Life Health & Wellbeing

Sunday 17 November 2019

Kicktstart your health with Karl Henry's revolutionary fitness campaign

Join Karl Henry as he begins his revolutionary fitness campaign, designed to make you healthier and happier - and help you live longer

Revolutionary fitness campaign: Karl Henry. Photo: Mark Nixon
Revolutionary fitness campaign: Karl Henry. Photo: Mark Nixon
Karl Henry has launched a realistic fitness plan. Photo: Mark Nixon

Are you tired of reading about fitness plans and fat-loss campaigns that are so unrealistic, they make you feel even more unfit and unhealthy? Maybe you are looking at 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70 and are unhappy with how you look, how you feel or how you are living. Maybe you have been steadily putting on a couple of pounds every year since you had your children. Maybe your work schedule means that you eat convenience food too often, maybe you fell out of the habit of exercising or maybe you never started in the first place. If any of this sounds familiar, then keep reading because starting next Tuesday in the Irish Independent, I am launching a new, realistic, simple-to-follow fitness plan.

I want to create a health movement that is accessible. I have devised a 10-week programme that is suitable for every age and every fitness level. So whether you are already fit and active and are looking for a bit of focus, or you haven't broken a sweat in years, this is something that you can get involved in.

The plan is divided into 10 easy-to-understand steps and over 10 weeks, starting next Tuesday, I will bring you one step closer to a happier, healthier, longer life.

It is for you if you are a tired mum who hasn't had time to look after yourself and want to drop a few pounds. It is for you if you are a middle-aged dad who would like to get fitter, so you can play football with your children.

It is for you if you are a grandparent who wants to be around to see your grandkids graduate college, and it is for you if you want your children to grow up healthy and happy. You can do it on your own, with your friends, with your partner, with your children.

If you are someone who has never exercised or followed a healthy-eating plan before, if you think you are too old, too fat, too scared - I particularly want YOU.

You have the best chance of creating change, the greatest benefits to gain and if you stay with me, I promise that you can change your life in just 10 weeks.

You are the person that inspired me to write this plan. It is designed to take away all the fear, all the excuses and all of the obstacles that have stopped you in the past.

My aim, when I write about health, is to make it accessible, easy and fun. I have no interest in trying to make it complicated or incredibly hard, because that is one of many barriers that stop you already.

Cost, confusion, time, fear - these are all barriers too. As you read this, think about your own barriers: what is currently stopping you? Why have you let yourself get unfit and how is your lack of fitness affecting your life? What has stopped you starting?

Now is the time to let me help you take those barriers away. I will guide you step by step, week by week, through whatever it is that is standing between you and your best self.

I will provide the information, the exercises and the advice, but you will need to do the work. Although it is a simple plan, it requires dedication, a bit of discipline and a willingness to change.

On Tuesday, I will show you the first step to making these changes but in the meantime, look at the points in the following panel.

Are you willing to do the following:

Make small changes to the food you eat. Small changes that will make a big difference

Allocate three hours a week to exercise

Be willing to measure your progress honestly at the same time each week

Have a treat meal at a designated time once a week. This means you can eat whatever you want, guilt-free

Increase your water intake

Do some simple resistance exercises to improve your muscle tone, flexibility and your appearance

Plan your shopping and your meals — this will make it easier for you to stay on track. See my shopping list below.

Email karlhenry@independent. ie with any questions you have and I will do my best to answer them

10 tips for turning your life around

1 Plan your week, making time for your exercise and for cooking to ensure that you will eat well

2 Use online shopping apps and websites. You will buy healthier food and avoid impulse buying

3 You don’t have to tell anyone you are doing this plan. In my experience, the more people you tell about your goals, the harder it is to achieve them

4 Believe in yourself and know that you can do this. I will help you and show you exactly what to do. Put those negative thoughts aside

5 The first week may be the worst, you may be experiencing sugar detox symptoms and headaches, but be patient and don’t give up. This will pass and you will feel more energetic than ever before

6 Plan some simple, non-food related rewards as you go along. The more you struggle with change, the more often you should use rewards, be it weekly or daily

7  Place the fear aside: Change is scary, it’s hard, but I promise you it will be worth it. Fear stops so many of us from achieving what we want

8 Surround yourself with health where possible: anywhere you spend your time each day should have healthy food and an environment of health. Watch programmes about health. Look at where you spend your time and ask yourself what changes you could make that would make it easier for you to make healthy choices

9 Don’t be afraid of rest. You will be making changes that place more emphasis on the body, so you might have a day that you are tired. If you feel like a rest day, then take it. Rest is crucial for the body and you know your body better than anyone. So if you need an easy day, don’t be afraid to take it, but be honest with yourself. Don’t confuse a lack of motivation for genuine tiredness

10 Fly with the eagles if you want to become an eagle yourself: if you want to get fitter, healthier and happier, then hang around with those that are fitter than you, healthier than you and happier than you. You will be surprised at what happens!

The 10-week plan shopping list

Over the next 10 weeks, I will be giving you lots of nutrition and lifestyle tips to help you turn your life around, but here is a good one to give you a head start: always plan out your food for the week and always use a shopping list. It will help you stick with your healthy-eating plan.

When you are making out your shopping list, decide what you will eat each day for each of your three meals and write your shopping list accordingly, remembering to include healthy snacks also.

Ideally, you should do your food shop once a week. Take this simple list with you and tick the boxes as you shop. Your trolley or online basket should contain some of the following:

Protein sources

(Aiming to have at least two protein-based meals each day)



Lean beef







Vegetable sources

Lots of green vegetables: incredibly healthy, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, green beans, peas - anything green is good.

Lots of coloured vegetables: peppers, tomatoes, carrots, parsnips etc.

Carbohydrate sources: Ideally, always have some protein with any form of carbohydrate:

Brown pasta

Brown rice

Sweet potatoes

Wholegrain bread

Wholegrain cereals


Fruit: Pretty much all fruit is good, but it is high in sugar so aim for no more than two servings of fruit a day max. If you are juicing, have one piece of fruit in the mix and make sure the rest are vegetables.

Lemons and limes are great. Drink them in boiled water first thing in the morning.


Buy real butter, not spreads.

Nuts and seeds (Raw, not toasted or covered in chocolate or sugars or salt).

Treat meal, whatever you fancy once a week is fine - remember, we are aiming for balance. If you want yoghurt, then buy natural Greek-style yoghurt

Spices: Spicy food is great for your body, so pick up some chillies, ginger etc.

Dark chocolate: Actually very good for you, in small doses, aim for 70pc cocoa.

Apple cider vinegar: Great for dressings and also great in water to aid digestion.


Products with DIET on the label

Products with FAT FREE on the label

Products with NO ADDED SUGAR on the label

Products with SUGAR FREE on the label

Processed or pre-packaged meals

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