Wednesday 17 January 2018

Week 7: Karl Henry's 10 steps to turn your health around

*Live longer, healthier, happier with Karl Henry's #10turnaroun * Week 7: the importance of rest

Karl Henry says you must give the body time to recover. Photo: Mark Nixon
Karl Henry says you must give the body time to recover. Photo: Mark Nixon
Karl Henry Calf Raise 1
Karl Henry calf raise 2

Karl Henry

One of the key components to health is resting your body and allowing it to recover. When you train or exercise you place stress on your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments and rest gives them time to recover.

A common mistake that people make when changing their lifestyle is to do far too much too soon. This leads to overtraining or injury, meaning people fall back into their old habits through frustration and a lack of motivation to exercise and eat well.

If you don't allow the body time to recover then you risk overtraining. Watch out for these symptoms:

* lack of motivation

* poor sleep patterns

* low mood

* easy sessions becoming hard

* changes in appetite

* unusual soreness after workouts

* fatigue or constant tiredness

So how often should you have a rest day? To be honest it totally depends on your body and your fitness levels.

Certainly starting off a new regime you should take at least two days a week of recovery, where you do no strenuous exercise and give the body some downtime. As you get fitter, your body recovers faster from your sessions, meaning you recover quicker too.

Up until now we have been taking one day, but now that your workouts are harder, two might be a good idea.

Food also plays a crucial role in your recovery, after your training as well as on your rest days.

Protein is the main nutrient that will help you to recover and you should be consuming 1.5-2g per kilogram body weight depending on how much and how hard you are exercising.

In the hour after your workout, aim initially to consume some simple sugars such as fruit and then a protein-based meal with lots of coloured vegetables on the plate.

These contain anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins that are also crucial for repair.

The other key component of rest is the quality of your sleep. Sleep is where your body repairs itself. For a good night's sleep turn off all electrical devices at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.

The room should be as dark as possible, and no caffeine for at least two hours before you go to sleep. I find that reading for about 20 minutes is a great way to fall into a restful sleep.

So this week, ensure you are getting enough good quality rest. You won't drop fat without it. It's a crucial component of life-long health yet one that is so often neglected.

Week 7 food:

Go nuts: Eat a palmful of nuts twice a day. Almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews are all good choices. Eat only unsalted and uncovered nuts.

5 tips to boost metabolism

1 Eat breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of your day, revving up your metabolism and giving you energy. By skipping it you are also more likely to make bad food choices later in the day. Aim for either a whole grain cereal or else a protein and fat-based meal.

2 Train hard

As you get fitter you can train harder. Whether it's cardiovascular or resistance, by using high-intensity intervals you can improve your body's ability to burn fat. This plan has been designed using a version of the HIIT training, so begin to work harder in your 60 second timeframe!

3 Eat regularly

Ideally you should be eating everythree hours during the day - three meals with two snacks in between. This helps to regulate your blood sugars, giving you more energy.

4 Spice it up

There is research to show that spicy foods help to fire up your metabolism and your fat burning abilities, so make your meals as spicy as you like using chillies and hot peppers etc.

5 Be an early bird

Training earlier in the day has several advantages: you get your workout done before anything can get in the way, it helps to burn more fat throughout the day and also it boosts your metabolism for the day. Most people find a workout in the morning makes them feel good all day long - so get up early and release those endorphins!

Exercise of the week: Calf raise

What you need: Step

Frequency: Perform the exercise for one minute, take a break and repeat x 4

Lower your heels towards the floor and then go up onto your tippy toes and return back down.Keep your back straight at all times.

Stand on the end of a step,placing your hand on a wall/bannister for support. Adjust the feet so that the balls of your feet are on the edge

Exercises at a glance

Tuesday: Resistance - Calf raise, military press, Side lat raise, tricep dip, side leg raises, static ski squat, table press-up- five sets of one minute for each

Wednesday: Fitness test

Thursday: Resistance - as Tuesday

Friday: Rest or cardio

Saturday: As Thursday

Sunday: Cardio

Monday: Rest

Week 7: summary

Check your weight, waist measurement and your fitness levels to measure your progress.

Up your efforts on resistance and try and do the seven exercises you have learned during your resistance workouts. l Always work to your ability and take breaks. Check with doctor before any new programme.

Snack on nuts, add lemon to water and eat good fats. Eat oats or eggs for breakfast, have greens with at least two meals and swap your white food for brown.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Life