Saturday 20 January 2018

Karl Henry: We don’t do enough of resistance training. You need to challenge the body to get results

Week 7: Push yourself with resistance training

Grilled chicken skewers
Grilled chicken skewers

We're coming to the end of our series, and this week I'm continuing the focus on different forms of exercise.

Last week, I looked at the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and how to ensure you are getting the most from your session. Well done on making those changes, they will make a huge difference to your overall health.

Now we will build on that with a very important type of exercise that as a nation we just don't do enough of. Resistance training is any form of weight-bearing exercise, where you challenge your body to adapt and strengthen from doing a number of repetitions and sets of an exercise.

That sounds simple, doesn't it? The reality is that it is that simple. The exercises I have been giving you over the past seven weeks are all resistance exercises. You can add extra weight in by using weights if you want, especially as you get fitter.

Remember, just like the cardiovascular sessions, you need to challenge the body in order to get results.

Resistance training will help to:

* Slow down the ageing process

* Help you lose weight

* Help you tone up your muscles

* Produce endorphins into the blood stream

* Improve your energy levels

Lower your body fat

* Improve your sleep

You can start with the simple exercises I have given you each week and then progress to harder exercises either in a gym or following online video tutorials. Build it up slowly, take your time with it and you will see amazing results.

Week 7 to-do list:

Look at how far you have come in the last seven weeks and give yourself a pat on the back

* Cook at least four homemade meals

* Aim to get protein with at least two of your meals each day

* Challenge yourself by exercising with someone who is fitter than you

* Do another kitchen sweep and get rid of any snacks or sweets lingering around that may tempt you and set you off-course

Try to turn your phone off for at least 30 minutes each day

Health tip of the Week:

Did you know that 4g of sugar is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon? This is such a great way to realise just how much processed sugar is in the foods that we eat.

So the next time you are buying a product, take a look at the label and whatever the number beside the sugar content is, divide that number by four to see how many teaspoons of sugar are in it. You may just put that product back on the shelf.

Week 7 exercise: the sumo squat

This is another of my all-time favourites. A great exercise for your legs and your bum too.

1. Start with your feet wider than shoulder width apart.

2. Now squat down and roll your right leg in and then away from the body, just like a sumo wrestler would do when entering the ring. Ensure to keep the feet wider than shoulder width at all times.

3. Complete 20 on your right leg and then 20 on your left.


Super Simple Chicken Kebabs with Mixed Leaves

Grilled chicken skewers


* 2 chicken fillets

* Juice 1 lemon

* 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

* Ground black pepper

* Very small clove crushed garlic

* 1 red onion

* 1 red pepper

* 1 pack of kebab skewers


Cut chicken into bite sized chunks and marinate in lemon, paprika, garlic and black pepper for 15 mins.

Dice onion and the pepper into large chunks.

Thread chicken onto kebab skewers alternating meat with onions and or peppers.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and cook kebabs on a high heat until cooked through and charred on the outside, approx 15 mins.

Now serve with a side salad of your choice.

Irish Independent

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