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50+ Riders, how do you stay fit?

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  • Original Poster

    Luckily my posture has always been good and it's something I pay attention to. I have lower back arthritis which for the most part doesn't bother me too much. However, I do find standing for long periods of time very tiring and I start to list to the side or need something to hold me up. today, instead of my usual no breakfast, I had a low fat yogurt which is a step in the right direction I think. Lunch will be my usual salad and if it's not raining, I think I'll take a walk after. At least at my job, the printer is on the other side of the floor so there's a lot of getting up and walking back and forth. Coffee is downstairs so there's that as well. The last time I ran cross country at a one day derby I had to stop halfway around to catch my breath. Can't be doing that at recognized.


    • #22
      I found myself in cardiac rehab last year at the age of 53. It was a wakeup call, for sure. We live within walking distance of Planet Fitness and while I resisted it for years before cardiac rehab, I've found it's exactly what I need now. It's open 24/7, there's a wide range of people from all walks of life and all fitness levels, and it's CHEAP at $10/month. I can squeeze in 30 minutes on the elliptical before work if I have to, or I'll stop on my way home from the barn at the end of the evening. My only complaint is there's no obvious trainer-person available most of the times I'm there, so I made some mistakes in using equipment I wasn't familiar with and my shoulder paid the price.

      And, you don't get very far with exercise if you aren't paying attention to diet at the same time. But that's another thread.


      • #23
        I just started yoga and I love it. I also do Pilates and a combination aeorbics/light weights class.


        • #24
          I'm less than pleased with my fitness, at least you are still riding. I went through an illness and spent 5 months in rehab/PT, they passed me out then I realized that I had a huge potential to just go backwards and signed up for Senior fitness two days a week and personal training with the same guy one day a week. I make sure to park a block away to get some more cardio in there because the sessions are only half an hour, and I keep meaning to use the Gazelle that I am hanging clothes all over on a regular basis. It's difficult once you are classified as a geriatric or heart patient in the minds of many doctors, they are perfectly willing to allow you to vegetate and some of the meds are really destructive to an active lifestyle. My doctor keeps describing me as hypertensive and my BP is historically low, sometimes scary low.
          I sit around far too much and it's not smart.
          My personal trainer pushes me much more than PT ever did, I sweat every session, but we are still dealing with the effects of the illness on my nervous system etc, when that happens he has no trouble at all suggesting a modification without stopping or reducing the work. I have weeks where I do exercise at home but it seems that when I feel good and push it I exhaust myself in terms of being able to increase my stamina by the week, two steps forward, one step back.
          I'd say just look for something that is geared to be lower impact, my trainer advertised himself as being elder friendly, not some very fit 25 year old that was going to ask for exercises that could exceed our ability to recover and cause injury. The last thing you need is to try to improve your fitness and tear a rotator cuff.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible


          • #25
            Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post


            I went and hunted that thread down for you. Now I'm going to take my temperature.

            "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

            "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig


            • #26
              I take a yoga class once a week, and since last May I've been going to a gym twice a week to work on my core and aerobic endurance.
              I can't believe that I am actually enjoying it... my previous gym memberships were extremely short-lived, because I despise the notion of "exercise for the sake of exercise." However, since I simply was not getting anywhere near fit enough working around the farm or riding, I broke down and joined the gym.
              Check your health insurance for a motivational program - I have United Healthcare Oxford, and it offers a "Sweat Equity" program, where if you go at least 50 times over 6 months, they'll reimburse your gym fees! It was a great motivator... too bad, as it turned out, that my employer (State gov't) doesn't participate in that program... pfffftttt.


              • #27
                I am about to turn 64. WEIGHTS! I am lucky enough to have a personal trainer who really pushes me with weights -- and everything is better since I seriously started 3 years ago -- including cardio. I use to 'pant' after a few trot sets, now no problem -- also no problem skiing out in Colorado with the altitude -- walk, weights, swim laps, and ride for enjoyment - and the balance ideas on horseback sound cool -- I will give those a try -- although in general just being on a horse (unlike the rest of the world) keeps your balance/eyes/coordination working pretty well. Good luck!. Low carb. Stop eating after 5 pm if you can....


                • #28
                  Rapidly approaching 60 here and broke my sacrum and a couple vertebrae a little over a year ago. Up til then I was used to be slim, trim and very fit, riding several horses a day and walking 3-4 miles every morning. Now I'm kinda fit and very fluffy--amazing how much weight a middle-aged person can gain when not exercising regularly! Anyway, I'm back up to walking (fast) 2-3 miles every morning, even when it is zero degrees F out and I'm starting to do a bit of yoga and pilates, and when the weather allows, riding. Fot Thanksgiving, I walked the 5K Turkey Trot in 55 minutes urging my eventer friend on the whole way. A couple weeks ago, I took my horse out down the roads and we did a brisk trot (rising) for almost 3 miles, so I am getting more fit with just walking. Now, I'm thinking of taking up TaeKwanDo again to help rebuild my core and maybe work some fluff off. If that doesn't work, I guess I'll figure out how to diet--but only as a last resort. Lol

                  Btw, my walks always include hill work.


