Wednesday, November 25, 2020

How to Reach and Maintain Your Fitness Goals

Once you reach your fitness goals, are they really done?

I hope the answer is a resounding -  NO. Because maintaining your fitness is a lifetime process.

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 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. 

Healthy Lifestyle Goals

Living healthy 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 deconditioning.

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.

What Happened?

Unfortunately, many individuals fail to maintain their fitness goals 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. Diet culture has caused a lot of confusion about fitness with restrictive diets and extreme exercise not sustainable for people. Unfortunately, these untruths about health and fitness have many people believing that fitness is a burden. Wearing that bikini felt great for a minute, but once that event is over, unhealthy habits return along with an unhealthy body.

The real problem is not learning fitness as a sustainable lifestyle that is enjoyable. It will be important to change your mindset about health and fitness to stay fit. 

How to Stay Fit

Staying fit requires living healthy full-time. This means dumping diet culture philosophy and moving into a healthier way to take care of your body. Taking care of your fitness in a realistic, sustainable, and fun way is the best of health maintenance.

This is done by following healthy guidelines used to reach and maintain your goals including:
  • Eat healthy 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.
  • Get plenty of sleep (6-8 hours).
  • Reduce stress by balancing your priorities and enjoying more free time.
  • Meditation/prayer is helpful.
  • Maintain a positive mindset.
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