Once we reach our fitness goals, are they really done? I hope the answer for all of you is a resounding - NO. Staying fit by maintaining a healthy life is the real goal.
Without maintaining your fitness, what was all the hard work for? Life is the event deserving of your best healthy self. Sure, you may be motivated by a special occasion, or to fit into a swimsuit, but those are only short-term goals.
Staying fit through maintenance means you're in this for the long haul. You have made a personal commitment to a healthy lifestyle and enjoying a quality life through the process.
Living healthily is a continual process of eating right, regular exercise, and plenty of rest. When you work hard to lose weight, reduce body fat, and gain muscle, just letting all that go doesn't make sense. For example, it has taken me decades to develop mature muscle. Without continual challenging workouts and proper fuel, I could easily lose it to atrophy. Did you know deconditioning of your muscle begins after two weeks of not exercising according to some studies?
Staying fit also means being happy and comfortable with your new lifestyle. You are in a good place physically and mentally. It allows you to enjoy the fruits of your fitness accomplishments. Sometimes your confidence can be boosted to the point of self-challenge with fitness competitions or marathons. This can be awesome and rewarding. Most of us just want to feel really good about our body and health.
DrawbacksUnfortunately, many individuals fail to maintain fitness once goals are reached and return to unhealthy habits. This is probably one of the hardest things to see as a trainer and can be difficult for the individual who worked hard to achieve so much. What happened?
People are looking for temporary fixes instead of lifelong results is what happened. Fitness is considered a burden eliminating fun foods and adding uncomfortable workouts to life. This mindset isn't ready to see fitness as an enjoyable and beneficial lifestyle. Wearing that bikini felt great for a minute, but once the winter months arrive, all that fad fitness is tossed aside. Unhealthy habits return along with an unhealthy body.
How to Stay Fit
In order to stay fit, it requires living healthy full-time. Your body achieves and maintains what the mind believes is the new motto. Falling in love with the process of taking care of your body exemplifies the best of fitness maintenance. It's important to move beyond short-term goals and into the full-time maintenance of your healthy body. This is done by following healthy guidelines used to reach and maintain your goals including:
- Eat healthy or clean 80-90 percent of the time.
- Consume a wide variety of healthy macronutrients.
- Consume a mostly plant-based diet (60% of food intake should come from plant foods)
- Exercise at least 3 days per week (5 is optimal).
- Strength train at least 2 times weekly.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Maintain flexibility by stretching post-workout, or as part of relaxation technique.
- Get plenty of sleep (6-8 hours).
- Reduce stress by balancing your priorities and enjoying more free time.
- Meditation/prayer is helpful.
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|Be well and Stay Healthy|