Balancing School, Riding, and Healthy Living
Balancing school, riding, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be both challenging and overwhelming. With the constant demand from my academic career, balancing riding and school is hard enough, let alone maintaining a healthy lifestyle; however, I have created a routine that helps me stay organized and balance my busy schedule. My typical week consists of late nights doing homework, riding four to five days a week, horse shows on the weekends, and going to the gym when I can find time. I have a few tips that help me stay organized while maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
Exercise that is enjoyable
My first tip is to do exercise that is enjoyable, for example some people like running which is a great way to build stamina and endurance. Others may like spin, weight training, or boxing which all help and benefit riding in different ways. The Fit Equestrian Programs help not only strengthen my body, but also help improve my position. The Core Strength Program has helped me strengthen my core which helped my position and posture both in the saddle and everyday. I also strongly believe that cross training helps immensely, whether it is going to a gym or doing other sports. Personally I love skiing, tennis, running, and soccer and I see a difference in my stamina when I am incorporating multiple sports into my routine.
Maintain a healthy diet
I grew up in a household where eating healthy and maintaining a balanced diet came naturally, in fact it was not a diet but a lifestyle. Incorporating healthy foods into your diet does not need to be difficult. I recommend finding healthy foods you enjoy. Whether it is a smoothie or a protein packed dinner, finding healthy meals that you like is so important. Not only is it important to have a well balanced diet, but as someone always on-the-go it is important to have meals that are easy to make. A go to meal for breakfast is oatmeal with berries and a standard dinner is grilled chicken with brown rice and veggies. However, treating yourself is so important, maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not exclude a little indulgence! (wink wink chocolate)
Create a routine
Since I am always on-the-go between riding, school, and everything else creating a routine has been so helpful for me to balance a busy schedule. Being realistic with time is one the the biggest challenges I have faced because at times it can feel like there is never enough time. Having a routine helps me organize my days and have a clear picture of what needs to be done. Monday through friday I spend most of my day at school which leaves me little time to exercise between riding and hours of homework. On days I do not ride I make it a priority to go to the gym or separate time for exercise to maintain strength for riding. When you have a routine and make priorities time is available.
All about balance
Lastly, having a busy schedule can be a challenge, however, having downtime is important too. When I am not riding or at school I love spending time with friends and going to the beach. It is important to have balance, not only a balanced diet but, a balanced life. Separating my time with friends and my time to work and do homework is important because when there is work to do there is inspiration to be productive and see friends after. Spending time with friends and doing things I love is so important to me and helps motivate me no matter how busy my schedule is.
TFE Ambassador Lauren O'Neill
Junior Rider, CA, USA