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Exercise for the rider.

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  • Exercise for the rider.

    I'm curious about htose who work out as well as ride.
    I have my own barn, only 2 stalls, but its 7 days a week, between that, my office job and riding my one horse where does one find the time to exercise?
    I am not one to purchase a gym membership because I know it would not get used.

    Anyone in the same situation? Do you work out?

    I would prefer to be a tad bit more fit. I do not make the best choices with food. I am 25 years old, 5'4 in height and weight about 130/135 depending on the day.

    Ideal would be a bit less, but I will always have junk in the trunk

    I currently ride Training level and am curious to what people do to stay a bit more fit.

    I would like to maybe start running, but where do I fit this in? Would it need to be every day?

  • #2
    I retired my guy from eventing, and then finally had time to get fit. I still ride him lightly, and the difference that fitness has made in my riding is amazing. The additional core strength and aerobic capacity make a huge difference in how I sit on the horse, and how I can use my body. I do vinyasa yoga for at least 1.5 hours at least twice a week, and usually practice (yoga talk for doing yoga) more than that. I also try to ride my bike for at least a half hour several times a week and walk about a mile a day with my dogs. When I can afford another horse, I am not sure how I will find the time to ride and stay fit .


    • #3
      I do exercises that are multi-purpose. I do push ups (man push-ups, not girlie ones!), situps on an incline bench and leg presses on a incline leg press. The push ups require no equipment and really strengthens the whole upper body, you can do sit ups without an incline bench (tuck your toes under the edge of the couch)and you can substitute squats (Google "perfect form in squats") adding hand weights. A set of hand weights (no girlie 2 pounds) of 8,10,12 and 15 pounds will be the only thing you need to buy. I also do lateral arm flys with the 12 pound weights to build lateral shoulder even more. You can hold a set of the hand weights when you do squats. This only takes maybe 15-20 min and I do it every other day. You can do it during the commercial breaks, seriously! I do! Maybe running (start slow) on the days in between. To me, weight training is the most beneficial and it does get your heart rate up but running may help- more for cardiovascular endurance.
      "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope


      • #4
        I manage a horse farm, and while I don't have to muck stalls I do walk...A LOT. I average 3 to 4 miles a day. This keeps me at a decent base of fitness (if I remember to breath, I am not winded at the end of a prelim xc round). Also, I have a nice backside because of all that walking

        Preferably, I would be riding one of my bikes a few evenings a week now that I have the daylight to do it. Of course, I finally figured out how to do it, and messed up my bike on the first ride (going to try and sweet talk a friend into helping me fix it this afternoon). Cycling is both for my fitness (I HATE running...hate it), but also something I love to do and gives me something to do to that doesn't involve a horse or horse person (a big thing for me). And when I make the effort to fit it in, I sleep better (I have minor insomnia...the more I do, the better I sleep).

        The BIGGEST help for me has been making wiser choices regarding food. I think my eating habits, even at their absolute worst, are better than the average American. But, by eating lots more fruits and veggies, cutting out almost all dairy (I don't drink milk or eat yogurt, and while I do ok, digestive wise, with cheese, if I have it in the house I WILL EAT IT TIL IT IS GONE. Without fail. No impulse control with cheese!), keeping my meat to a minimum (meat is usually my going out splurge), and drinking lots and lots of water I stay pretty trim (for me. I'll never be a rail) and feel better (I can tell when I'm not eating well because I start to feel poorly and lose energy). I LOVE hummus, so I try to remind myself to eat it with veggies and not pretzels. I TRY (don't always manage) to make healthy choices the easiest choices by having fruit clean and washed and sitting on the counter instead of buried in the crisper, and I try to keep veggies cut up and ready to eat in the fridge. This makes a big difference for me because I am often starving and tired by the time I get in the house. So, the easiest food gets eaten. All that being said, I don't deny myself things. I usually have a beer or two at night, I typically keep cookies in the house, and sometimes when I want pizza and ice cream, I EAT pizza and ice cream. And, about once a month (and friends can attest to this) I am crazed until I have a big, fat cheeseburger.

