How To Be A Fitter Healthier More Focused Rider
My goal is to help you shine as a dressage rider and to be able to enjoy riding and achieve your dressage goals. This means then that we need to take care of our body and ensure we are doing things to keep our rider fitness and health in top form. To often we are just too busy being busy and we just coast along then we wonder why we are in the same position we were 12 months ago. Now there is nothing wrong with this if this is what you want. However if you are wanting to be the best rider you can be, then this does require more focus.
So today I wanted to share with you some of my top steps on how to be a fitter healthier more focused rider. Build your stamina, strength and performance by caring for your body as much as you do your horses and go out there this season and take things up to another level.
Eat Real Whole Food
To be able to enjoy your riding and have the focus and stamina to ride well, you need to be feeling good on the inside. Food builds the cells your live in. Eat whole real food. Ditch refined sugars, packaged processed foods and seek nutrient rich whole real food.
Improve your posture
If you are balanced, stable and strong this is going to have a huge impact on how you ride. Sitting in a desk job, driving lots and standing poorly will all affect how you sit in the saddle. Put time into how you sit and move your body each and everyday and put time aside to rebalance if your environment is affecting that posture. For example a desk job can cause rounding of shoulders and really tight hip flexors. To improve this make sure your computer is set up ergonomically, take regular breaks at work, walk lots throughout your day and before you ride do stretches to help rebalance the body and avoid your job affecting your riding posture.
The fitter and more energized you are the more focused you can be when you ride. Riding does require core strength and postural strength. Similar to that required for running, walking and simply standing. So if you find you are fatiguing while riding improve your fitness off the horse by doing some core strength training as well as some walking or running. Or just simply start by standing more throughout your day. A minimum amount of walking steps per day is 10,000 this is easily achieved for those who muck out daily and get in some form of walking each day.
All of our bodies cells reactions need water. So if you are moody, feeling flat, lethargic and just lacking luster. Start with water first. Aim to drink 2 litres per day. A good way to start your day is with 500mls of water before breakfast with some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in it and a pinch or himalayan salt. This helps set up the digestive system for the day and also rehydrate the body. Check out my post I wrote here about hydration with the added benefit of rock salt.
Timings Of Your Meals
To often I see people skip breakfast, eat minimal for lunch and then overeat at the end of the day. This is going to reflect in your waistline and how your body recovers and repairs at night time. Flip your meals around. Breakfast should be the biggest meal of your day, then lunch and dinner should be a small meal. Aim to eat your dinner 3 hours before bed to allow digestion to complete and melatonin to be able to be produced. This then gives your body the opportunity for optimal recovery and repair while sleeping. Ultimately then helping you wake up more energized and focused the next day.
Take Care Of You First
The more attention you put into taking care of you, the more you can care for others. Including your horse. Its very hard to do this when you are fatigue, grumpy and exhausted. So put you first and make it a priority to prioritize your health first.
One of the great things about horses and riding is that it does provide us with lots of movement opportunities such as mucking out, moving hay bales, carrying feed bags etc. All these things are amazing for keeping your body active, strong and healthy. However often we look at these as a hassle and for a lot of people we aren’t doing enough. Keep your body moving and active as much as you can each and every day, enjoy the active lifestyle keeping a horse creates and look for more movement opportunities in your day to day life. A good rule of thumb is to spend 50% of your day either standing or moving.
Sleep is hugely under rated and I would love to see this change. Lack of sleep affects your blood sugar levels, cravings, mood, emotions, recovery and repair. So if you are having trouble losing weight, your mood is all over the show and your cravings are sky rocketing. Prioritize your sleep. Ensure you are sleeping in a dark black room and that you remove all electronic devices from your room as these have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep. Aim to get 8+ hours each night.
Visualise And Goal Set
This is a game changer. Failure to plan is a plan to fail. So set your self some weekly goals. Write down a schedule of how you are going to take care of you, when you are going to ride and combine that with healthy food choices. Then break down skills and techniques to allow you to visualize what you need to do to succeed. Each and every day revisit those and be focused on stepping closer to those goals each and every day.
Success equals dedication x commitment /time. Its not about just buying a flash horse and all the toys. In order for you to really shine as a dressage rider it means you want to take care of your body as well. Provide yourself with a platform so that you can succeed from. Don’t hold yourself back from your own success. Be the rider you want to be, by making daily choices to be better and to improve your rider health and fitness. This will make you a more focused and successful rider in the future.
Check out the dressage rider training program where there are workouts, core exercises and dressage specific workouts you can do in your living room. Improve your rider fitness, strength and overall health by taking care of your health as well. Learn more here about the dressage rider training program.