Fitness For Trail Riding and Horse Camping
Fitness is defined as being balanced in strength training and aerobics.
Horse back riding uses muscles in a way that is hard to replicate unless you are riding! It can be a challenge to target the exact muscle usage. Cross training brings good results! Muscle tone addresses core work, upper body, and lower body strength training. I use a Total Gym machine, but have regularly thrown in some yoga and Pilates. The convenience of having a home machine has paid off for me. I live about ten miles out of town, so this is perfect! If your routine dictates a gym membership, you can have a built in support group along with it! I have an ongoing support group with fellow riders and folks at work. This is invaluable to stay on track and avoid backsliding!
As much as I feel like I am getting a workout riding, I do have to supplement with aerobics and strength training. Horseback riding is my motivation! I like to keep my routine as simple as possible, working it into my daily routine in a way that makes sense. For aerobics, I take my dog out for off leash walks. I power walk for 30-45 minutes. Cramer is a German Shepherd mix. I choose to leave him at home for trail rides. I consider him my exercise machine. So I need to keep my motivation up to get him out.
I am not perfect, nor a fanatic. I am trimming up after not paying attention this year, and getting a late start on my riding. Cutting out junk food, eliminating sugar, walks with the dog, and sessions on my Total Gym will do the trick for me. Now, no backsliding!
We should all strive to be as fit as we see fit, and be as good a rider as we can be, for the good of our best trail buddy, our horse!