Whilst practising and learning karate, which in itself is admirable, will help make you fitter and improve your health, there are other factors which need to be seriously considered to stay healthy.

  1. Diet - Make sure you have a proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates etc. Monitoring intakes of substances like, caffeine, salt, Fat & sugar. "You are what you eat" they say. Is the level of your Cholesterol safe? this can be checked out easily, quickly & FREE! by visiting your local Boots Pharmacy. Minerals & vitamins are fine, but only as a supplement to your diet. For more ideas about choosing a diet click here. Are you taking the correct amount of calories? To work this out you need to check your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). If you're interested in more information about healthy eating, try looking at Nutritionist Recourses, Here is another interesting & useful site

  2. Vitamins - I'm not a doctor and so it's not my place to prescribe anything to you, but I was recommended & I do find Glucosamine Sulphate tablets (1500mg one-a-day) do help with the suppleness of my joints. I also take a general "multi-vitamin" tablet that includes 100% RDA of iron & Vitamin C. I also find that pure Cod-Liver Oil (with Omega-3) helps with joint problems like tennis elbow. Please seek expert advice first before taking any food supplements, read the label and follow the dosage recommendations correctly. If you eat a so-called "healthy diet" you shouldn't need any vitamin's at all.

  3. NEW! Waist to Hip Ratio Calculator - click here to find out the latest news concerning health & obesity.

  4. Drink - water/alcohol. A safe, balanced and intelligent consumption of alcohol and plenty of water. Too much tannin and caffeine from tea & coffee has it's own disadvantages too. Official Royal College & Government Guidelines are;-

    "The Royal Colleges recommend that women should not drink more than 14 units of

    alcohol per week and that men should not drink more than 21 units of alcohol per

    week. (1 unit of alcohol is roughly half a pint of beer, a small glass of wine, or a

    measure of spirits). The Government recommends limits of 3 units of alcohol per day

    for women and 4 units of alcohol per day for men, but not every day. The findings of

    the current study suggest that recommended limits should be age related."

  5. Ailments - Diabetes/Asthma/Epilepsy/Arthritis etc. Do you monitor these conditions and carry the appropriate medicine with you at all times. Do you wear your "Medi-Tag"? Does your instructor know about your condition, where to find and use your medicine and who to contact in an emergency? Arthritis & stiff joints tend to come along with age and the weather. Supplements such as Glucosamine and Chondrotin can help with these. Please research and obtain professional advice from your doctor or pharmacist first.

  6. Teeth - Looking after your teeth & oral hygiene are equally important & can have a great impact on your overall physical performance & your energy levels. Find your nearest NHS Dentist here.

  7. Injuries - do you have any (even old ones) are they likely to get worse with age, are you receiving treatment? Have they now become disabilities, how will these effect the range of movement of your body, your stamina, speed or strength? Click here for more information about Sports Injuries.

  8. Exercise Routine - this includes basic daily activates like walking and climbing the stairs at work instead of taking the lift. Can you walk, skate or cycle to work instead, can you take your kids swimming and ice-skating more often instead of driving to the cinema, it makes it more fun and is good for all of you! Also, you need to strike a reasonable or an intelligent balance between "Work, Rest & Play", and by rest I don't mean watching TV or playing computer games! A good dose of fresh air would be very beneficial too - take your dog out for a run around your local park?

  9. Smoking - give it up! Try and stop, reduce or get help. Learn how with Paul McKenna or you can try and cut down and stop using Electronic Cigarettes or an Electronic Pipe. Another good way is to ask your local GP to put you on a prescription course of NiQuitin Clear 24 hour patches via the NHS.

  10. Drugs - unless they are prescriptive or "normal/over the chemist counter" type drugs used for headaches and hey fever etc - don't take them.

  11. Work/Occupation/Employment - are you in a sedentary job? Are you sat behind a desk all day?

  12. You present state of health - Things to be measured and taken into account when evaluating your lifestyle and state of health are your weight, height, age, Body Mass Index or BMI, Body Fat Index, Blood Pressure, Lung Capacity & Cholesterol. Are there any hereditary health problems in your family?

  13. Water Intake? - The British Dietetic Association advises that the average adult should consume 2.5 litres of water per day. Of this, 1.8 litres - the equivalent of six to seven glasses of water per day - must be obtained directly from beverages. This should be increased during periods of hot weather or during and after periods of physical activity.

  14. Your State of Mind & General Outlook on Life - 'A Healthy body leads to a healthy mind (& vice versa) Maintaining a positive outlook - current stress levels? "You are what you think" they also say!!

  15. Your Reason for wanting to improve yourself, your fitness & strength, suppleness, self-defence etc. What do you hope to achieve? Short or long term goal? What is your personal long term ambition.

  16. Age? - Read about the world's oldest Black Belt at the ripe old age of 88 in 1984 - Lucille "Killer" Thompson. Are you over 40?

  17. Blood Pressure - You can have this checked out quickly & easily at your local GP or buy one of the many digital blood pressure monitors available very cheap now. Click here for normal blood pressure readings.

  18. Another indication of health, especially as one gets older and perhaps more importantly for women, is Bone Density measurement.

  19. Finally a Warning! - Karate is addictive and may become a way of life. But that is what you should expect, it can't do anything but good if you embrace the whole philosophy of karate.

Don't panic! It may seem that there is a lot to consider here, but do not worry. "Everything in moderation" as they say. If you are advancing in years or have any questions about any of the above, please consult your local GP or doctor, visit an NHS "Walk In Centre" ask for more information with a Patient Care Leaflet.


There is lots of information on the internet of course, but be careful & very selective, you may wish to restrict your searches to just UK sites. If you find some magic "cure-all" for a condition that you have; investigate it thoroughly and take a second opinion from a separate source i.e. your doctor.

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page updated: Thursday 23 October 2014