Sunday 19 November 2017

Karl Henry's 10 steps to turn your health around

Live longer, healthier, happier with Karl Henry's #10turnaround

Karl Henry

Welcome to week one of my new healthy-living campaign. I have put together a fool-proof, 10-week fitness and nutrition plan that is suitable for every age and every fitness level. Each week, I will take you through a new step, give you one piece of nutrition advice and a new exercise. If you stick with the plan, I guarantee that by the end of July, you will feel better, look better and sleep better.

I promise you that no matter how unfit you think you are, how old or how unhealthy your habits are, you can do this plan. I am passionate about promoting healthy living for everyone. I want to bring lasting changes to your life and I am here for any questions you have during the campaign - you can email me or write to me, and I will endeavour to answer them.

So let's get started with the first step. It is a simple but very important step. The first step is to assess where you are now. I want you to be honest with yourself here. Ask yourself the following questions: Am I happy with how I look? Am I happy with my fitness level? Am I eating well and exercising to ensure that I live as long and as well as possible? If you answer no to any of these questions, then keep reading because you need to follow this plan. You deserve to answer yes to all these questions, and if you follow my simple steps, you will be answering yes by the end of July.

Next, I want you to take some measurements. You don't need to share these with anyone - this is just for you, so that you can track your progress as we move through the steps. You will need a weighing scales, a tape measure and a running app or a watch/stopwatch to take these measurements. You will record the measurements (maybe use your phone or write it down somewhere safe) at the same time each week. The first thing to record is your weight. Next, I want you to measure your waist at your belly button. The third thing is the fitness test. Record this with your weight and measurements.

I also want you to move for at least three hours each week. Your fitness test will form part of this, as will your exercises and I want you to make up the rest of the time with any sort of exercise or movement. It can be a family walk, a run, a power walk, a trip to the gym, a game of tennis, a game of chasing with your children - anything that gets you up from the desk or off the couch. Good luck with your first week.

Check with your doctor before beginning any food or exercise programme

Karl Henry: Passionate about promoting healthy living for everyone. Photo: Mark Nixon
Karl Henry: Passionate about promoting healthy living for everyone. Photo: Mark Nixon
Ski squat: stand with your back against the wall
Ski squat: Slide down the wall so that your thighs are parallel to the floor

Week one food task:

Switch from white to brown: healthy eating can be incredibly confusing so let's take that confusion away. Start this week by switching the foods you eat from white to brown. Brown foods are healthier, have more nutrients and grains in them. From cereals to breads, pasta to rice, make the switch and you will improve digestion, gut bacteria, reduce bloating and sleep better. It's simple, but effective!

Fitness test

You do this by running/jogging or walking a mile at the talk test level (you should be working hard enough to get your heart rate up, but not so hard that you can’t carry on a conversation) and recording your time, either with a stopwatch, running app like Map My Run, a stopwatch or any clock

Exercise of the week

Time: 5 minutes in total

What you need: A wall, a stopwatch or timer

Your first exercise is the Static Ski Squat. This is a great exercise that works your thighs - the quad muscles - as well as your glutes, the muscles in your bum. You know that you are doing it correctly when you start to feel pain in your thighs and glutes. Work hard, but don't push yourself too hard. Take breaks of a couple of seconds when you need them, but resume the position as soon as possible. We are aiming at five sets of one minute each. If you can hold the position for one minute, do so.

The static ski squat

Stand with your back against a wall with your feet approximately two feet in front of you.

Slide down the wall so that your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Hold this position for as long as you can, aiming for one minute. One minute is quite advanced so take a break whenever you need to and start again, until 60 seconds in total have passed. Repeat this five times.

Week one: summary

Weigh yourself

Measure your waist

Take fitness test

Move for three hours this week - to include fitness test, five sets of Static Ski Squat three times a week, and any other activities

Switch your white foods to brown

Irish Independent

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