Karl Henry: 15 simple tips for a healthier life
We can all buy into the latest fitness fads, especially this time of the year, but following your own path will lead to healthier you, says our expert trainer
What is the best form of exercise you can do? Weights? Cardio? Yoga? It's one of the most common questions I get asked when doing lectures or even when I am out and about.
Every year, new theories, new routines, new styles of training hit Ireland and each claiming to be better than the next, with all the latest scientific proof to back it up.
No doubt next year we will see an influx of even more, along with new fad diets and other gizmos to make weight loss even simpler.
I love seeing the new methods coming in, it's great to keep updating my own knowledge with new things and to try out the new routines. But one of the issues is that it generally leads to one very confused fitness consumer. So what is the best for you? What should you be doing?
It's actually one of the most important questions you should be asking before you do anything about your health; getting the right fit is incredibly important.
Firstly, what is it you are looking to improve? Is it your overall fitness, your waistline, your strength, your flexibility, your food? Identifying your goals will narrow the search for you.
Now you need to do some homework. Look at the websites and social media of companies in your area.What does their company stand for? What is their approach? What kind of results are they aiming to get with their clients? Do they use supplements? Why not call the companies you are interested in and have a chat with them? Ask these questions - they are actually really important.
Once you have your top three, go and see them or partake in a class to try it out. I always think you will get a great feeling for somewhere when you walk in. Is it friendly? Scary? Does it look like a place you will feel comfortable?
The best exercise is the one that you will do for life, not for a short-term quick fix.
So you need to look for the one that will fit you, your personality and your lifestyle the best. If it's somewhere you feel comfortable then the chances are you are going to stay.
I think that exercise should be for life; leave all of the quick-fix solutions to someone else. Why waste your money on them if, in the long run, they don't work, and you gain the weight back and feel worse than when you started?
Anything that makes it seem too easy, too effortless or uses shakes/powders instead of real food is not something you will do for the rest of your life. Instead look for someone who will be far more honest with you, telling you it will be hard work but want to help you get into the best health that you can; someone who will give you advice on your diet and what changes you can make without eliminating any food groups and who will set weekly/monthly targets for you to hit.
Find an exercise you enjoy, in a place that you feel comfortable, surrounded by people that you trust and you are going to be on the way to the best exercise for you.
15 simple tips to help you get healthier:
1. Shop once a week: One day a week, get your food shop done, stock the fridge and you will be amazed how much easier it is to be healthy.
2. Switch your white carbs to brown: Brown carbs are full of fibre and goodness, make this switch and watch the difference it makes to your waistline.
3. Weigh once a week: No matter how bad your week has been, face the scales and draw a line in the sand, move on and don't live in denial.
4. Change your workouts: Bodies react to change, so change your workouts as often as possible to get the best results.
5.Train with someone fitter than you: By training with someone fitter or faster, you will work harder to keep up with them than you would normally.
6. Lemon up: Boiling water with lemon is fantastic for your skin, hair and digestion, cheap and effective!
7. Set targets: and work towards them.
8. Reward yourself: When you reach your targets, it's essential to reward yourself with something to emphasise the positive reinforcement before you reach for your next.
9. Rest up: Learn to read your body, so you know when it's time to rest and give it time to recover.
10. Cook: By cooking you are reducing your intake of processed foods. The fresher the foods in your life the better it is for you.
11. Eat breakfast: Breakfast is the meal of champions, it revs up your system for the day and will give you the energy to take on the day.
12. Drink water: Water is good for your body, your skin, your mind, your energy and pretty much everything you do. Aim for at least two litres a day.
13. Read: Books are such a simple yet rewarding source of knowledge. Set aside at least 30 minutes at night to read a book that will enhance your life.
14. Take the stairs: Everywhere you go we have stairs, we also have lazy ways to avoid the stairs. Which way are you going to take?
15. Surround yourself with like-minded people: If you want to be fit, be friends with fit people. Those you surround yourself with will have a big impact on you.