Are you thinking about taking up horse riding as a form of fitness training? But you don’t know how it helps you, no worry; we’ll help you with this article.
Horse riding is an excellent exercise for both your physical and mental health. It is an aerobic exercise that burns calories, loses weight, toning muscles, and improves heart function.
It also helps reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, thus providing relief to the rider. What’s more, riding horses can be fun!
The benefits of horse riding for fitness
Most of us have discovered that regular exercise in the gym or running around the park is becoming our monotony. We’re tired, bored, and looking for something else to fill our time with joy!
Did you know that there is potentially a better option out there?
Horse riding can be incredibly beneficial to both your physical and mental well-being as not only does it provide you with an excellent cardiovascular workout but also offers so much more.
Strengthens core muscles
As you balance and move with the horse, your core muscles are constantly challenged to keep you in the correct position. Stronger core muscles will improve both postures and help prevent injury.
Horseback riding requires a wide range of skills such as adjusting seat position, weight distribution between legs and hands, steering and slowing down or stopping, etc.
It also helps to stimulate motor learning through improving eye-hand coordination.
The movement required when riding is essentially a controlled falling forwards onto the horse’s neck and then bending forward from the hips and spine to hold onto the reins.
Therefore, this action requires a fair degree of hip flexion (bending), which will stretch out any tightness in leg muscles.
Help reduce stress levels.
Riding can be an incredibly calming experience and is excellent for people who suffer from stress or anxiety.
It allows them to switch off their thoughts completely, focus entirely on the moment, and appreciate their surroundings.
As your coordination improves, you’ll start to develop better balance, which will help with coordination (both physical and cognitive) in other areas of life, e.g., safely cross a road without looking both ways first!
Improves cardiovascular health
One hour of horse riding at a gentle pace can burn up to 500 calories, so if weight loss is one of your fitness goals, then this could be the perfect opportunity for you!
Comfortable clothes are advisable when exercising, though, as some people may find their clothes stick to them or chafe on long rides.
When working hard, like riding a horse, the heart pumps more challenging blood to the muscles for fuel.
The muscles then need more oxygen and nutrients because they are being used in vigorous activity.
There is also a bonus of using the core abdominal muscles while sitting on a moving animal.
Riding a horse has many physical and mental benefits, but one of the main ones is increasing your heart’s strength and stamina.
Increases mental capacity
Horseback riding is an incredibly social activity that involves interactions between horse and rider and other riders.
This can provide you with a great sense of community and act as a powerful tool for relieving stress, anxiety, and mild depression.
One of the most significant benefits I believe everyone who tries this sport will discover is improving confidence levels!
You’ll start to feel more grounded, confident in your abilities, become far more comfortable in new situations/environments, and most importantly, realize that you are capable of achieving anything if you put your mind to it.
Horseback riding is an excellent, multi-purpose form of exercise now widely recognized for its many benefits. It’s no wonder that more and more people are turning to it as a potential option when looking for a fitness regime!
Horseback riding exercise for weight loss
Horseback riding can be a great way to stay in shape. As an equestrian athlete, you are constantly moving, whether it is reaching for the reins, adjusting your seat, or performing jumps.
You could also take things up a notch by doing intense cardio workouts on the horse, using the horse as a tool for weight loss.
Weight loss benefits from horseback riding vary depending on how intense the ride is and the length of time spent on the horse.
Some people may see results from riding regularly, while others may need to increase their intensity before noticing a difference.
Horseback riders typically burn 500-1000 calories while taking an hour-long ride at a moderate pace of 15 miles per hour.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your workout, riding at a higher pace (15 miles per hour) and for an hour or more can help you burn even more calories. The calorie-burning doesn’t stop after the ride, though; if you time it right, you could be working on your tan while shedding those extra pounds!
Why is horse riding good for you?
Horse riding is an exercise that will have you burning calories, building muscle, and getting outside to enjoy the fresh air. It’s also an excellent opportunity for developing your balance skills!
Safety tips when horse-riding
Before you take up horse riding to keep fit, there are several things that you will need to do. Firstly it is essential to wear appropriate clothing when taking part in this sport.
This includes wearing ankle boots that protect your feet from the horse’s movements or kicks – make sure these are not too tight-fitting around your foot.
Never ride when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as this can cause serious injury to yourself and other people.
When horse-riding, always wear a helmet; this is for your safety, just as you would with any other sporting activity.
It is also crucial that you have all the relevant vaccinations from worms, tetanus, etc. – check with your doctor if these are necessary for you.
Horseback Riding Isn’t as Dangerous as It Looks. But Be Careful Anyway!
Riding horses is dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions.
If you horseplay, roughhouse, or attempt any dangerous stunts, bad things can happen – even when your horse seems well-behaved.
So ride sober and wear your helmet! A hard fall from a galloping horse can hurt – especially when you land on your head!
Horse riding for fitness is a great way to get fit while having fun. Whether you are an experienced rider or new to the sport, many benefits of horseback riding make it worth trying out.
I hope this article will help you find your ideal horse and start enjoying all the health benefits of horseback riding today!