Life Fitness

Saturday 30 August 2014

Move yourself, not mountains

Aim to improve health, says Karl Henry

Karl Henry

Published 16/06/2013 | 05:00

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Porridge is cheap and nutritious

Sometimes I believe there is too much on weight loss, and even fat loss. Don't get me wrong – we have an obesity epidemic in Ireland, and my specialist area with clients is weight loss, but there will always be a percentage of the population for whom losing weight is not a priority.

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They are happy as they are and nothing will change that.

The good news, however, is that you can be overweight but fitter and healthier. You can increase your life expectancy, reduce symptoms of arthritis and bring down your blood pressure and cholesterol without trying to lose any weight at all.

Exercise is what you need to do more of. Not necessarily gym work – even walking to the shops more often, leaving the car at home or using the stairs instead of lifts will help improve your body's efficiency.

There is a direct link between fitness levels and cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders and overall health.

For those of you who are fed up of being bombarded with the message about losing weight, that's cool, but wouldn't you want to extend your lifespan and reduce your medical bills?

In an ideal world, shedding pounds would be part of this, but you don't need to – and I won't try to convince you.

By moving more and doing some exercise, you can make a dramatic difference to your life – and the life of those around you.

One of the worst problems with carrying excess weight is low energy levels, but, by getting more exercise into your day, you can dramatically increase them.

Don't believe me? Well, do me one favour: try to move more, even just for a week, and see the difference it makes.

HEALTHY breakfast Kick ass porridge

Porridge is cheap, packed with nutrients and will keep you full of energy . Now, I'm not the best cook on the planet, so all the recipes in my column are super-easy to make. For yummy porridge, try this.

Method

* Put one cup of organic jumbo oats into a pot.

* Now add one-and-a-half cups of slimline milk, or water if you like. Stir gently and leave to steep overnight.

* Add a spoonful of mixed seeds, nuts or raisins.

* Now warm on a low heat for two to three minutes, stirring all the time so you don't burn porridge on the base of the pot.

* Add organic honey and enjoy.

With this method, the oats soak up so much flavour and deliver a better taste, combined with honey, seeds, nuts or raisins for an extra kick.

Run for fun

If you are looking for an outdoor adventure this weekend, head out to St Anne's Park in Dublin tomorrow for the Mid Summer 5km run/ walk. You can enter from 9am near the children's playground and all funds raised will go to Childline. Entry costs €20 and the event starts at 11am.

See ispcc.ie for more.

Track your time

With so much cycling and running taking place all over Ireland, there has been an explosion in the use of GPS watches.

These watches will give you your time, distance, speed, calories and heart rate, among a host of other functions, and can really help when you are training for an event.

You can also transfer the data to your computer and send it to friends to show them what you have achieved.

There are lots of brands, but my own is a Garmin Forerunner 410 –highly recommended.

Irish Independent

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