A Galway fitness coach who aims to help people achieve success in the popular RTE health and fitness programme Operation Transformation is warning people against giving up too many things as part of their New Year healthy living plan.
Alan Quin, who is from Millar’s Lane in Rahoon, says it is “very unrealistic” to give up everything, such as cigarettes, alcohol and junk food and undertake a heavy exercising schedule.
“This will result in failure,” cautions the sport and exercise scientist. who at a young age represented Garbally College and Connacht at various underage and junior rugby levels.
Alan, who will feature on the television show every Wednesday for the duration of the series as its new fitness challenge coach, advises people to gradually build up an exercise programme.
“Introduce exercise daily and build it up gradually. People should try to reduce the negative contributory factors to poor health and review their progress on a weekly basis by keeping a food and exercise diary.
“Operation Transformation is a great way for people to follow people like themselves and build exercise up gradually and all this can be done without joining a gym or getting any fancy gear. There should be no excuse for people being out of shape. There is no cannot, only will not.”
Being fit and healthy bestows countless benefits, including increased life expectancy, higher energy levels, reduced susceptibility to diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke and many more stress or lifestyle related disorders. It also helps increase self confidence, he says.
He believes poor diet, low self-esteem and lack of time are some of the main barriers to fitness.
“Education is another, such as what, when and where should people go to get fit, poor diet, lack of equipment/gear/facilities and ill health.”
He says poor peer support is another factor which adversely affects people’s ability to take up and continue a fitness regime. “Friends and family are a person’s biggest influence.”
Failing to follow a plan and engaging in intermittent bursts of activity which are negated by being sore for days are other reasons why people fail to keep health and fitness resolutions.
He explains that his role on Operation Transformation is that of challenge coach. “Each week I devise a programme based on Karl Henry’s [personal trainer] exercises and integrate them into a physical activity session. I am a strength and conditioning coach as well as a personal trainer and I educate the leaders [on the TV show] on correct form, stressing quality over quantity and gradual progression. I preach the importance of doing a little bit every day and always progressing and reviewing, adapting overcoming and reassessing. That is the role of a proper conditioning coach.”
Alan, who played for Corinthians and Galwegians at senior level and now plays for the current junior cup and league champions Monivea was headhunted by Operation Transformation.
“I am there to educate, encourage, empower and lead the leaders correctly in achieving manageable fitness goals over a period of time. I am the examiner making sure they have done their homework every week so my role is very important.”
He offers the following tips to help achieve fitness:-
1. Hire a certified coach, get fitness tested and follow a specific programme tailor made for you. We are all individuals with strengths and weaknesses.
2. Eat a big breakfast - porridge, berries, corn fed free range egg, a pint of cold water with a slice of lemon, a shot of wheat grass and or herbal tea. Get your nutrition sorted. Preparation is key.
3. Keep a training and nutrition diary. Do something that gets your heart rate up every day, such as walking, cycling, gardening or vigorous housework.
4. Never use an elevator unless carrying heavy goods.
5. Listen to your body and rest when you are tired. Get enough sleep - eight hours ideally and top this up when you can at weekends and during holidays. Power naps are great, also.
6. Do not use your phone or laptop after 6pm because they may hinder restful sleep. Do not use your phone to wake you up in the morning. Use an alarm clock.
7. Reduce your daily intake of sugar. Get natural sugars from food instead. Cut down on processed foods, also.