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Life After Satisfaction

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

While many people in the community are motivated by goals of getting fit and shredded, lifestyle integrity fuels the rest. In this post, we will be learning about the maintenance phase during the behavioral change process.

Maintenance is the top of the behavioral change process, however it is not necessarily the finish. It is easy for someone to slip back into contemplation or even pre contemplation after achieving certain physique goals.

A good way to achieve longevity with a regimen is to revisit and rework how we look in the mirror. Many lose sight of fitness goals when the reflection in the mirror is gives satisfaction. Similarly, people are often spurned into action when the reflection in the mirror displeases them.

All bodies are beautiful. Holding onto visual rewards so tightly can mask the true metamorphosis taking place. Therefore, just as all bodies are beautiful, all bodies need to move. How efficiently a person moves can be seen in the mirror. In fact, using the mirror to gauge how efficiently we move is a task that can last decades.

Much like learning a foreign language, communicating with our body has to be practiced and implemented often lest we forget. Maintaining good form and technique is a way of practicing communicating with our bodies. Weight training aids external motivation by pushing performance.

Activity: Log performance for 3 days. The log should include: exercise, name, time spent active, time spent at rest, and repetitions. The next week log performance with specific boundaries around time spent active (i.e. 1 minute round) and compare the repetitions from the week before. Keep this habit up for a month. The log reveals details in our performance progression and habits outside of the gym. Ideally, consistency will yield improvements in performance (more reps during the minute). If this isn't the case, other habits like sleep, hydration, nutrition, and restorative practice need to be monitored and adjusted.

Pattens of muscle movement tell stories most people aren't trained to decipher. Fitness and wellness professionals are taught to understand these stories and help bring individuals to a fresh new chapter. Throughout a lifespan, one may need help learning how to communicate with one's body. Another tactic for staying in the maintenance is to focus on injury prevention.

Everyone gets injured, but some more severely than others. Believe it or not, people with an active lifestyle are less likely to be injured. The reasoning has to do with atrophy or muscle loss caused by disuse. Atrophy can happen to anyone, and people who are not focused on an active lifestyle experience atrophy at a higher rate which leads to tears and broken bones should they do simple activities like reaching over head or drastic situations like falling down.

Bone density is directly related to muscle tissue through osteoblastic activity. The tension placed on the bone from the muscle will stimulate the osteoblasts in the bone to replicate. Therefore, overtime more muscle mass equates to stronger bones.

I've encountered people whom attribute movement to cause of injury. For instance, a woman age 27 was jumping on a trampoline and broke her ankle. This deterred her from wanting to workout. I broke down to her that youth means very little when it comes to physical activity. Her issue was that she had pronated posture distortion which caused her to put more pressure on her instep and unevenly distribute her weight in her hip girdle. People always think about the knee joint when it comes to jumping however the hip girdle should be taking on much more impact than the knee joint. Wrapping it up, her every day movement patterns of sitting, standing, and walking with her thighs too close together created atrophy in the largest muscle groups that would protect her from injury during a jump.

In explaining and further prescribing exercise that will fix her distortion, she began to develop muscle and lose weight.

Working with older adults also provides illumination that looking shredded is at the bottom of the motivation list. Working out helps to reduce hypertension, heart disease, breathing issues, arthritis and stroke occurrences. Further, active older adults fall less because of increased stability, and should they fall it is less drastic. People who have rebuilt limbs and joints experience more comfort if they move and work the limb. Older adults that prioritize physical activity are also on less prescription medications and tend to have healthier minds than those that do not.

In the grand scheme of things, older adults are moving their bodies to maintain their independence and hobbies that they truly enjoy. The financial benefit is also extraordinary for older adults that exercise have fewer medical emergencies and intervention that would tax a fixed income. We all get old. But how we do that and the quality of life we have is not the same. I once met a 76 year old uber driver that had COPD sitting with his oxygen tank in the passenger seat. He explained that he got up at 5 am to do stretches and resistance exercises for 60 minutes because that habit gave him an extra 3 hours of easy breathing a day. It's never too late to start.

To conclude, maintenance is the phase where we adjust the reasoning behind our regimen. Someone who eats clean and in moderation, stimulates their muscle mass, and keep healthy hobbies will more than likely look better than someone who does not. That is just a given. It is not the goal, but the benefit to have an elite physique. The things we gain are resilience, peace, independence, and reduced medical expenses.

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