I'm so busy, I recently decided to make my lessons more of a work out by riding without stirrups. It's a killer and so far I've only made it through the flat and half of the jumping. Ouch and pass the Tylenol!
During my lengthy daily commute I've been trying to do stomach exercises while driving. Talk about multi tasking! It sounds crazy (and dangerous) but it can be done. A friend, who teaches pilates, suggested the following: sit up as straight as you can and then gradually pull in your stomach from bottom to top, hold, exhale and repeat. Someone needs to make a tape with this regime!
In my 40's and definitely feeling some changes, but it makes me just work harder.
I am regular with cardio and weights, all at home with my own equipment - 4 to 5 times per week and I mix it up and often do circuits consisting of a cardio "blast" and then weights, repeat over and over for 30-40 minutes- I usually focus on 2 body parts on circuit days, like abs and shoulders, or back and chest. I do legs on their own day and do things like walking lunges with 15 lb. dumbbells in my hands, squats holding 15's or 20's and I do all types - sissy squats, toes on dumbbells, heels on dumbbells, I'll hold and pulse - lots of variations - deadlifts, calf raises, hamstring "pulls" with feet on stability ball, and I do old fashioned floor work - donkey kicks, leg lifts (inner and outer thigh) - all oldie exercises from my old Firm videos . On leg days, I only do legs - my heart rate gets up there, and I am spent after 30-40 minutes.
I also have cardio-only days. But lately I found myself still winded cantering, so I started more "endurance" cardio. Instead of my usual interval runs (sprint a minute, walk 2 minutes), I am running straight for 20-30 minutes. This has really helped as I was starting to feel like my riding was going in "intervals" - I would do great for a minute or two and then tucker out even though I work out alot.
The other thing that REALLY helped is removing my stirrups - some days I take them completely off of my saddle. My horse is a saint and if I get really unbalanced, he stops But wowee did it help, not only my strength but my endurance - first few times I got really winded but now I can go for quite a while without them. My trainer checks my position to make sure I am doing it correctly.
I also spend alot of time in two-point. When my leg position starts to wane, up into two-point I go!
I wish I could "like" pilates and yoga. I have tried and tried but I can't. I get completely bored and need something faster moving. Just a personal preference and a shame as I know it would really help!
At 45, I've had 5 back surgeries, 3 surgeries on my right arm and one surgery on my left arm since 2002. I have ridden in exactly 5 shows in the past 10.5 years. Probably have ridden a total of 6-8 months over that same time period. What works for me is lots of physical therapy after each surgery, and constant pain meds. I usually have to wait 9-12 months after a back surgery to start riding again, less for the arm surgeries. I would love to think that I will be able to show competitively again, but in all honesty, if I am able to get on and hack around for 20 minutes and still be able to walk after I will be happy.
Can't do much yoga or pilates because my whole lower back is fused, jogging is out of the question, but I can do easy cardio (elliptical machine) and light weights at high reps to keep tone up. So far it's worked okay. I'm just happy that I can drag my butt out of bed each morning. Until that stops, I figure I'm doing okay, even if my goals have had to change slightly (or drastically, depending on what we are talking about).
Best advice is just keep up at something, and remember, mental stimulation when laid up is just as important as physical therapy/exercise.
Here is a link to the "Rider Fitness" program I do myself. I had a serious hip injury several years ago and this is what I used to regain strength, flexibility and general fitness off the horse. I put it on my personal website in hopes that it might help others with similar fitness goals.
I so feel your pain! While I don't consider myself (41) to be truly old, I have screwed up knees, ankles and hips. I'm also a curvy and fluffy girl. I got a new horse last year that has a HARD jump. Add to that working a lot and having little time to ride or do anything remotely fitness related, it's taking it's toll. My cardio sucks right now, as does my strength. The one thing I've been doing is - when I do get to ride - doing laps of canter in two point. It's really been amazing for my strength and fitness. I'm up to 8 each direction now. That may not sound impressive, but it surely feels it.
I was in the store tonight and had to go sit in the car my hips hurt soo bad.... as I limped around the store.... uggggg - But I haven't ridden much this week...
So I am going to go put a fire in the fire place, put on my reading glasses and read the Pain Free book!!!!!
Maybe we can all inspire eachother? It does help hearing what others are going through.. and that's a good idea too - doing canter laps in two point... seeing how many I can do... lol... we have a huge arena!
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