Karl Henry: Getting healthy should be very easy and made accessible to everyone
The fitness expert shares his tips on how to achieve lifelong results without resorting to the latest quick-fix diet or cutting anything out
Over the last few weeks we have had lots of new clients coming in, ready to get into the best shape ever for the summer.
Every year, March is one of our busiest months. Why? It's pretty simple - every January, people jump on to the New Year's resolution train, looking for the latest fad and quick fix that seems incredibly simple or just over-restrictive. They last for a few weeks and then fall off the wagon having spent their hard-earned cash.
Then, come March, it's time to do it properly, healthily and that's where we come in.
We sell hard work, eating well but not cutting anything out. We sell lifelong health through long-term change. Shouldn't that be what real health is about? Trying to be healthier for your life as opposed to meal replacements or nutrient elimination or working out so hard you can't move for a week afterwards?
Sure, it works for some, but that is generally a small percentage.
This week I thought I would bring you some of our tips that we give to our clients when they come in, tips that may seem very simple, but will make a big difference to how you feel, look and think about health - tips that we have learnt from experience.
In terms of food:
Your food shop is one of the key areas of your week. Get it right and you will be rocking for the week. Don't believe me? Then play the trolley game.
Try to match the abandoned trolley in the supermarket to the owner who will come back and push it, if its full of unhealthy products, chances are the person pushing it will be unhealthy looking and overweight and the opposite applies for a trolley full of healthy products.
This will prove to you just how relevant your food shop is to your health.We normally tell our clients to buy products that:
* have a short shelf life. Fresh foods don't last long and shelf lives are a simple way of checking for that. Products with long shelf lives are normally a lot lower in nutrients and less healthy than the ones they replace;
* have few ingredients on the label. Products with fewer ingredients are normally healthier, with less additives and preservatives than others. May seem simple, but its effective;
* foods that you have to cook or prepare yourself. This is about taking it back to basics, making it old school, if you have to cook or prepare it, then you are making something from scratch;
* are organic. I know they are more expensive, but in my opinion both fruit, veg and meat that are organic taste better. It may be a subliminal thought, but it's just my opinion - I feel better eating organic for sure.
Anywhere you spend time during the day needs to be stocked with food and water early in the week. If the healthy food is there, then you will eat it, if not, then you will snack on other things, so stock it up.
Food is crucial, regular readers of my column will know that.
Once you have improved that, its time to hit the exercise - it's so important. Real results need gym work. Pure and simple. So here's what we recommend:
* work hard enough to ensure you're getting out of breath but can still hold a conversation or until you're fully out of breath. Both will work, the latter probably best using high intensity interval work, but that can be a bit scary for some, so the talk test will work just fine;
* make sure you're enjoying it. Exercise needs to be fun to last in the long run. Keep searching until you find something you enjoy;
* ensure you are doing full-body resistance training. Don't just pick your favourite bodyparts, work the WHOLE body. You can't spot reduce, so work all of the body to get the best results;
* yes, cardio is important for your lungs, your heart, your fat burning and your mental health. Walk, run, surf, whatever takes your fancy. It's also another long-term tool that will make a big difference.
These are just some of the tips we give our clients.
What we aim to do is cut through all the extreme recommendations because 90pc of the population are turned off by that.
Getting healthy should be made easy and accessible to all - we need more people moving and eating better and here is a start to help you make those changes.
Try it and watch what happens!