Week 8: Karl Henry's 10 steps to turn your health around
Live longer, healthier, happier with Karl Henry's #10turnaround
Step 8: surround yourself with fit and healthy people
So how are you doing so far on your 10 steps to health plan? By now you are on your way to building a full body workout routine that will help to tone and shape your body as well as giving you strength to live well. Your cardiovascular fitness has improved and you are now eating healthier that ever before, a big high 5 to you for all your work so far!
With step 8, I am going to introduce you to one of the most important aspects of overall health, yet one that a lot of people are afraid to face.
It is an area that can have the most direct impact on your health in the long term - it is your friends and partners.
The people you surround yourself with have a direct and crucial impact on your health, your waistline and your happiness.
Look around you. The habits and health of someone's social network will often reflect their own health. Drinkers mix with drinkers. Overeaters mix with overeaters and fit people tend to mix with other fit people.
So ask yourself. Do your friends spend all weekend in the pub? Do they live on takeaways? Are they healthy or unhealthy?
I am not saying you need to drop all your friends, but if you have a group of friends who are unhealthy, here are some simple tips to help change those habits:
1) Have a fitness Sunday: Each Sunday, pick a sport to try. Let each person from the group pick an event each week so that everyone gets a turn to choose.
2) Start a health challenge: Pick the habits that you want to change in the group and put a date in the diary to work towards. 30-day challenges work really well here, so for example: no takeaways for 30 days, etc.
3) Sign them up for a 5k run: Pick a run that's 8 weeks away, email around a couch to 5k training plan, and get training towards it, planning a night out afterwards.
4) Book a healthy holiday: Fed up going to the same booze and food holiday? Then book an adventure break to go on together.
If these four tips don't work for your group, then why not try and broaden your horizons and extend your social circle?
Make friends with those around you who live the healthy lifestyle that you aspire to - it may be scary but will make a big difference to your life and how you spend your time outside of work! Join a running club or a fitness class.
Remember, you need to fly with the eagles if you want to become an eagle yourself. Until next week!
Week 8 food task:
Aim to eat your food during the day within a 12-hour window, so whatever time you eat breakfast aim to have your last food no more than 12 hours later
Top 5 active holidays
1 The wild atlantic way: What an incredible success story this has been. The whole 2,500 km route is awash with activities, scenery and parts of Ireland you have never seen. See wildatlanticway.com for more details.
2 Surfing: We have some of the best surf in the world in Ireland, with surf schools dotted all around the country. It's fantastic for all the family as it's such good value. Most surf lessons cost around ¤35 euro for a two-hour lesson, including board and wetsuit hire.
3 Adventure centre breaks: What's better than getting away from it all, experiencing new sports and activities, being a big child for the day, pushing your body and your mind? Even better, you can unwind and enjoy the local food in the evenings guilt-free. See Carlingford adventure centre or Delphi adventure centre and spa for example.
4 Running the town: Do you travel a lot for work and always find excuses not to exercise? In the past year there has been a big growth in running tours. You can now book a running tour of Dublin, Cork and Galway. A great way to ensure you get your run in!
5 Bootcamps: Get a holiday, get fit and have fun all in the same week. Bootcamps are springing up all over and they are a great way to spend a week off. They cater for all levels of fitness and give you the tools to stay fit.
Week eight: summary
* Check your weight, waist measurement and your fitness levels to measure your progress.
* Up your efforts on resistance and try and do the eight exercises you have learned during your resistance workouts. l Always work to your ability and take breaks.
* Check with your doctor before any new programme.
* Have all meals in a 12-hour window. Snack on nuts, add lemon to water and eat good fats. Eat oats or eggs for breakfast, have greens with at least two meals and swap your white food for brown.
Exercise of the week: Single arm row
What you need: Dumbells or water bottles
Frequency: Perform the exercise for one minute continuously
Exercises at a glance
Tuesday: Resistance -aim for 4 sets: Single arm row, military press, side lat raises, tricep dip, side leg raises, static ski squat, table press-up Perform each for one minute = one set
Wednesday: Fitness test
Thursday: As Tuesday
Friday: Rest or Cardio (running, walking or tennis, etc)
Saturday: As Thursday
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step back with your right foot. Place your left hand on the left knee and lower your right hand towards the floor holding the weight.
Bring the elbow back up higher than the shoulder and repeat for one minute.
You can join the conversation on twitter #10turnaround; email karlhenry@ independent.ie