Spring fitness and diet efforts - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-07-2020, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Spring fitness and diet efforts

Anybody else emerging from winter, feeling the need to get things back on track physically?

The previous two winters, I was doing nearly two hours of barn chores five mornings a week, and riding about three or four times a week on average. This winter, I part boarded a horse on full care board, so I dropped back to riding three days a week, and no chores.

Well, I put on at least ten pounds over this winter because of the lack of activity.

Being active outdoors here is tough in the winter, because our winters are BRUTAL, and I live too far from any gyms to make them worthwhile.

So my current efforts include super long walks, at least three times a week, in addition to riding three times a week. Like, walks that are anywhere from 6km to 9km, on average. Today's walk included a few stretches of jog, too, just to test those waters. And they felt okay. (I used to run 5km regularly, and could run 10km six years ago!)

One advantage to having gotten a bit out of shape is that I get WARM when I walk!! I'll see other people in heavy jackets, and there I am, hoofing it along and sweating in a tank top. Also, I have lots of secluded, pretty roads and pathways near me, so it's easy to get out without getting close to anyone.

I haven't made much of a conscious effort from a dietary perspective, yet, because I think my main problem was a lack of activity, and not so much the food part. But one side effect of having more time on my hands from COVID shut downs is that I've been doing a lot more cooking, with better, "real" ingredients. So I think that's on the right track. But at some point I might take a closer look at what I'm actually doing in that department. Less wine, less snacking, more veg, and leaner meats might not be the worst changes to make...

How's everyone else doing?
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-07-2020, 05:52 PM
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Starting last spring, I lost 30-35 lbs over a 9 month period. The Obesity Code Also: Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health

Off my blood pressure meds after 14 years of taking them. From 155/105 without meds to around 115/75 without. Medication only got it down to 135/90, so much lower now than when I was taking medication!

Had a cold at Christmas, the flu in late January, then twisted my right hip. Just as I was getting better, I twisted my left hip. Rides in 2020 are a half-dozen tops. Finally getting over the last injury so I hope to start riding regularly soon. A frustrating winter.
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post #3 of 16 Old 04-07-2020, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Injuries! Yes. That's actually another thing, too. I twisted my knee late last summer (which was the result of me trying to "fix" my leg position all at once, apparently) and had to go easy on it for a few weeks. Then right after that, my TMJ (jaw joint) on my right side went brutally out of alignment and was a source of horrible pain for several weeks... which set off a full body inflammatory reaction, and affected my ribs, shoulders, hips, back, one ankle, and both feet. Spent six weeks taking high doses of Advil and walking around with a pronounced limp. Wheeeee. It gradually wore off over a few months and all my tests are now normal. But yeah, that definitely didn't get things off to a good start heading in to winter!!!!
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-07-2020, 06:46 PM
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I relate, I feel the most out of shape I've ever been. I was going to the gym to try and increase my fitness, but then quarantine happened and then I re-injured my hip, so now I'm back to being a couch potato haha.

As for diet, I'm the same as you in that regard. Normally I eat pretty healthy, although admittedly, I do have a sweet tooth. One challenge for myself is to incorporate more protein into my diet in general. I used to be a vegetarian for several years until I wasn't and I still find it difficult to make myself eat meat, so I try eating other protein-rich foods to make up for that. One great phone app I've been using that helps track nutrients is MyFitnessPal. It's been a game changer in terms of helping myself eat a balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients.
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-17-2020, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Well, today I rode two horses -- pretty good, thorough rides, too, including no-stirrups work -- and I walked a hilly road in the woods for an hour (not on a horse). I've also been cooking like mad all week. Not always perfectly healthy stuff, but lots more veggies.

I haven't felt the change at my waistband yet, but I've been trying to do more of this kind of thing. Trying to put my health and fitness first while COVID has me nearly out of work. At least the feel-good aspects of the physical exercise are countering the total bummer that this situation is, if nothing else.
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-17-2020, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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I'm also getting totally wicked thigh muscles from all this. Just want to add that because I don't anyone in "real life" right now who will appreciate that! My *checks chart* rectus femoris has this really satisfying bump a few inches above my knees that's like "oooooooo, neat!"
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-18-2020, 04:24 PM
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I started my en-devours last October, but I've recently revamped my game up haha and I am currently in the BEST shape of my life. The other day I put on a size medium Tshirt and I haven't worn a medium since I was 12 years old and I am now 28. Puberty hit my like a sack of lard and I just never had the desire to really do anything about it because I was inpatient and didn't like not seeing immediate results.

I invested in the Insanity workout program and made it a point to stick with it and I made time for it no matter what. Starting in the winter made it easier because there was less time to ride after work anyway, so I worked out instead. I did not follow their nutritional guide, however, and simply made my portions smaller, upped my protein, dramatically decreased my carbs (but didn't cut them completely because this Italian chick needs her pasta every once in a while hahaha) cut out sugars and sweets (though I do indulge occasionally), and just made better diet choices.

I weighed 197 pounds in my before pictures. I just finished my recent cycle of Insanity (9 weeks 6 days a week) and I now (as of an hour ago) weight 143 pounds! I feel great and I am more confident and I actually found out that I REALLY enjoy strength training! I'll be cycling through Insanity again to tone up a bit more before incorporating other work out regimes in. I also do cardio like the elliptical and jogging. (Riding counts too!) Before I started Insanity I changed my diet and did some cardio to prepare so I wasn't jumping into it completely out of shape.

Here are my before photos (About 4 months ago)
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Last edited by Phantomcolt18; 04-18-2020 at 04:39 PM.
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-18-2020, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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The photos aren't loading for me, but that's AWESOME! It's amazing what happens when you stick to something, right??

I'm not seeing the difference visually yet but I am feeling fitter. I know that slow, steady, and extremely persistent is the way to go. When I was into running a few years back, I had no idea when I started and was wheezing my way through a single block of jogging that I would be capable of a 10k, on a super hot summer day, just a year and a half later. So I'm keeping that in mind through all this. And even if the weight doesn't want to budge for a while, there's still no downside to getting fitter anyhow.
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-18-2020, 04:40 PM
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Oh, go away!

Just kidding...

I am the fattest Iíve ever been. I feel like a toad. I got thrown in October and injured my ribs, which took forever to stop hurting. My husband had to help me get up for a week and it hurt to walk for a month. Riding was out of question. Then I had a minor procedure on my foot and that took like two months to heal and then got reinfected. And then this isolation happened- canít ride or get out much

My fat has fat. Yuck.
I started exercising but all that is happening is that my fat gets firmer. So now I have rock solid fat.
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-18-2020, 04:42 PM
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And my after photos (Taken today) I can honestly say I had NO CLUE what a difference would look like because when you see yourself in photos it is COMPLETELY different than when you're looking in a mirror. I'm stoked with my results so far.

I could NOT figure out how to get the photos to post hahaha and my internet connection is slower than molasses.
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