                  • #29
                    It has been a battle for me (64). 7 years ago, I was happy with my fitness and was able to lesson (training 2nd and a little 3rd level) without having to ask for extra breaks. Then the surgeries started and it has been one failed body part after another (hysterectomy, right foot, right hip, coccyx, back and most recently left foot. Talk about fluffy (plus 20lbs...all fat... in that time-frame). I have ridden very little in the last 4 years as the coccyx issue (bone spur) made sitting and thus riding very painful. It was nearly a year and a half after that surgery before I even tried riding again. Of course, I screwed up my back in the interim and I blew up the left foot rehabbing my back by walking (as prescribed). The foot issue really threw a wrench into doing much(or any) ground work so I got to stare at my horse a lot and oh, I could do my pretty pony sessions (grooming).

                    At at the moment everything is working more or less. I have been walking regularly but it isn’t anywhere near enough. I have been riding since September and my balance in the saddle is feeling pretty good and I am able to positively influence the horse but yeah, no stamina at all. There probably won’t be much riding this winter. Our indoor footing is just too deep. I do some lunging and In-hand work in there but I am very hesitant to do much mounted work. Horsey needs conditioning too and is of the age (17) that I am just not going to push the riding in that footing and risk injury to her. All this time she has been marvelously sound and me...not even pasture sound. A friend has done some work with her periodically and did ride her from May through Sept this year so she has a bit of baseline fitness.

                    So I am going to add in some rowing for me. I have a lovely Concept 2 rower in the garage...I don’t even need to go to the gym so no excuses. I would like to add in a couple days a week of strength training because I know it is truly a use it or lose it proposition. The last couple months have been pretty whacky between elder care for my mother and chauffeuring a friend around that had a surgery and is not able to drive. Fingers crossed she gets the OK to drive next week and that will free me up a bunch and I need to use that time for me .



                    • #30
                      Heading towards 60 faster than I like to admit. Have done lots of PT for a variety of back problems, and now know that core strength is important! Lots of Pilates-like stuff. I have 2 horses and ride 3-4 times a week, then try to get to the gym the other days. Once a week I pay for a trainer at the gym, which keeps me honest about getting there...

                      Have been slacking recently, though; need to add in more cardio and delete some calories. Sigh. My body is much less forgiving these days (and the ground is harder).


                      • #31
                        Find what types of exercise you like to do and do a little more of it. I go to a CrossFit gym and try to hit the days that are more cardio than heavy lifting. My body reacts really well to cardio exercise and poorly to weightlifting. I am a long slow distance type, and don't have many fast twitch muscles - so I feel great after a cardio session and like crap after weights.
                        Finding something that makes you feel good afterwards will help keep up the motivation. As does paying ahead for classes - I paid I'd better show up.

                        And I know that the days at the gym make those farm days where I need to lug round pen panels or lift hay or shovel snow easier.

                        As for eating - don't eat after supper works for me.


                        • #32
                          Daily farm chores are beneficial but nothing equals a daily structured routine.

                          1. Aerobic exercise--I walk several miles 6 days a week.

                          2. Weight bearing exercise-- I do exercises with weights 3 days week.

                          3. Modify your calorie intake. With every passing year no matter how active I am, I just don't (or can no longer) eat like I used to and stay at a good weight. It is amazing how little food I need to consume to maintain my weight.


                          • #33
                            I'm 57. Four years ago my health insurance plan hooked me up with a nutritionist and a dietician. I've managed to keep the weight I lost off but was not happy with my fitness level so in April I decided to try the Dressage Rider Training program. Twelve weeks of online core, yoga and strength workouts. I was so much more balanced in and out of the saddle at the end of the 12 weeks that I did part 2 in the fall and just started part 3. I don't even ride dressage, i slob ride but my seat is solid and deep and I have been able to handle Rustle's shenanigans.

                            For cardio, I use Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home program. This combination seems to work for me.

                            I'm also a massage therapist. There's a lot of physically demanding stuff in my life.


