Despite being a very demanding sport, if we’re not riding on the daily, then it can be hard to keep our fitness up. In this post, I’ll be talking about how to stay fit and healthy as an equestrian!
Back in 2018, I was riding almost everyday, going to the gym most evenings, and eating a well balanced diet. When I tell you that I was fit… given, I was only 15 with fast metabolism, but sometimes I look back and wonder “what happened?”
As we get older, sometimes staying active just gets swept under by all of our homework, jobs, and responsibilities. But most of the time, we don’t provide ourselves with the abundance of grace that we need, or the understanding that our bodies will change and fluctuate throughout our life.
That being said, we can still learn how to care for our physical and emotional health. So without further delay, here’s How to Stay Fit and Healthy as an Equestrian!
There’s No “Ideal” Body Type
As Equestrians, it’s so easy to compare our bodies to those of others, constantly feeling like we would be better riders or prettier to watch in the arena, “if only I was slimmer or had longer legs, etc. etc.”
But at the end of the day, there are so many diverse disciplines horses, which makes the sport that much more fascinating! Why don’t we consider our differences the same way?
Learning how to appreciate and work with your body is the refreshing first step to becoming a stronger you.
Meal prep for the barn and shows!
Personally, I work eight-hour days at my barn as a trail guide, so if I don’t meal prep beforehand, I’m usually terribly hungry by the time I get back to my dorm. Because of this, I find myself binge-eating in a rushed manner – which (a) isn’t good for my body and (b) isn’t creating healthy habits or a healthy relationship with food.
You might find yourself in the same situation of starving yourself all day, only to come home and stuff yourself with comfort foods and extra portions. And though every now and then is perfectly okay, we want to be able to maintain our habits.
Taking one evening to pack a lunch box for your trips to the barn will help to fuel your body, but also, help to create a healthy relationship with food!
Exercise out of the saddle!
Time in the saddle is active and a great source of exercise; however, achieving those goals of becoming as fit as possible might need some outside assistance.
If you’re not sure how to start, going to the gym and talking to a personal trainer would be super helpful! However, you can also follow along with YouTube tutorials or check out workout programs like The Fit Equestrian.
Now that we have all of the information we need to make changes – it’s time to implement!
When we first make the decision to exercise or create healthier habits, it’s so easy to dive in all at once… resulting in about a 5-day streak. Trying to be an entirely new you at once is never going to be fruitful; old habits die hard after all. Instead, creating short-term and long-term goals while incorporating small habits is definitely the road to success.
Start by envisioning your future – the routine and habits you would like to form. Work backwards from there, seeing what you need to do to achieve those goals.
Whether it’s wanting to consistently drink more water or workout for an hour a day… you’ll still need to work up to it! And trust me, you’ve got this 😉
At the end of the day,
don’t forget to appreciate where you are now. Creating those healthy goals and habits takes a lot of dedication, but it’s way more enjoyable if you… well, actually enjoy it.
All the best,
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