Karl Henry: This new no-nonsense series will help you get back on track after the summer
In his new Back to Basics series, Karl Henry shows you how to revitalise your health
September is like the new January - people are back from their holidays, saying goodbye to what has been an amazing summer here in Ireland, the kids are back in school and everyone's routine returns to normal. So it's no surprise that all of a sudden, we find our thoughts turning once again to thinking about our health and fitness.
We've probably indulged a little over the summer - maybe eating and drinking more than usual - so now it's now time to get back on track.
Over the next eight weeks, I have designed a new series to help you. Sign up, take the test and follow each week's simple homework to do, in four key areas of change:
This plan is simple, effective and, as always with me, without all the nonsense and complication that can so often come with health plans these days. So, who's with me?
In this week's first instalment, I want to show you how to get set up and build foundations for success, and explain what tools you are going to need.
Building the right foundations is crucial. You see, if you don't do the groundwork, getting the results will be so much harder to achieve. Why make it harder for yourself?
This is what you need to do:
* Take a box and do a full spring clean of your kitchen, your car and your workplace, filling the box with all the food and snacks that you know you shouldn't be having
* Identify your five main goals for the next eight weeks, write them down and place them somewhere you can see them
* Put a reward in place that you ONLY get if you complete the eight weeks
* Surround yourself with others who have similar goals
* Get a good pair of runners, with gait analysis done when you are buying them, and a light rain jacket
* Measure! I want you to buy a tape measure and measure your waistline, where your belly button is (don't forget to breathe out!), your hips (the widest part of the body), your bicep and your quad, or thigh, too.
Make a note of the numbers and I am going to get you to re-measure every two weeks to keep you motivated when you see your progress. In this eight-week series, while you will lose weight and you will lose body fat, I thought it would be nice to focus on measurements as the proof of success too. Sometimes people get caught up in weight, not realising that there is so much more to measure.
* Pick up some books! Surrounding yourself with positive stories is great. I am a huge fan of reading and keeping yourself focused with stories of other people's achievements and relating to them can be a really simple, mindful and practical way to stay motivated
* Tell your nearest and dearest that - for the next eight weeks - this is what you are going to do, that you will need their help and you need them to support you and not try to derail you at the weekends or at other times - this is YOUR time to get back on track, and having a support system to keep you on the straight and narrow is going to be crucial.
So you have plenty to be doing this week - remember, week one is about getting set up, getting ready and planning for success.
Now it's time for your homework for week one (see below). See you next week!
Homework: Meal plans, getting moving and positive attitude
* food: For the first week, I am giving you two pieces of homework. The first is to get into an eating routine of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner. Then make the following food adjustments:
- aim to increase your intake of naturally colourful foods with each meal
- drink two to three litres of water daily
- eat two to three pieces of fruit a day
- Have protein with two of your three meals a day
- eat breakfast
* Exercise: I want you to do three one-hour cardio sessions over the next seven days. Walking, running, cycling or swimming. As well as that, I want you to do 15 squats, 15 tricep dips and 20 sit-ups each day. A quick google will show you how to do them if you don't know, but they are really straightforward.
* Motivation: I want you to schedule all of your sessions, your food and anything else you want to do this week into a calendar or diary. Mapping and planning your week can be great for your mind and your health, as it makes you commit to what you are about to do.
* Lifestyle swap: Negative for postive! This is a simple swap that is great for your mind, your body and your life. Look at aspects of your life that are negative and simply try to change as many as you can to the positive.
Health & Living