        The exercise thing is tough for me because of my long days and the fact that I live about 20 minutes from everything (if not more). Again, making things absolutely easy helps. When I want to ride my bike in the evening, I make a huge point of not sitting down. I change my clothes, grab a snack, and go. Because I'm not terribly fit on my bike right now, I drive it to a nearby rail-to-trail, which is flat (lots of hills around me...eventually, that will be great for my fitness!). So, the bike, my helmet, and my shoes all live in the car. That helps. Setting myself up to make good choices, food or exercise, really makes a difference.


        • #5
          I have a Jillian Michaels DVD(30 Day Shred) that I love! The workouts are a super quick 30min that is pretty easy to fit in to my day either right when I wake up or after I get home for the evening. Even though they're only 30min, they kick your butt! It's a pretty good mix of cardio and weight training. Plus it's easy to adjust the intensity by adding heavier/lighter weight depending on your fitness. In addition to that I like to go for short(2-4mile) runs about 3x a week. I can really tell the difference in my riding when I'm working out and when I'm not!


          • #6
            I dislike gym workouts but it is not uncommon for that to be my only option especially in the winter- in those cases I generally just suck it up and go .
            Back when I had a paid gym membership, I was much more likely to go if I was going to a class (I find those less boring) or it was one of my days to only do a short cardio workout followed by a weights/resistance workout. I find steady state cardio in a gym mind numbingly boring and I could usually only make myself do it if there was something mildly interesting on the gym TV.
            A few years ago, I joined a competitive rowing team and while I have to get up painfully early, it is a much more interesting way to get exercise for me and, since I a competitive person, being part of a competitive team motivates me to workout on my own on non-rowing days so I can stay in the A boat and that boat will do well (not kidding when I say I am competitive)
            Not saying you should join a rowing team, but if you can find anything that makes exercise interesting to you, go with that. That is the only way you will keep doing it.
            During a period a couple years ago when I could not row, I started biking a ton because biking on the trails near my house was much better than the stationary bike in the gym.
            As for when I fit it in- before work mostly. Working out after work impinges on riding time, social time with my friends and frankly I am much more likely to bag it when it is the end of a long work day (I work pretty long hours) than I am if I wake up and work out first thing. It is hard to fit in but I find when it is part of daily routine and just what I automatically do, it gets easier
            Anyway this is what has worked for me. YMMV
            There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


            • #7
              I ride 3-4 a day, 5 days a week.
              I teach lessons 2 nights a week.
              I work 50 hours a week for the corporate job.
              I go to the gym and bust my arse 4 days a week.
              I do cycling, Turbo Kick (getting certified to teach it, yeah!), a cross fit style class, yoga, and 20 minutes of abs/core before all the stuff I just mentioned.

              I honestly don't do much else.... Sunday nights are martini night though!
              chaque pas est fait ensemble


              • #8
                I found that working out is something you have to get into the habit of-- and like others have said, find something you enjoy! I've gotten to the point now where I have to work out at least 6 days a week or I'm grumpy and not fun to be around! I either wake up early if I don't have to be somewhere until later or I do it from 9-10 at night when I'm done at the barn. (I do ride at least 5 days a week too). But if you don't love it, you won't stick with it. For me, the best thing is my treadmill. I get a movie or a TV show I like and watch 40 min of it before doing 20 min of pilates. I also do an hour of weights 2 days a week instead of the cardio + pilates. I am doing the Dukan diet (eat mainly protein, fewer carbs, and hardly any fats) and I have lost 4 inches around my waist and can tell a huge improvement in my riding.
                Follow my instagram @snafflesandwellies for all things horses + fashion!


                • #9
                  If I could get back all the money I spent on lessons when I was not physically capable of doing what was asked of me...

                  DH had a health scare and I started working with a personal trainer in an effort to get him to go [not that I didn't need it also!] I lost 50+ lbs in a year [unfortunately some of it has found me again...] and the difference in my riding was night and day.

                  I was always a timid rider. Once I had the core strength and balance to not feel like I was going to fall, suddenly I got brave!

                  I really enjoyed working with a NASM certified trainer. (Not all certifications are the same.) And unlike a gym membership, when you write the check in advance and someone is personally expecting you to show up, it's much harder to just skip it that day.
                  ... and Patrick