Fitness expert Karl Henry shares his exclusive four-week fitness and diet guide. In Part Two, he gets your heart pumping
High-five on getting through the first week of your beach-body plan! I'm sure you had some aches and pains, but hopefully not too many. In week one, I eased you into your exercise, with walking sessions and just three exercises to do.
This week, things will get a little more difficult: I am going to build on the fitness that you have gained and begin to push you a little further.
The body is an amazing thing; it adapts best to change. To get the best results from your gym sessions, you need to train your body in different ways as often as possible.
My sessions with my clients are always different: I constantly challenge people to get the very best results.
This week, I have six brand new recipes – each is just as delicious and just as easy to make as last week's. As always, there are shopping lists and don't forget to stock up good.
WHY CARDIO IS IMPORTANT
There are many ways to get a body into shape. Different methods will produce a different visual style of results. I can generally tell how someone has got their results just by looking at their physique, and nine times out of 10 I am right.
My point is that there are lots of ways to lose weight and tone up. For me, the healthiest and best way is combining resistance work, such as weights and body-weight exercises, with cardiovascular work.
Cardiovascular fitness is basically how fit your lungs and your aerobic system are.
For example, do you notice how out of breath you get when you walk up a flight of stairs? Or even walking to the shops?
This is your aerobic fitness. One of the ways to improve this is by doing cardio workouts.
Walking, running, surfing, cycling and sex are all examples of cardio workouts. They all raise the heart rate and the breathing rate, forcing your body to work harder and improve.
If you are doing these sessions and are not out of breath at all, then you aren't working hard enough; but if you are totally out of breath, then you're working too hard.
There is a middle point where you are out of breath and still able to talk: this is the optimum zone where you will get all the health benefits and improvements without pushing your body too hard.
Cardio work is fun, easy to do, extremely beneficial and, in my opinion, will give you benefits that you can see throughout your day. I know not everyone likes it but I feel that it has so much to offer – you would be mad to leave it out!
You have worked hard last week, eaten well, stayed focused and lost weight. Now I want you to do one thing before you progress to next week: reward yourself.
Go out and buy yourself something nice, to pat yourself on the back for having such a good week. It can be a book, an album or some new clothes.
To be honest, it doesn't really matter what it is – the whole idea is to get you used to the idea of setting a goal, achieving that goal and treating yourself to something.
This is called positive re-enforcement. You are rewarding yourself for achieving what you set out to do; for all that hard work and sacrifice.
And rewarding yourself feels good! We are so afraid to congratulate ourselves; women most of all. I'm not sure what it is that we fear, or why we don't do it.
But I feel that by treating yourself and telling yourself that you did well that you will only want to work harder next week.
You will be feeling good, so those treats will no longer be a threat; you will train harder and achieve even better results all because you admitted to yourself that you did well.