Friday 19 January 2018

Karl Henry: Set yourself an August challenge

This month is a tricky one to maintain health and fitness regimes, with holiday plans knocking our usual routines for six. Karl Henry has devised a month-long challenge to keep you on track

Stay on track: Karl Henry has devised a month-long challenge
Stay on track: Karl Henry has devised a month-long challenge
Cream of chicken & mushrooms

I hope you enjoyed the holiday tips last week and have been applying them to your own holiday. Remember: that whole concept of seeing structure to your day is what we are aiming for, it is one of the key components to staying healthy while you are away.

This week kicks off our August Health Challenge.

August is probably the hardest month of the year to stay healthy, with holidays knocking people out of their routine, so I thought I'd bring you a little challenge to get you through it.

Each and every week you will have some small challenges to complete - nothing too scary! Why not create your own spreadsheet and fill in the challenges each week as you complete them? Here's one to start:

Workout challenge:

Complete the following exercises for 90 seconds and take a 30-second rest afterwards. Do all exercises and then repeat 5 times. If you find this too hard you can decrease the time you do the exercises for to 60 seconds. Always stop if you feel unwell.

1. Jumping jack: Here's an old-school classic to get you going. Start with feet together, hands together and now simply jump your feet apart and clap your hands above your head.

2. Squat: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands out in front. Simply bend your knees and lower your bum as low as feels comfortable, aiming to push through your heels on the way up.

3. Lunge: Start with your feet together and hands on your hips.Take a large step forward on your right foot and bend your left knee towards the floor. Repeat for 45 seconds on the right leg and then 45 on the left. Aim to keep your posture tall by pulling your bellybutton in towards your spine.

4. Tricep dip: A simple upper body exercise. Using a bench, or a raised flat surface, place your hands either side of your bum. Place your feet so your quads are parallel to the floor and simply bend your elbows, lowering your bum to the floor.

In terms of your cardiovascular workout, let's make this even simpler. Aim for one hour of anything that gets your heart rate up. Remember, it is only considered exercise when you are actually working hard enough to get the benefits from it. You need to be getting out of breath for the real benefits to happen, so increase your intensity until you hit that point and aim for an hour in total. Next week I will bring some intervals into the equation.

That's your exercise sorted, see below for your recipe.

Each recipe will be from my #superfastfitfoods on Instagram and Twitter. This week's recipe is my healthy creamy chicken.

There you have it, the first week of your August Health Challenge has begun.

Cream of chicken & mushrooms

if creamy chicken.jpg
Cream of chicken & mushrooms


Serves 2

2 chicken breasts

4 leeks

4 celery stalks

1 large handful of mushrooms

1 garlic clove

2 teaspoons of rapeseed oil or coconut oil

Greek yoghurt


Heat one teaspoon of oil in a pan at a medium heat. Dice the garlic and place in the pan. Chop the leeks, celery and mushrooms and place in to the pan for 5 minutes at a medium heat and then reduce to a low heat and cover. Heat the second teaspoon of oil in a second pan. While the vegetables are cooking, dice the chicken and place into the pan on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Place the chicken into the vegetables, stir well and add two tablespoons of Greek yoghurt into the pot at a low heat for 30 seconds. Stir well and serve.

Irish Independent

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