Thursday 14 December 2017

Karl Henry: It's time for the tough to get going

In week three of his August Challenge, our fitness expert wants you to build on the foundation you've laid

Three seasons omelette
Three seasons omelette

Karl Henry

It's week three of your August challenge and things are about to get tougher. At this stage you have laid a great foundation, so let's build on it. The goal of my column and actually any work that I do in the media is to make health simple and accessible, and this challenge is a perfect way to make that happen. So keep up your hard work and I hope you enjoy this week's instalment.

Complete the following exercises for 60 seconds and take a 15-second rest afterwards, do all exercises and then repeat five times. If you find this too hard you can increase your rest time to 30 seconds or until you feel ready to start again. Always stop if you feel unwell. You can do this as many times during the week as you like.

Sprint on the spot: A great but simple one to get you started. Start with a tall posture and feet together. Ensuring to keep looking straight ahead, sprint on the spot, bringing your knees up as high as possible and using your arms by your side to get more from the sprint.

Wide grip press-ups: Last week you started with press-ups, so let's make things a little tougher this week. For the wide grip press-up, just place your hands wider than shoulder width, elbows in line with your shoulders when lowering your body towards the floor. This is a tough one so ensure your hips and shoulders are always in line, if not place your knees on the floor , aiming for the 45-degree angle from hips to shoulder.

Squat jumps: A great explosive exercise that works the legs and the lungs. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, back straight. Pushing all the force through your heels, bend your knees and touch the side of your runners with your hands. Now jump as high as you can and return to the start position. If you have any joint or back pain, stop straight away and replace with your standard squat.

Side plank: Building on your progress from last week, let's make the core exercise a little harder. This can be done in conjunction with the normal plank or on its own too. For the side plank, begin on your side with all your joints in one line, your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. Simply raise your hips off the floor and hold in that position for as long as you can, engaging your core by pulling your bellybutton in towards your spine. You can use your hand on top to stabilise the body if you need to.

Cardiovascular workouts

Here are two that you can choose from or aim for both if you really want to. These can be done on any form of cardiovascular training, walking, running, swimming or any piece of cardiovascular gym equipment. This week we are adding in tougher intervals, a simple but effective way to get more from your sessions. Remember that you need to be working hard enough to get the benefits, you should be out of breath and be just about able to have a conversation, that's where the most benefits occur in terms of changes to your body and the overall health benefits too.

Session 1: 5-minute warm up. 5 minutes hard/ 1 minute very easy. 7 repeats in total and then a 3-minute cool down at the end.

Session 2: 2-minute warm up. 1 minute hard, 30 seconds easy. 12 repeats and then cool down as required.

Three seasons omelette

Omelettes are a great way of getting a healthy meal into your day. They are quick to make and you can fill them with whatever you want — what’s not to love? They are also a great source of protein, and there’s no need for the butter that you see in so many recipes. Here is one of my favourites:


• 4 eggs

• 1 pepper

• 6 cherry tomatoes

• Half a small red onion

• Handful of jalepenos

• Pepper to taste

• 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil


• Heat a non-stick pan to a medium heat and place the oil on the pan

• Simply chop all of the vegetables and place in the pan

• While the vegetables are cooking, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk with a spoon

• When the vegetables are soft, add in the eggs and allow to cook for approx 8-10 mins

• Add the pepper and you’re good to go

Irish Independent

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