Walk this way, talk this way!

Devilled Chicken

For this easy recipe, you will need the following:
• 8 chicken thighs (skinned and scored)

And for the marinade:
• 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
• 2 tbsp Worcester sauce
• 4 tbsp smoked paprika
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 2 tsp honey
• 1 tsp English mustard
• Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Words by:
Ian Eassom
Featured in:
October 2023

Personal trainer (and former chef) Ian Eassom shares his tips on staying fit and healthy, with the occasional treat.

Walking is the unsung hero of fitness; good for the body, great for the mind, and even better, it’s right on our own doorstep.

Walking for just 30 minutes a day will increase cardiovascular fitness and help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent heart problems. It is also good for fighting diabetes, strengthening your bones and keeping joints oiled.

For me, walking is about relaxing the mind, controlling anxiety and lifting the spirits whether they need it or not.

Depending on the time of year and where you are walking, there are other advantages, such as keeping your circulation going, pumping fresh blood around your body and keeping you warm to help prevent colds.

Walking groups
Sometimes, though, the motivation to get out there and make a start can be tough. Forming a walking group can be a great motivator, or look at ones that might already exist that you can join.

I hold a regular walking group at the University of Lincoln, where we walk and talk every week, giving staff the chance to leave their desks for a while and get some fresh air, either around the central Lincoln area, such as the towpaths and nearby common areas, or at the Riseholme campus, where we wander amongst the trees and livestock.

It really is great to make the time and chat with friends and colleagues, while having a break from the screen. Why not arrange one with your colleagues, friends or neighbours? Being in a group is a great way to help you deliver on your commitment to yourself, whilst supporting each other. I promise you will always feel better afterwards.

Stretch and flex
Before you set off on your walks, a good stretch is always a good idea, getting you nice and flexible. Something as simple as a few standing circles and a bent-over toe stretch.

But what about those of you who want a bigger challenge whilst you are out and about, or find yourself so energised after your walk that you want to do a bit more?

Well, there are many ways to keep warm outdoors as the nights draw in. One of my favourite places, Boultham Park, is a great place to stay healthy and socialise too.

On Saturday mornings the Parkrun takes place, which is always busy, fun and full of supportive, encouraging people.

On Sunday mornings there is a dog walking group, so your furry friends can get in on the exercise action too! It’s my second home and am often there working with my clients. If you see me, come and say hello!

Even in autumn and winter I prefer to be outdoors than in a hot gym.

Why not try simply taking a skipping rope, resistance bands or even a few light weights with you, use the surroundings and get inventive.

Pictured is my client Hattie and I working with hoops in the park. Just make sure you are using a solid branch with no wobble if you are attempting this though – exercise should not involve deforestation!

Have a wonderful, crisp and colourful October, and I’ll see you soon as we head towards the festive season – now that is scary!

Top Health Tips
Take a break from your gadgets and get out in the fresh air to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, no matter how fresh it might be.

Join or organise a regular social event, such as a walking group, to lift your mood and keep you engaged. I promise you’ll start to look forward to it!

Keep an eye on your diet and don’t overdo the comfort foods. Just because the weather has changed, you’ll still need your daily dose of fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and proteins, and stay hydrated too.

Get plenty of sleep! Rest is so important.

Most importantly, look after your mental health in whichever way works for you. Try to take the stress out and bring the good things in. Be open to talking and sharing how you are feeling. Less stress will keep your immune system charged up too and help keep those winter bugs at bay.

Devilled Chicken
With Halloween here again, I’ve got a spooktacular recipe for you this month; please excuse the puns, I’m afraid I couldn’t resist.

This is a great recipe to fight off the winter chill and leave you in high spirits! With the anti-inflammatory chilli and turmeric helping to increase circulation, this will no doubt boost your immune system too.

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and spread over the chicken thighs; the scoring will help the meat absorb the marinade. Arrange them in a baking tray or a dish and leave to marinade for a couple of hours (or even overnight).

Preheat the oven to 180°C and pop them in for 30-40 minutes – or if you’re using a trusty air fryer, 25 minutes should be sufficient.

This is a great and warming supper dish for those cold nights and very apt for Halloween! You can prepare and cook it to eat hot or cold too. I like mine on a bed of rice, with a nice salad or vegetables.

Ian Eassom is a Lincoln-based mobile personal trainer. Ian can offer individual training sessions (one-to-one, couples or small groups) in your own home, garden or public space, or online, with bespoke exercise and diet plans. There’s a special offer for Lincolnshire Life readers! For the latest information, visit www.ianeassom.co.uk

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