Sometimes when I'm training clients I do exercises that one of them refers to as “advanced old people training “. Usually this will be an exercise that involves maybe getting up off the floor or standing up from a box or bench. There is another reason for doing these exercises that will be relevant to that clients goals but he has got a point about the old age thing. I tell him he’ll thank me when he can still tie his own shoes at 90!
Maintaining fitness, muscle mass and movement patterns as we get older gives us a much better chance of staying fit and mobile well into old age. I call it “use it or lose it”
For us that also means more chance of riding and all that entails for as long as possible too.
We start to lose muscle mass in our 30’s unless we actually strive to maintain and build it. A loss of muscle makes us firstly weaker and therefore less able to withstand our activities but also more prone to injury. This doesn’t mean you need to become a body builder but you do need to do some form of resistance training that challenges your muscles.
Bone density also peaks in our 20’s and if your female declines when you hit menopause due to the loss of Estrogen. A loss of bone density can cause Osteoporosis. As a rider this puts us at a way greater risk of breaking bones. A way of maintaining as much bone density as possible is by doing weight bearing exercise- I.e being on your feet.
Regardless of your overall training goals I’m sure we can agree the plan is to stay riding fit for as long as possible. In order to give us the best chance of this off horse training is vital.
That’s why I’m so passionate about strength training. It’s not about maxing out lifting as heavy as possible-unless you want it to be. It’s about encouraging your bones and muscles to regenerate, repair and stay strong. It’s about maintaining movement patterns we use all the time but can get a bit lazy with the actual muscles involved -picking things up off the floor, going from sitting to standing unaided, carrying heavy objects etc.
It’s basically about enabling you to live your life feeling fit and well for as long as possible. Which to Equestrian’s means still being able to put a saddle on, hop on board and go for a ride well into our 80’s…….and beyond.