Karl Henry: 10 simple changes you can make in 2019

Today in Health & Living we are all about getting more movement into your life – in lots of different ways. Many of us are sitting more than ever and that sedentary lifestyle is dramatically affecting your health, your joints, your bones, your cardiovascular risk and your mood. But fear not – it’s the start of a new year and a new you.

Time to turn over a new leaf and make some healthy changes – and I am here to help you on your journey. I will give you 10 simple tips – easy ways to get more movement into your day, so that you barely even notice.

Remember that every little bit helps, no matter how small… so come on, move more and get healthy!

1 No more lifts or escalators – This is the best switch ever! Using the stairs can provide a free workout, it’s good for your lungs and your legs, as well as producing some endorphins for your mood. It may be tough at the start, but it will get easier as you get fitter and then you can increase the speed or steps to make it a little harder.

2 Standing for sitting – If you read my column on a regular basis, you will know that I am all for standing. Stand on your commute, stand at work, stand in the pub, stand anywhere! When we sit, the chair does all of the work for your body, so stand more often and you will increase the amount of work your body does instantly.

3 Have a car-free day – Sometimes all we need it a little bit of an incentive to get moving, and scheduling a car-free day can be a great way to do this, especially for families. Walk more, use public transport more, or cycle – not only will it save you money, it will also improve your fitness.

4 Park further away – I know you have done it, we all have circled the car park to get a car space closer to the shop or wherever you are going. Instead, why not try to flip that, park further away, take the space that is always available and then move more to get to and from where you are going.

5 Carry your bags – If the body doesn’t get used then it wastes away, no doubt about it. One of the simplest ways to ensure that you use your body is to carry more. Carrying your shopping is a great way to do this. Obviously be careful not to use bags that are too heavy, but start light and build up the weight or the time you hold it for

6 Join a class to keep you motivated – The winter can be a tough time to stay motivated , so why not join a local class or group and use that as a motivator to get moving more? Working together with a group will keep you motivated, focused and on track when the weather gets bad! Look for an instructor that ensures you do everything correctly and is nice and friendly as well.

7 Give yourself something to move for – Sometimes we all need a push! Something to move for, to work towards. A goal. By paying for it, registering for it, you then have a reason to exercise when you don’t want to – sounds so simple but yet so many people don’t do it!

Check out runireland.com for a list of races around the country that you can sign up for and go for it.

8 Set yourself for success – So if you really want to move more, you have to prepare yourself for it. A good rain jacket, runners and workout gear is what you are going to need to get fit, otherwise you will just have more excuses not to!

9 Reward yourself – If you are setting ‘moving’ as a goal for this year, then make it tangible. Measure your movement and reward yourself when you hit the targets that you set. It doesn’t have to be a big reward as it’s the act of patting yourself on the back that is important.

10 find something you enjoy – For this to be a real change this year, a long-term change, then it must be fun! If you enjoy it, it is due to last, if you hate it, then you will struggle for sure.

* Every week, Independent.ie features The Real Health podcast with Karl Henry, in association with Laya Healthcare. In this week’s podcast, Karl Henry’s New Year Resolutions SOS.


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