Finding ways to stay healthy and maintain an exercise routine can be challenging. We are often so busy with work and family commitments that we forget to take care of our physical health.

Horseback riding is an activity that many don’t consider. Unlike some exercises that work a specific part of the body, horseback riding targets many different areas giving you a whole body workout. Helping to develop and maintain core strength, it also improves coordination and stability, which becomes very important as we age.

If you haven’t been on a horse before or if it’s been a while since you’ve gone riding, it’s best to take lessons and go slowly as you develop your technique. Eventually your body will adapt to the new activity and you’ll notice your physical strength and aptitude increasing.

The following is a list of health benefits associated with horseback riding:

Core Strength: Horseback riding is an isometric exercise, which means the length of the muscle remains the same during the exercise. As an example, when you ride, the arms are bent with the elbows close in to the sides while the hands keep a firm grip on the reins. Although we might not recognize this as exercise, simply holding the arms in this way strengthens and conditions the body. Isometric exercises also help with age-related muscle loss and can actually enhance muscle growth.

Flexibility: Helping with overall flexibility, the inner thighs and pelvic muscles get lots of exercise during riding. Some experts say that this type of muscle strengthening is just as effectual as weight-bearing exercise. The arms and shoulders get a workout also as they are constantly moving the reins to direct the horse.

Balance and Coordination: Riding a horse is a continuous exercise in balance and coordination. The rider must learn good dexterity in order to direct the horse and help to maintain its stability.

Mental health: Horseback riding helps to develop self-confidence. Those who ride regularly find it relaxing and stress relieving, as well as peaceful. Developing a connection to the horse helps ground the rider and cuts down on mental noise and distress. Also, the simple fact of being outside in the fresh air is a definite contributor to feeling good.

Blogpost#1Ever been on a horse? Consider horseback riding as a great way to maintain a balanced lifestyle and improve your physical and mental health and wellbeing.

photo credit: pmorgan via photopin cc


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *