Get the balance right and you'll reap rewards
Don't overthink what you're eating and doing this week because you need to let your hair down every now and then, says Karl Henry
In the middle of the biggest eating and drinking festival of the year, I have to write a health column. Each column I write, is written with the aim of grabbing the readers' attention, delivering simple yet effective content that will improve the health of the reader and also a column that is enjoyable to read. So the pressure is on, what can I write about today that will do all of those things?
What if I was to tell you that the very best thing you can do for your health over the coming days is to have fun, to enjoy yourself and enjoy the nights out.
Don't overthink what you're eating and what you're doing because now is the time to have that fun.
Aiming to live a healthy lifestyle should be the goal of every gym member, every class attendee, everyone looking to lose weight should have a long-term healthy lifestyle as their main goal. Part of that healthy lifestyle is knowing when to relax, have fun, enjoy yourself and not feel guilty about it.
So many strict diets and strict regimes can be too extreme to really last for a long period of time, and balance is frowned upon.
Training five days a week, eating chicken and broccoli every meal, having meal replacement drinks instead of eating- I can write a long list - but in my opinion, don't waste your money.
Find a way to create balance in your life, in your training, in your eating, in your motivation; this should be your true goal.
I think it should start with Christmas. Don't go crazy every evening, just pick the ones you want to enjoy, eat healthily most of the time and enjoy your treats.
When beginning to think about resolutions and what you want to work towards in the new year, then why not think of what you can do that is moderate and doable, as opposed to something out of reach.
Why not avoid the seemingly easy method that will help you part with your hard-earned money but will help you put the weight back on that you have lost in the long run? Balance is key in all of these decisions, so why not make it your key word when it comes to making them?
If there is one thing I have learnt from my 16 years of personal training, from all of the clients that I have worked with, it's that once you have balance, you have to have fun.
Finding an exercise that you enjoy is the second key component for achieving the target of a healthy lifestyle in the long run.
Don't continue to struggle with all the exercise routines that you hate, no matter what the promised results are, if you don't enjoy it, it's not going to last, no matter what happens!
We are pretty lucky in Ireland to be in a country where exercise is in vogue, there are more classes and trainers than ever before, a greater variety of exercise methods than ever before and also we live in a country with an incredible amount of sports to try out.
Potentially, with your extra time off over Christmas, it could be a perfect time to try something new.
I suppose my final message in this column, is one of thanks. Thank you for reading my words each week, for your questions and feedback with the benefits you have gained by following the advice and thank you for aiming to live a healthier life.
I am privileged to be writing these columns, to be passionate about health and wanting to get my message to as many people as possible, this column gives me a fantastic way to do that.
No matter what you do this Christmas or where you spend it, I want to wish you and yours a very merry and happy Christmas, enjoy your time off, have fun and hopefully Santa will visit you!
Me, I will be going for a nice run on Christmas morning around the hills of Clonakilty, jumping in for the Christmas day swim in Inchydoney beach, and then settling down for what is probably my favourite meal of the year, with all the trimmings, accompanied by a nice bottle of Stonewell cider with the Christmas movie by the fire.