What are your fitness struggles? Too many options? Not enough time? Too many rules? Take heart! Help is on the way!

I mentioned a while back that sometimes you need a better architect to support a multifaceted fitness plan.  With the help of a nice crossection of experts (and there are many more where those came from!) I layed out some good options for the midlife horses fitness quest in Chapter 4 of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses.

But even so, I found myself struggling. Which exercises will I do today? What if I don’t have 30 minutes . . .or even 3? What if all I can managed to do is get to the barn, do enough groundwork to get my horse’s attention on me and then ride for just long enough to say I rode, but not nearly as long as I’d like to or that would do my horse much good? What if I just don’t FEEL like exercising with all the other stuff pulling on me today. What about all these friends I’ve been ignoring for so long they’ve all but given up on me? Do I exercise like I’m supposed to or go drink wine and giggle during this one spare hour I have today?

These are the questions that try the midlife soul — and our best intentions toward creating a meaningful fitness regimen. Oh yes, we know we can be diet-and-exercise Nazis and push ourselves to stick to our plan. For a while. But haven’t we all been there, done that? What can we do that will stick as a permanent and ongoing commitment? I personally hate the old “like brushing your teeth” analogy, but seriously, that’s how it has to be. And for exercise to really be “like brushing your teeth” it has to be something that’s just as quick, easy, accessible and minimally intrusive to the rest of our lives. But how can that ever get the results we now need (forget the size 6!) to be effective with our horses?

I needed a new plan. One that would build both consistency and forgiveness into my exercise regimen and still keep me more or less on the path to steadily increased fitness.  I’m serious about this fitness quest, but I know myself well enough by now to understand that it can’t be my number one priority. I’ve flamed out too many times on this launch pad. This time will only be different if I approach it differently, and for that I needed a wiser designer than the one that resides in my own all-or-nothing brain.

I found the right architect for my fitness conundrum (and possibly yours!) in  Rebecca Slemmons, Fitness Director at Colonial Country Club. Rebecca has plenty of experience putting together fitness plans for women of all ages. Coming from the YMCA and other fitness cultures, she recognizes and appreciates the differences in this purpose and time of life.  After a lengthy chat about all of the above, she went to work putting what she knows about fitness and what she now understands about midlife horses (more on that later — and how she became one of us!)

The result? Watch for Rebecca’s Plan, Part Two and download the PDF she gave me permission to share! Meanwhile, what’s your fitness routine? What are your obstacles?  How do you overcome them? What challenges do you need help with?

Let us hear from you here, on our Facebook Page or on Twitter! And, if you’ve discovered any sneaky ways to make barn and household chores double up as fitness tools, give us a demo on YouTube — or drop me an email and we’ll figure out how best to share it with the Midlife Horses community! Let’s help each other by pooling our fitness questions, concerns, ideas and solutions so we can all move forward on the Midlife Horses Fitness trail together!

Happy Trails!



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