Olympian and sports presenter Denise Lewis tells us how she relaxes when she's not juggling work and her four kids

Denise Lewis in a studio wearing a blue jumper, presenting her podcast
(Image credit: Google)

Former Olympian and sports presenter Denise Lewis lives at home in Buckinghamshire with her husband and four children, aged between 20 and four.

What is the first thing you do the second you walk through your front door?

I usually take my shoes off.

Denise Lewis at The Commonwealth Games

(Image credit: Getty Images/Karwai Tang)

What’s your favourite time of the day at home?

I actually think it’s night time, as even though I am up early with the kids to do the school run, I am a real night owl. I tend to potter about at night, getting things done that I haven’t had a chance to do when the kids are up. Then when it’s midnight, I’ll try and take myself off to bed.

Where’s your happy place at home?

I love my bed. Even though I am up late, I know that having eight hours sleep is essential, even if I don’t always get it.

What's on your bedside table?

Books! I love reading books but with a four-year-old it is often tricky to find the time so I tend to listen to audiobooks on the go. I also love to listen to all types of podcasts. 

That’s why I loved the opportunity to present my own one Runtethered, in partnership with Google Pixel Watch, where I chatted to a range of people about how they got into their chosen sport. 

It explores the benefits and joy that come from focusing on a sport, task or challenge - rather than your phone.

Denise Lewis in a studio wearing a blue jumper, presenting her podcast

(Image credit: Google)

What’s your home pet peeve?

I don’t have a pet peeve, although with a busy household it’s very noisy so I do like to embrace the peacefulness whenever I can get it.

Do you have a bad home habit you’d like to quit?

Not really, although as a family I try to encourage my kids not to be on their phones so much. I want them not to be distracted by scrolling through phones and hearing the pinging of their mobiles.

What chore do you love doing?

I enjoy cooking but I'm fortunate in that my husband likes to entertain. During lockdown, I enjoyed baking things, like sourdough for example, as I had the time.

Do you have any routines at home?

I have to have a morning routine because of the kids so I’m up to give them breakfast and take the younger ones to school. And I always try to get some exercise in at some point during the day, every day, even if it is just walking. 

The physical and mental wellbeing effects of being out in nature are amazing. Fortunately, where I live there are green spaces, trees and I love to hear the birds sing so I don’t have to go too far to find it.

Denise Lewis sitting wearing a white shirt

(Image credit: Getty Images/Julian Finney)

Do you think you’re a good host?

I don’t have the time to host a lot, which is why I’m lucky that my husband is the one who likes to entertain!

Has anything changed in the way you live your life at home ever since the pandemic?

There was obviously a lot of homeschooling going on then, but now things are back to normal, I suppose finding the small minutes of time I have to be myself is important. 

I have to highlight lockdown, because it was a very transformational time for me. Having been a busy working mum for so long, I enjoyed really focusing back on exercise and what it meant to me. 

It's so much more than looking and feeling good, it does wonders for the mind, too.

Quick fire questions with Denise Lewis

  • SHOES – ON OR OFF? Shoes off, definitely.
  • EAT – TABLE OR ON LAPS? This really depends as I like to encourage eating at the table, but occasionally we will eat on laps, particularly if there is something good on the TV.
  • ARE YOU A NEAT FREAK OR DO YOU PREFER TO BE SURROUNDED BY CREATIVE CHAOS? I do not like chaos around me so I’d like to say I prefer neat spaces, but when you have a four year old running around, that can be quite tricky to maintain.
  • QUICK SHOWER OR LONG BATH? I absolutely adore long baths but I’d have to say a quick shower as time is always of the essence.
  • ROOM DECOR – COLOURFUL OR NEUTRAL? Both. I have neutral colours that provide a space of calm but I also love a splash of colour.
  • DO YOU TEND TO HAVE MUSIC/THE RADIO/TV ON AT HOME IN THE BACKGROUND OR DO YOU PREFER A QUIET HOUSE? I have enough mayhem going on with my youngest, so I often have kids TV on in the background. But when I’m home alone, I love tranquillity. I enjoy the peace and quiet.

Runtethered with Denise Lewis is available from all podcast providers.

Freelance contributor