One of my goals for the year was to ‘get strong’; to continue to rehab my hip replaced hip and and to increase my fitness after 6 months of really reduced activity. Since I made this goal in January, I upped my riding, particularly while I was doing the Top Barn Challenge 2019, but more recently I’ve been looking at my step count and lamenting the rubbish mid week days. Now it has all changed!
I feel like I am now at the point with my new hip where I need to step up using it and push myself more. There is that but also we all know ‘exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy’.
Obviously riding is my favourite exercise. I’m still fairly consistently riding four times a week (which is as much as I can fit in around work at the moment) but I am trying to be more conscious of what work we do. If I don’t feel strong enough or in the right mindset to school, I don’t. Otherwise I know we will go in and flop around for a bit, achieving very little and getting me frustrated! When I AM in the right frame of mind, we are schooling for much longer each time. We are trotting more hills, TRYING to canter more and just generally enjoying what we are doing.
The biggest change I’ve made is I’m consciously pushing myself to do more steps rather than just doing what I do. Rather than going to the yard on the way home from work, I’ve been driving home and walking to the yard (which is under a mile away). A simple change and certainly more time consuming BUT also an easy way to up my step count. The days I carry two tubs of pig food with me are even better.. weights anyone!? I listen to podcasts (Olivia Towers’s ones are my favourite) and I chill out. I make sure I extend my leg properly and hold my pelvis properly and I feel much better for doing it.
My bike had spent many months stationary after I was allowed to ride a horse again but I’ve decided to get it out and try to, at least weekly, go out for a cycle. The main problem with this is I’m not very confident in traffic as such, my bike rides have been at 5.30 in the morning! Not much traffic then! I love the feeling of the wind whistling past me though I need to build up to doing more hill work. Again, it makes me feel good, starts my day well and allows me to see my pony an extra time if I go past the yard!
I’ve been quite on off with my yoga recently but there is no denying it has amazing benefits for your mental and physical state. I always feel the effect on my muscles after only one yoga session so I definitely need to get going with it again. I’m hoping to take my mat out to the garden now that the weather is getting better like a proper insta girl!
Now I have said a million times, I won’t be running with my new hip. It isn’t exactly recommended, I don’t want to prematurely wear my hip and I’ve never really been a keen runner. But sometimes things happen and what happened to me was that the Tuesday lunch running club at school needed an extra adult to cope with the sheer quantity of children wanting to do it. My school has a very small staff and it didn’t look like anyone else was going to do it. You know what I’m like when someone asks me to do something!? On the proviso that some of the children would be so slow I would be able to keep up in a speedy walk, I agreed to do it. Today was my first one. I ran. Admittedly there were plenty of walking breaks (I couldn’t leave the straggling last children behind) and maybe it was more of a jog but it was certainly the most in the way of running that I have done in a long time. I actually enjoyed it. It is such a cliche but I felt FREE! Lets not forget that this time last year I was on crutches (before my operation) for any proper walking. Don’t ask me how I feel – right now I feel ok but I’ll update you tomorrow!
So where do I go from here? The plan is to continue riding four times a week (building up both of our fitness), try to get out on my bike and do yoga at least once a week respectively, to carry on with running/jogging/walking/motivating children club (IF I feel ok tomorrow) and to make sure EVERY day I do enough steps.