Swimming is wonderful Easy on the joints which already take a beating from riding and work all of your muscles. Obviously this requires access to a pool which can get expensive if you have to buy a gym membership and stuff.
I have heard great things about the Wii Fit too.
Just walking can be great, not like mall strolling, but a nice, fast walk. I don't like to run because it's too hard on my knees and ankles Good luck!
- do lots of cardio, but make sure you do it in small and numerous INTERVALS. the most affective form of cardio work outs is to vary them. it's better to sprint or run on a treadmill or eliptical for a few minutes and then change to doing some other kind of workout for a while then goign back to running or something else; anything, just make sure you are varying your routine.
- if you have a dog, get into the habit of walking him a couple of times a day try to have a good, fast paced walk (power walking!) because it will actually help
- i havent tried yoga, but ive heard its great for riding
- eat well
- ride !
- do some barn work, if you don't mind it. sweeping the barn can be a serious workout! (i am a working student at the barn, and i have to sweep out 1 ginormous barn isle and 2 other medium size barn isles + all the tack rooms about 3 or more times a day on the days that i work. it seems easy, but when youre full on power sweeping, it gets to be a decent mini workout. i think my working at the barn really gives me an extra boost in my fitness, because here i am, sweeping the banrs all day, if i'm not sweeping, i'm running back and forth between allthe barns and the office (which all have a good distance between them) carrying huge baskets of laundry or saddles or something, or im grooming the schoolies and tacking them up, or setting jumps, or doing *something* that requires decent manual labor.
- when you're at the mall or the grocery store, try parking at the farther or middle end of the lot. that way, you'll have to walk farther! it may not seem like a lot, but it helps build up some endurance, in baby steps, which is important if youre out of shape currently.
- do lots of things like i mentioned right above this, try to make them longer. when you are getting your tack from the tack room and bringing it out to the isle, instead of taking everything in one or two trips, go get a saddle pad, bring it out, go back, get a riser/wither/whatever extra pad if you use it, go back, get girth, go back, get saddle, go back, get martingale, get bridle, etc. make sure each trip you only carry one item. will it take longer? yes, you might have to get to the barn ten or so minutes earlier to make sure youre not late for a lesson so you have time to groom. try to do this for a lot of other normal things. at home, if youre cooking something with lots of ingredients, go get one thing at a time, put it down, go back for the next, etc, instead of taking a handful of everything. if you really want to take it up a notch, try this with your laundry! after you do a load of laundry, this will actually be a genuine workout: take each item up the stairs one at a time to put it away, come back downstairs, get the next item, etc. (you have to be pretty patient for the laundry one, though! but it is really a good workout. a bit more friendly than a stair master!)
I walk (that serious walk already mentioned, work up a sweat and the heart rate) or jog at least 5 miles each day I'm not riding (in other words: 5-days a week), do yoga at least 3x a week, and whatever else I feel like doing at a moment's notice. I'm lucky I have an almost 3-yr-old boy who loves to do anything outside and/or aerobically active. He definitely helps me stay in shape and keep motivated.
"IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique
Core work is essential-I do lots of pilates to strengthen abs, back, hips, shoulders. If you can't hold your torso properly, you won't be able to hold a proper riding position.
Cardio is also essential, and riding itself does not help here. I run, but mostly on soft surfaces and treadmill. My 62 year old knees can't pound the pavement anymore. Mostly short runs (2-4 miles) with one long one (10+) once per week. I probably overdo the cardio, may not need all of that, but I also enjoy it.
I find it interesting that when I group-lesson with a couple of teenagers, that they are sometimes puffing and moaning while I am still breathing easily. Instructor will offer a break, teenagers leap at it, I am OK.
i actually only started working out once i herniated a disc in my lower back, but now that it's become a (necessary) routine i really enjoy it and see its effects in my riding, especially since riding 1x a week isn't enough to get fit.
so i try to do a core/leg workout at least 3x a week, and add on a 2-mile walk/jog (doggie is a GREAT jogging partner! he's got more energy than the energizer bunny) when i have the time and it's nice out. i'm also trying to work up to a hiking trip this summer, so i'm going to try and step up the workload a little to be as fit as i can be to prevent any more back problems.
Well, I am completely strapped for cash due to my horse (big surprise there) and cannot afford a gym membership as much as I would love one. Instead I have recently taken up jump rope!!! I went to Academy, spent $4.50 on a basic rope (they have speed ropes as well) and now jump twice a week. I've really noticed a big difference in my endurance in just the 4 weeks I've been doing it. This is also something you can do inside as long as you have about a 5 x 8 foot area of carpet available.
Now since I don't have a plastic speed rope and my cloth rope doesn't swing very fast, I add an extra hop inbetween. Jump, hop, Jump, hop, Jump, etc. I do 90-100 JUMPS total (don't count the hops), rest for two minutes and repeat. I do 6 sets total and am sweating profusely!!! It is a fantastic workout for your legs and core and only takes about 20 minutes. You can also get weighted ropes which are good for the arms as well!!!
I had the same problem; I had time off from riding to have a baby, then I really didn't have a horse to ride regularly. Now I'm riding my 4 year old homebred 5 days a week! I started getting in shape well before I started riding him, as I still had baby weight to lose. What has worked for me (seriously crunched for time; own our own business, take care of my toddler, ride, take care of my own horses and client horses, etc) is to swim at our local rec center on MWF for 30 minutes. It doesn't sound like a lot, but I really SWIM and in the first year of doing this I lost 13 pounds. When it seemed like I need more I started walking/jogging on our treadmill on T and TH for 30 minutes of interval training. I have now added pilates; I got a great DVD that has 10 minute pilates work outs for each area of the body, so you can have as long or as short of a work-out as you can handle. It also has a segment for flexibility, which has really helped me also. Then in the evenings, right before bed and when everyone else is already asleep, I do some yoga poses from the "Yoga for Equestrians" book.
This is what has worked for me, and not only have I lost weight and gained strength, but I'm much more relaxed and mellow when I can work out regularly!
You definitely don't need a gym membership to get a decent workout. I have a free gym in my office building and only use it when the weather is too gross.
I bike a fair amount and think it's an awesome full body workout. Bought my bike for $40 on Craigslist and a bike helmet, then hit the road. Starting at a few miles and working up to biking about five to ten miles a day or so last summer.
To tone, after that, I just did some basic free weights. Full push ups are an awesome full body workout. Boyfriend swears by the plank and side plank moves for abs (and he has UNFAIRLY perfect abs).
At the moment I'm doing elliptical and long walks with the dog because it's mostly still too gross out to bike, as well as strength training to build up my muscles.
I ride 5-7 times a week. I also do either the elliptical or a fastwalk/jog 2-3 days a week for 20-30 minutes. I used to run track in college, but major back injuries have tempered my competitive running. I do arm and core exercises several times a week to keep both strong too. This routine keeps me in pretty good shape!
I try to eat pretty healthy too. Whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean meats. I do like snacks though. I don't think I could give up chips, fries, or cookies.