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Foxglove View Post
                              I ride daily and care for my 4 horses --but I also exercise --spin indoors using a YouTube program (varies) for 30-40 min each day. I am a Mounted Archer, too --so upper body gets an almost daily workout shooting a few arrows --unless it is too cold to feel my fingers. I have always been a calorie counter ---aim to keep below 1500 daily. Usually do. I don't drink (too many calories) and avoid all sugary drinks (and diet drinks --just drink water and coffee).
                              What kind of spin bike do you have? I'm looking into a bike but they are expensive and there so many options


                              • #35
                                altermetoday --I have a Schwinn "Spinner" ---real bottom of the barrel ---no meters for measuring speed or intensity --guess you can buy those and attach them. My husband goes to a place that has spinning classes. When they replaced their old bikes with new ones, members were offered the old bikes at $100. Husband likes going to classes --me? I like doing it at home. I think I would like a rowing machine ---more complete workout --but having a spin bike is enough. Since I don't know how fast I'm going or how hard, I just try to do it as fast as I can and as hard as I can. Some days I'm better than others ---Mondays are the worst --after hunting all day Sunday --I'm beat. I still make myself get on and "do the class" even if I suck at it. Type in "beginning spinning" on YouTube --I do a 20 min class --but sometimes I do it twice in a row to make the 40 min. There are also "trips" one can take --through the mountains or New York City ---I do that sometimes --but mostly just the same class ---I'm a pretty boring person!


                                • #36
                                  Turning 66 in a month. I'm a big fan of the Mediterranean diet. Once I hit menopause, I started having trouble maintaining my weight. This diet is sustainable, i.e., you can stick to it for life. My knees are finally starting to go after 60+ years of riding, but i still manage running 4-5 miles 5 days a week, do Zumba 2 days a week, and take Hatha Yoga once a week. My shoulders are shot, so the gym is out of the question. Maintaining good health is a lot of work as we age and I've discovered that a whole lot of people don't want to put in the effort. I have to maintain this lifestyle or I would have to stop riding. I'm down to one horse now though, and that's enough for this old body.


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Foxglove View Post
                                    altermetoday --I have a Schwinn "Spinner" ---real bottom of the barrel ---no meters for measuring speed or intensity --guess you can buy those and attach them. My husband goes to a place that has spinning classes. When they replaced their old bikes with new ones, members were offered the old bikes at $100. Husband likes going to classes --me? I like doing it at home. I think I would like a rowing machine ---more complete workout --but having a spin bike is enough. Since I don't know how fast I'm going or how hard, I just try to do it as fast as I can and as hard as I can. Some days I'm better than others ---Mondays are the worst --after hunting all day Sunday --I'm beat. I still make myself get on and "do the class" even if I suck at it. Type in "beginning spinning" on YouTube --I do a 20 min class --but sometimes I do it twice in a row to make the 40 min. There are also "trips" one can take --through the mountains or New York City ---I do that sometimes --but mostly just the same class ---I'm a pretty boring person!
                                    I loved my spin classes but at $25 a pop it's too expensive now. Ugh.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I wonder if they have the same sort of "trips" on you tube for treadmills. I'll have to check that out. When I was diagnosed with lower back "degenerative disease" aka arthritis, my doctor told me I had to give up riding. I just looked at him and laughed. I said "nope, that ain't gonna happen; they'll be prying the reins from my cold dead fingers before I give it up." He was less than pleased that I was ignoring his advice. After he retired, my new doctor, who was much younger, said are you kidding? don't give it up, it's exercise.

                                      Lot's of good ideas here. I've always wanted to try yoga and I don't have a reason not to, so that's on the list. There's a Planet Fitness near me so I will check that out as well. I used to go the gym and enjoyed it well enough but the one I went to was very competitive and all the skinny jockettes would give you the stink eye if you weren't in top shape.


                                      • #39
                                        16 Hands, what did he think you were going to do? Sit in a chair to take the stress off your joints? If you're going to do that you are better off sitting on your horse. It's called hippotherapy.

                                        Last year a woman at our barn was broad-sided by a loaded sand truck and escaped with cracks in her pelvis. She did hippotherapy lessons until her lawsuit settled. She is back riding and started yoga last spring. Loves it and you can see the difference especially when she dismounts.

                                        My doctor pestered me into an almost-useless weight loss group years ago. About half the people there were trying to lose weight and quit smoking at the same time. The one really useful concept:

                                        Humming foods: the urge is from inside. Your body wants it. It won't be happy if you try to substitute something else. If it wants cake a salad won't help.

                                        Beckoning foods: the urge is from outside. Your eyes spot the cake on your way to pick up the salad. You can hear it calling out to you. OMG, your mind wants that cake. No, get the salad. But the cake looks so good....
                                        "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019


                                        • #40
                                          just shoot me Can you post a little more about the Dressage Rider Training program?

                                          I've looked at it a couple times and am tempted, but just haven't been able to make the commitment. I currently don't do anything besides riding, and in the winter that's only a couple times a month. I know I need to do more exercise but always find an excuse.