What You Need To Maintain Your Athletic Physique
One of the most difficult things we can do in this toxic world is to maintain a lean, athletic body. We are up against all sorts of temptations, Father Time himself, and our own genetic makeup as we strive to create the healthiest bodies possible.
If you are blessed enough and you have the fortitude to reach your fitness goals, you soon realize that getting there is only half the battle. Staying there is often just as challenging as getting there in the first place. You don't have to live atop a hill, depriving yourself of delicious foods and periodic relaxation; you can live a lean lifestyle and still have some of the luxuries that you desire. Here are some strategies for maintaining that beautiful, athletic physique well into your golden years:
Eat the same healthy meals consistently
When you are constantly trying other foods, you may overeat due to the sugary or salty content of these foods that just plain taste good. Choosing a few clean, delicious meals to put in your rotation over and over again will keep you on track, especially if you know what your calorie content is.
Supplement with vitamins and minerals
As much as we would like to get all of our daily vitamin and mineral requirements from the food that we eat and drink, it is no longer possible to do so. Supplementation is key for optimal health. Try PatchMD supplement patches as a quick way to assimilate daily vitamin and mineral requirements into your routine; they apply to and absorb through the skin for near effortless supplementation. Giving your body these proper building blocks of adequate nutrition will give you the needed energy for training and efficient metabolism processes.
Take increased opportunities for cardio throughout the day
Are you running errands? Park far away from the store so you can get a few extra steps in. Going to work? Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and increase your calorie burn. If you have a longer lunch, consider fitting in a walk with a buddy to keep your metabolism revved throughout the day. When you get a glass of water, consider throwing in twenty jumping jacks to your routine to stay in your fat-burning zone. The more activity you can implement into your day, the larger your calorie deficit is likely to be.
Commit to strength or circuit training
As we age, we lose bone density and muscle mass. Muscle mass is important for regulating metabolism; the more muscle we have on our bodies, the higher our resting metabolic weight is. Incorporate three to four strength training sessions per week, and you'll maintain your strength well into your fifties and beyond.
Train at daybreak
When you start your day with a healthy habit, you are setting the tone for the rest of the day. You are likely to stick with a healthy eating plan and other healthful activities as you go about your daily activities. Training at daybreak will also help you avoid the excuse that you didn't have time to squeeze it in. We make time for the things that we prioritize in our lives---commit to yourself and establish a daily training schedule.
Eat enough protein
In general, it is recommended that we consume 1 gram of protein for every pound of weight, and this should be spread out among 5-6 small meals per day. Consuming lean sources of protein such as fish, eggs, poultry, nut butter, and wild game will keep your protein requirements met while giving you both power-packed flavor and nutrition.
Engage in activities that confuse muscles
Your body adapts quickly to new levels of activity, and it needs a constant challenge in order to stay in peak condition. Sticking with the same routine day in and day out is going to land you on a plateau, and this is counterproductive to building your best body. Mix it up and take some classes that you haven't previously tried, or go through a comprehensive program that mixes up workouts and keeps your muscles guessing and therefore, growing. The sky's the limit with workout possibilities.
Keep yourself accountable to others
Having training partners or another source of support will help you to stay on track when you are tempted to go off the rails. This time of year, it's easy to overindulge in holiday food, drink, and merriment---staying accountable to your support system by logging what you eat and how you train will help you to see for yourself where your areas of weakness are, and what you must do to overcome these issues.
Get… and stay… in tune with your body
We are frightfully disconnected from our bodies. We really don't recognize our signals for hunger and satiation; if we were more in tune with these signals, we would eat when we were truly hungry and stop when we were satisfied. We don't always need a full meal to keep our energy levels up---sometimes a small snack will do. Learn to hear what your body is saying to you, and practice following these signals for a return to premium health.
Drop bad habits that derail your success
Nothing sabotages your success more than unhealthy habits of drinking and smoking. Alcohol, as it metabolizes in the body, stores as sugar that transforms into fat if the energy is not used. Dropping these unhealthy habits will help contribute to the body you have always dreamed of---you don't need alcohol and tobacco products to create your best life.
Don't deny yourself simple pleasures
If you deny yourself little indulgences repeatedly, you are likely to go out of control sooner or later and overindulge in ways that are harmful to you. Go ahead and have that piece of cheesecake at dinner, or make Saturday night pizza night with all the toppings you want. You can look forward to these little treats and get back on track the next day, knowing that it is possible at times to have your cake and eat it too.
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Enjoy the process
Living lean is a lifestyle, not a destination. You can look at it negatively or positively… but viewing your process positively is going to make all of your efforts more enjoyable and rewarding. Celebrate your hard work, be proud of the rocking body you're creating and maintaining, and see how far you can go with your health and fitness. You deserve it!