Health

Friday 22 August 2014

Keeping up with my children

My wife is pregnant again and we have two-year-old twins. I am an older dad and I am worried that I won't be able to run around with the other dads when the time comes for my sons to play football. I reckon I have a year or so to get myself into shape. I don't have a gym membership and money is tight so I was wondering if you have any advice?

Firstly, well done on setting yourself such a good goal and having a reason like that to get fit will ensure that you get the results. You need to look at three ways to improve yourself:

1 Your aerobic health, basically your heart and lungs.

2 Reducing your fat mass and increasing your lean muscle mass.

3 Improving your diet.

By changing these three components, you are getting exactly what the body requires. In terms of how to do it, firstly I would look at your food. Switch to a healthy low GI diet, consisting of brown carbohydrates and reducing your sugar intake, while increasing your water intake.

To improve your aerobic health, you need to get walking. Fast walking of 6.4km/h for an hour will get you working hard. To ensure you're not working too hard, simply ensure that you can hold a conversation at all times but are slightly out of breath. This is the key zone to avail of all the health benefits of fast walking. As it gets easier, aim to walk faster or further. An app like mapmyrun will measure your speed, etc for you.

Then you need to add in resistance exercises to increase your muscle mass and to tone you. Resistance exercises are also fantastic for improving your aerobic fitness too. Free websites like www.rte.ie/ot and apps like Jillian Michaels will give you routines to follow at home.

By combining these three elements, you will be in great shape in a year's time and well able to keep up with your children and the other dads too.

Irish Independent

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