Maintaining Muscle Mass With a Diet and Exercise Schedule

A good diet and exercise schedule is key to maintaining muscle mass. Studies have shown that you can be in better shape in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s than you were in your 20’s with regular exercise.

The best time to eat a carbohydrate-rich meal is in the 30-60 minute window following your workout. This will maximize glycogen replacement and help your muscles recover.

Make it a habit

When it comes to habits, experts agree that they are formed through repetition. If you can make your exercise a part of your routine, it will eventually become automatic and free up mental space for other activities. Try to do your workout at the same time every day, and create a ritual around it — like putting on your gym clothes first thing in the morning or setting aside a certain amount of time for it each day. It’s also helpful to track your progress so you can see the results of your efforts.

However, it’s important to be realistic about your goals and expectations when trying to build a habit. It’s hard to stick with a diet and exercise program if you constantly have to remind yourself that you aren’t meeting your goals. Start with something that is so easy, it feels silly not to do it (like walking for five minutes a day) and work up from there.

Set realistic weight-loss goals

It’s important to set both process and outcome goals. Outcome goals are specific things you want to achieve, like losing weight or exercising more. Process goals are changes you will make to your routine, such as walking 30 minutes every day. Outcome and process goals work well together because changing your habits is the most important part of losing weight.

Setting realistic weight-loss goals is one of the most important steps in achieving your health and fitness resolutions for the new year. Fast weight loss, such as aiming to lose 10 or 20 pounds in a week, is not only unrealistic but also unhealthy. It’s best to aim for a slow, steady rate of weight loss. This can be achieved by creating an energy deficit, or consuming less calories than you burn daily through a healthy eating plan and regular exercise. A safe and healthy goal is to lose 1 to 2 pounds weekly. (1)

Make it a priority

Most people have to make a daily decision whether they will work out or not. With work, family and bills, they can’t put it off or face negative consequences. But with exercise, they can choose to make a different choice. They can keep feeding their bodies junk and making excuses, or they can start eating right and exercising regularly to ensure a healthy lifestyle that steers them away from illness and injury.

Making exercise a priority is the only way to ensure that it happens. That might mean putting your workouts on the calendar, scheduling them the same as doctor’s appointments or even sharing your exercise plans with a friend to help hold you accountable. Ultimately, you have to be willing to sacrifice some of the other things in your life, or find a way to make time for exercise anyway. It might mean a little less Starbucks, or skipping that evening TV show. The reward is a healthier, happier life.

Find time to exercise

When your work schedule is hectic, it can feel impossible to find time for exercise. However, you do not have to spend hours at the gym and sweat buckets to reap the benefits of exercise.

Instead, try to fit exercise into your daily routine. You can take a 30-minute walk during your lunch break, bike to work each day or run one mile each night after dinner.

You can also sign up for a group fitness class, play a sport or join a dance program to keep you motivated. It’s also a good idea to get an exercise buddy who will help hold you accountable so that you don’t skip workouts.

Incorporate fun activities into your workouts, such as walking or biking to a beautiful sunrise spot or sunset each day, hiking, skating or rollerblading. The more you enjoy your workouts, the more likely they will become part of your regular schedule. You don’t have to enjoy them all the time, but it helps to do something that makes you smile.Kost och träningsschema

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