Sunday 23 October 2016

Week 10: Karl Henry's 10 steps to turn around your life

Live longer, healthier, happier

Karl Henry

Published 28/07/2015 | 02:30

Karl Henry says cycling can play a role in your lifelong health. Photo: Mark Nixon
Karl Henry says cycling can play a role in your lifelong health. Photo: Mark Nixon
Karl Henry plank 1
Karl Henry plank 2

Firstly, a big congratulations for getting to week 10 of my health plan. I'm sure it has been a tough few weeks, changing lifelong habits and getting out of your comfort zone, but hasn't it been worth it? You have turned your life around by making simple and long-lasting changes that are designed to make you realise just how easy getting healthy can be.

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You are so much healthier than you were 10 weeks ago, in all aspects of your health, and this time you have done it the right way, making small changes each week. You are now an educated health consumer. You have the knowledge, you have put it into practice and you are living proof of just what can be achieved, so high five to you!

In this the last step, I want to talk about rewarding yourself, possibly the most fun step so far.

Reward is the pat on the back for reaching your goal. It makes you feel good and gives you a sense of achievement as well as positivity about what you have achieved. No matter what you decide to reward yourself with, the feel-good factor is there.

Now that you have achieved your goals over the last few weeks, treat yourself this week.

But now you may ask, what happens after the plan. The key to long-term success from here is to stay with the goal/reward model of motivation. The whole concept of setting goals and rewarding yourself for reaching them is a crucial component in being healthy for life. You should continue to set yourself goals as it gives you something to aim for each day as well as direction and a reason to stay motivated.

So after you have rewarded yourself this week, take your pen and paper out and get brain storming for your next goal.

Write a list of the next five things you would like to achieve in terms of your fitness and your health.

If you could achieve anything over the next three months, what would that be? Just like you did at the start of this plan, it's the same process.

Put your time-frame in place and work towards that goal. When you reach it, then reward yourself. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stay focused and motivated. It will keep you achieving new and empowering fitness and health goals, using all of the tools that you have learnt over the last 10 weeks. Keep working hard, and enjoy and relish the feeling of health and be proud of what you have achieved.

5 things you have gained

1 You have the tools for a healthy life

The 10 steps are the tools to give you long-term health. By completing the challenge you have mastered these tools and put them into action.

2 You have lowered your risk of disease

By following the plan over the last 10 weeks, you have become healthier, lowered your visceral fat and can be safe in the knowledge that you are healthier for the future.

3 You faced your fears

Change is scary, especially as you get older. When you get older you surround yourself with a comfort zone that can be scary to break out of. By following the last 10 weeks of the plan, doing resistance training as well as the other components, you have faced that fear and you have seen the benefits that come from being fit and healthy and feeling good.

4 The 80/20 rule

One of the most important aspects of the plan is to show you that by having a treat evening once a week, you begin to feel that being healthy is manageable andsustainable.

5 Being fit is fun

Your clothes feel better, you're sleeping better and you can now run up and down the stairs without getting out of breath. People are noticing how healthy you look and your confidence is growing. This is all part of being fit and healthy, so revel in the praise and enjoy the benefits of all your hard work.

Week 10 food:

Fruit and nuts: For an ideal snack aim to have fruit and nuts together, as the protein in the nuts will help lower the effect of the sugar on your blood sugar levels

Week 10: summary

Check your weight, waist measurement and your fitness levels to measure your progress.

Up your efforts on resistance and try and do the 10 exercises you have learned during your resistance workouts. l Always work to your ability and take breaks.

Check with your GP before any new programme.

Have all meals in a 12-hour window. Cut sugar, eat nuts, add lemon to water and eat fats. Eat oats or eggs for breakfast, have greens with at least two meals and swap your white food for brown.

Exercises at a glance

Tuesday: Resistance - plank, bicep curl, single arm row, calf raise, military press, side lat raise, tricep dip, side leg raises, static ski squat, table press-up - five sets of one minute for each

Wednesday: Fitness test

Thursday: Resistance - as Tuesday

Friday: Rest or cardio

Saturday: As Tuesday

Sunday: Cardio

Monday: Rest

Exercise of the week: plank

What you need: A flat surface

Frequency: Perform the exercise for one minute continuously

Start with your knees on the floor, elbows and hands below shoulder level.

Raise your knees off the ground and pull your stomach towards your spine to keep your back straight. Any back pain at all and you should stop straight away. Hold for as long as you can in the 60 seconds and 5 sets in total.

Irish Independent

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