Karl Henry: How Twitter can make you fitter
If you're interested in improving your health, using social media in an informed way can definitely expand your exercise horizons, writes our fitness expert
Videos, blogs, groups, photos, tips, routes and a whole lot more. Social media has become an integral part of getting fitter and healthier, giving you access to a huge amount of support and motivation instantly. Videos of exercise routines and sessions, there is no end to the amount of content out there.
Twitter is my favourite. An ability to follow experts, innovators and others out there who think along the same wavelength, it's fantastic. One of the functions on it that I now use a lot of is the ability to ask questions and get a poll review to see what options people choose. It gives an insight into the opinions and thoughts of people, and I have been so impressed with the results.
For example, did you know that:
• 56pc of people eat porridge for breakfast in Ireland
• 44pc of people have a sandwich for lunch
• 82pc of people are in favour of a sugar tax
How cool is that? To get feedback on what people do is fantastic, and very handy for anyone involved in the health business.
Getting people healthy is my mission in life and if you want to get healthy, then you simply have to start looking through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat and use these to keep yourself on track.
YouTube is another great resource for exercise, yoga/pilates sessions and cardio workouts, too. I use them all the time myself for treadmill and spin bike sessions - they help me to work harder and get more from those workouts. When someone is pushing you, you work harder, no doubt about it!
The most important thing to remember when beginning to look for who to follow is to surround yourself with people you like, whose message you believe in and whose tips you can apply to your own life.
It's great to look at someone trying to get to a very low body fat, but if you are just starting out, then this might be too extreme for you, so spend some time looking at the accounts, the type of recipes, the style of the programmes and the overall approach and ensure that it aligns with what you are aiming to do.
Do that and you are on to a winner.
This week I thought I would also answer some of the questions I have been getting via email, especially after Easter Sunday.
How many sit-ups do I need to do to get a six-pack?
I get asked this all the time and the reality is that sit-ups won't give you that six-pack you desire. Six-packs are made in the kitchen, eating healthily with plenty of lean protein and green veggies and then improved in the gym with full-body weights programmes and then hard cardio, using intervals or just hard sessions. Linking all these together will improve the shape of your middle area, so ensure to mix up all three.
Is it really better to exercise in the morning?
Yes and no. Working out in the morning on an empty stomach is a fantastic way to burn fat and get results but it isn't for everyone. It can make you feel quite sick and a lot of people just don't like exercising early. If it works for you, then great, but if you prefer to train later in the day then that's the best way.
Exercise always has to work for you, don't just do something and struggle to do it if it goes against your own preferences because it simply won't last.
What is the best form of exercise to lose weight?
No one exercise will actually do it on its own. Firstly, it's the exercise you enjoy that will last for the long run. Secondly, you have to work hard at it; without hard work ,nothing is going to happen and as ever, you have to clean up your food. Reduce your processed foods and sugars and switch to low GI brown carbs. If you do these elements, no matter what your exercise, you will lose weight for sure.