Wellness Tips From Horse Racing Jockeys

There is no doubt that horse racing jockeys are one of the toughest athletes on the planet. In order for them to do what they do, they need to be in peak physical and mental health, which is why they follow a strict regime in order to stay in shape at all times.

Jockeys are maneuvering big horses at 40 mph and require a sharp mind, ultimate balance, and muscle strength. On top of that, they have to follow a strict diet just to help them maintain a low weight, which will make it easier for the horse to run faster.

Quite an impossible job, right?

Since jockeys are always in good shape both physically and mentally, we can obviously learn a lot from them. That’s why in today’s article we will go through some of the standard physical training regimes that jockeys follow, and we are going to take a look at their diet and how they manage to have a clear mind at all times.

Physical Fitness is Key to Success

Just because jockeys have a small physique and they don’t weigh that much, it doesn’t mean that physical fitness is not important. In fact, it is one of the most important aspects of their training regime.

In fact, physical fitness is so important in horse racing that most handicappers do additional research on the jockey before placing a bet, especially on a big race like the Kentucky Derby.

If you like more Kentucky Derby betting tips, check out the link below: https://www.twinspires.com/kentuckyderby/betting/

But what physical fitness are we talking about?

Professional jockeys focus on cardiovascular training. They mostly focus on running, cycling, or swimming to enhance their endurance level without building too much muscle which can lead to weight gain. Cardiovascular training helps jockeys maintain stamina throughout the race, which is very important for success.

With that said, they also focus on strength training. They might appear lightweight, but the strength they possess is incredible. Having the optimal muscle mass is really important for maneuvering those big horses in a race, so weight lifting and resistance training are also part of their physical fitness regime.

Work on Flexibility and Balance

In order to ride a horse at high speed and get to the finish line first, you need to have impeccable flexibility and balance. How can you do that?

Well, most professional jockeys practice yoga, and Pilates and have quite extreme stretching routines. This develops their core stability, which allows them to have a steady posture while riding a horse at high speeds.

Nutritional Tips From Jockeys

Now that we know what a professional jockey training regime looks like, let’s find out what they eat. 

As we mentioned in the beginning, jockeys have quite a strict diet. After all, they are on constant weight checks and they need to be below the limit in order to participate in the sport and achieve faster speed during a race.

If you ask most professional jockeys about some nutrition tips, they’ll all give you the same advice. It’s all about following a balanced diet, which is rich in lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. They prioritize whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.

But this is not the hard part. The hard part is maintaining this diet for life or as long as jockeys race professionally. 

Just because jockeys keep a close eye on their weight, most of them never eat sweets, fast food, or drink anything other than water. Additionally, in order to digest the food that they eat, they also follow a strict portion control regime.

Professional jockeys eat smaller, more frequent meals, just to make sure that the food is digested properly, and that they can sustain energy levels without compromising their weight management.

Having a Sharp Mind is Necessary

Jockeys deal with high-stress situations during races. To stay focused and calm, they practice mindfulness techniques and meditation to enhance mental clarity and emotional resilience. 

After all, they are the ones handling those big creatures with close action between other horses where one slip can lead to fatal disaster. So, jockeys need to have a sharp mind at all times.

But it is easier said than done. More than 80% of professional jockeys have at least one common mental health disorder.

Visualization plays a significant role in a jockey’s mental preparation. They visualize race scenarios, strategies, and outcomes, helping them feel more confident and prepared on race day.

Injury Prevention and Recovery

Before and after races, jockeys perform thorough warm-up and cool-down routines to prevent injuries and promote faster recovery. These routines include dynamic stretches, foam rolling, and massage therapy.

Jockeys prioritize their health by scheduling regular medical check-ups and consultations with healthcare professionals. Early detection of any health issues allows for prompt treatment and prevention of potential setbacks.

Final Words

Now that we analyzed what it takes to become a jockey, suddenly we appreciate them even more. They sacrifice a lot from their private lives when they become jockeys, and they need to work on their physical and mental well-being at all times.

So, do you think that you have what it takes to become a jockey?