Maintenance, an often forgotten but important exercise goal
When we think of fitness we tend to focus on results.
Whether it’s weight loss, getting stronger or healthier, fitness and exercise are focused on some sort of result. Something you can tick off and say: I did that.
What many of us forget about is maintenance. We focus so much on achieving, pushing to accomplish more and more rather than understanding the importance and value of maintaining a given result. Maintenance, while not seeming like a goal, is actually what we should all be striving for long term, as it relates to our health and fitness goals.
Sometimes life gets in the way and prevents us from continuing our normally scheduled programmes. However, we can let that demotivate us completely or we can accept that life isn’t normal right now and we should adjust the goalposts.
Instead of stressing out because of schedule changes or other issues preventing you from reaching your main workout goals, try to focus on maintaining your current body weight until you are able to return to your normal routine.
Striving for maintenance isn’t bad. It doesn’t mean that you lack motivation. It is a natural transition to approach once we have been exercising and/or dieting for a while. Maintaining is actually far more challenging for many of us to achieve. We all know that if we dramatically reduce the amount of calories we eat, weight loss will occur, and if we heavily increase our calorie intake, we will gain weight. However, knowing what to do to just maintain your weight may be challenging.
So use this time to get more acquainted with your body’s needs. What do you need to do to maintain the level of fitness you are at right now? What habits are working for you? Which ones are not? What portion sizes are making you feel satisfied but not stuffed? What food combinations are giving you energy and taking away food cravings? What exercise programme are you able to complete on a regular basis to help maintain your current workout goals?
Don’t worry if you don’t feel like you are progressing fast enough right now. It’s totally normal to feel that way. Channel your energy on maintaining where you are at this moment. Maintenance should always be the long-term goal. Just use your current situation to apply it, even if you are not where you want to be. Yet.
Keep maintaining and B-Active For Life!
• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook