|Get In Major Show Shape With Help From Kirsten Farris|
|Kirsten Farris, The Equestrian Athlete|
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yes, it is. Qualifying deadlines are quickly approaching and the major spring and summer shows are now on the horizon. I get that April may seem a bit premature to think about World Shows in June, July and August, but getting in Major Show Shape is not something that can be microwaved. If you are really serious about getting your body and mind to perform at their best, today is the day to get started.
The first step is to take a realistic assessment of where you are with your overall level of physical fitness. The good news is, if you do this as soon as you read this article, you can also eliminate the stress out of bathing suit shopping, so you can kill two very large birds with one proactive stone.
Try on your show clothes. Now.
How do they fit? Have you managed to maintain your body weight where you want it to be? If so, great! If not, it’s still great because you have time to do something about it and it won’t seem like you are spending a month in the Deprivation Cabin at Biggest Loser Camp. If you have a show coming up in the next few weeks, have somebody take pictures of you so you can see how everything looks, and then if you want to make some changes, you can sit down with your pictures and make a list of how you want things to be. If you need to shed a few winter pounds, a realistic goal is 1 to 2 pounds a week, and you should start this now! The longer your body is at your ideal weight, the easier it is to maintain that weight, and for many of us, it is a confidence booster as well. Need another dose of motivation to do this now? Do you really want to wear three pairs of Spanx in the heat of the summer to make sure you can get your chaps zipped or your breeches on? I’m just sayin'.
Set a date
So let’s say you decide you need to lose 12 pounds to really look and feel your best. Take out a calendar and go out into the future six weeks from now, and put your goal weight on the exact date and pat yourself on the back for giving yourself a realistic amount of time to achieve your goal. If you get there sooner, that is fat free icing on the rice cake, but you know you will have time to make the small and relatively painless adjustments you need to make in your diet and exercise program to lose two pounds a week.
Your overall strength
Now is also the time to determine where you are in terms of overall body strength especially your legs and core. Have you had some time off during the winter, and feel that your legs a little weak? If so, there is no time like the present to get your riding muscles in shape by adding some work without your stirrups each time you ride and begin doing a few sets of squats and lunges at home three times a week. When you have time to build up gradually, you won’t be as susceptible to muscle soreness or injuries that could have you trading time in the saddle for time on the sidelines.
Are you more like the Tin Man than Gumby when it comes to basic flexibility? If you bend over and the distance between your fingers to your toes covers two different zip codes, spending time to gain flexibility in your back, legs and hamstrings is in order. You don’t need to spend hours at Bikram Yoga, but a few minutes before you go to bed at night will not only help your muscles elongate, but it will help you sleep. Which brings me to my next point…
If you are serious about losing a few pounds, gaining mental
clarity or you want to stop snapping at people at home and at work, ensuring
you get a good night sleep will do more for you than just about anything, so
start now making an effort to get your zzzzz.
Kirsten Farris is a regular contributor to GoHorseShow.com and a Certified Sport Consultant, Certified Equestrian Fitness Trainer, and the Author of The Workbook for the Equestrian Athlete - A Guide to Showring Success. For more information contact her at: email@example.com © 2012