Equestrian lifestyles are – complicated. I don’t truly believe that the non-horsey community understand the difference unless they are a boyfriend or spouse that is regularly dragged to the yard will understand the commitment and time that owning, caring and looking after horses involves! It is busy, socially awkward, time consuming and physically demanding.
Ever since I can remember I have turned down parties because Its too much effort to drive back to the yard in the evening and back to the party, or wake up hung-over and dealing with poop and pee all over me in the early hours. Once you add the mix of kids poop and wee all over you also, exercising and finding the time to get that in is overwhelming too!!!
You do have a choice however, to take charge of your overall health and wellness and find ways not only to enjoy exercising, but to fit it in your busy schedule, so here are some of my tips, I would LOVE you to add yours below also 🙂
Wake Up Earlier
Wait! OK I know for some of you that IS NOT going to be an option, don’t leave me here! I understand totally, when people used to say that to me I would go puce trying to explain that I start work for 8:30am and I have 4 to muck out 2 to ride and get changed before let alone drive their first – so this one might not work for all of you!
If you don’t have early equestrian commitments, set the alarm and get a workout in. Does not have to be fancy. You tube including my channel (hint hint) have free workouts for you to do, you can follow along and not even think! 20-30 minutes is perfect. Get your workout kit out and ready and get moving in the front room. I always feel much better when I have worked out in the morning. I always eat better too once I have worked out and then you know its done and can relax later in the day.
2. Lunch Dates
If you eat at your desk – stop it! When I used to work at an office job at Hartpury College I quickly got into the desk eating trend. Nope, you deserve it to your body to take a break. Again if you are on the yard all day then resting might be better for you than running but you are (if you work) obligated to time for lunch. I used to often take a walk or go for a jog in my lunch break. A 10-15 minute brisk walk and a natter with mates, then having lunch will make you more productive for the remainder of the day.
3. Enjoy It!
Seems obvious but you have to enjoy it, find something that you enjoy AND that suits you at the current place in your fitness journey! Try lifting weights, swimming kickboxing, salsa, powerlifting, bootcamp etc. Fitness can change, you can change, just try new things and go with it until you need or desire something else! Going on the cross trainer for 30 mins and busting out some bicep curls gets boring very fast!
4. Schedule BUT don’t over commit!
This is a big one for me. Set goals, figure out a schedule to meet them, but keep it loose so that you can still have a sense of life! I try to workout a bare minimum of 4 times per week. Any day that I can, I personally feel better if I have done some form of exercise daily but it doesn’t always happen. I have 4 weights sessions that I try to get in and if I do that then I am happy – my main goal is to increase my strength and the moment and so those come first. Then, if I can I like to add in 1-2 yoga and 1-2 spin/run sessions. But I am not going to set the exact days and times because that doesn’t work for me, around the kids and my SAHM life etc. I know the gym childcare schedule so I know when I can definitely go, then my husband and I sit down and plan out the weekends so we both get a bit of time to ourselves to workout. Now if you have a more structured day, making a plan might work better for you, but schedule the minimum to meet your goals and have the other sessions as extras 🙂
Quality high intensity circuits or conditioning sessions will be hard. You might not like it. There are probably burpees involved. But suck it up sunshine, if you dont have a lot of time, intense workouts are your friend. If you cant find more than 30 mins 2-3 days are week then you have to expect your workouts to hurt a little bit. Trust me it feels great afterwards!
You CAN workout from home effectively. You have to be disciplined. If you not a self motivator, get a free video on and follow it. Best part you barely need to get dressed. I am often workout out in my underwear (blinds closed), kids running about while making the dinner 🙂 Its not always ‘me time’ in the gym sometimes is a multitasking mess. Accept that sometimes your kids might not let you have the time, and some days it will be annoying. You just try another day! I love doing yoga at home and also circuits or kickboxing!
Invest in some at home fitness kit, a stability ball and resistance bands will keep you sorted for a while, check out this blog I wrote about home fitness kit . I am also known to skip while the kids run about on their bikes. I look like a nutter and the neighbours think I am but it gets the job done!! There are also e books (30 Day Rider Fitness Challenge), I can coach you or join up for our EventFit Riderstrong membership!
I would love to hear how you fit fitness into your lifestyle and share your tips with us 🙂