Exercise Ideas to Embody #FitToRide

BY MEDIA CHAIR ESTELLE KRAFT

I consider myself a fairly active person. I’ve been riding for the past 10 years, and for four of those I was a competitive swimmer spending an upwards of five hours in the pool each day. Now as a senior in high school, I’ve hung up my swim cap and ride somewhat less. So I often find myself trying new and trending workouts so I can stay #FitToRide. Living in Southern California, I am blessed to have consistently mild weather, which is quite helpful when motivating myself to work out. Here are some of the recent ways I have been staying fit outside of the saddle.

Walking/Running/Hiking

In San Diego, access to hiking trails is very abundant. Hiking is a great way to get outside and explore your own backyard, or town, while getting exercise with friends or your four legged companions. Personally, I enjoy plugging in my headphones, listening to a podcast (make sure you check out some of the interns’ plaidcast favorites including my own) and letting my dog Posey lead the way. If you live where the weather may be getting the best of you, I recommend visiting your local recreational center to walk on a treadmill. Some treadmills even have settings to achieve higher or lower incline of walking or running. The higher the incline, the steeper the hill! Walking or hiking not only is a form of physical exercise, but it allows you to have a brain break and explore the beautiful world around you.

Hiking in beautiful Solana Beach, CA at the Mushroom Caves. Photo courtesy of Estelle Kraft.
Hiking in Colorado last summer. Photo courtesy of Estelle Kraft.

Yoga

I started doing yoga for two reasons: my father challenged me that he could be better at it than I would be, and my best friend is one of the youngest certified yoga instructors in the world! Yoga is another form of exercise that is not only good for the body, but also the mind. Yoga is a great way to stretch out before or after a ride, and it helps you to calm your mind to enable the most successful ride possible. Personally, I enjoy taking C2 or Yoga 2 classes because they are heated at 95 degrees, which lets you sweat it all out! C1 or Yoga 1 classes are great for yogis of all levels, as these classes offer inspirational music and yoga poses that are building blocks to higher-level classes.

The first real yoga class that I ever took was the day after finding out that I had been accepted into the TPH family as an intern, so I got out of class with 1,400 notifications from my new family! I have loved the relaxation time with yoga ever since.

My best friend Taylor Levine and I practicing yoga with her tween yoga class. Photo courtesy of Estelle Kraft.

If walking, hiking, running and yoga are not your thing — check out these other great ways to stay #FitToRide. In the winter, try skiing if you live near a mountain! Great skiers, like TPH Intern Irene Powlick, have strong cores which help balance and muscle control heading into the show ring. Swimming is great for any athlete, because your entire body moves against the resistance of the water, no matter how fast or slow you are going. Besides building endurance, swimming helps with breath control while using every muscle in your body.

Skiing in Utah last winter with my family. Photo courtesy of Estelle Kraft.

As athletes, our bodies crave movement even when we’re not able to ride. Try out these great suggestions to stay fit out of the saddle, or share your own favorite exercise with us!