Ride Horses for Your Health
By Brandi Swieter
People often ride horses simply because they enjoy being around the animals. Many do not even realize there are true health benefits that go along with horseback riding and visiting trails. Whether you’re an avid rider or a beginner looking to learn, horseback riding can provide many advantages that lead to improved overall health and well-being.
Eased Heart and Mind
Stress weighs heavy on the heart and mind, as does anxiety and depression. Riding horses regularly can ease the troubles weighing on the heart and mind and help to reduce symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. Being around the horse itself is already a huge help; animals offer companionship that many people do not get elsewhere. Helping to care for them can also help provide a distraction from the problems causing so much tension in one’s life. Add the element of nature and people are even more likely to experience a reduction in their symptoms, with a peaceful horseback riding providing peace of mind and a relaxed state.
Increased Leg Muscles
Holding onto the horse as you ride requires leg strength. The more a person rides and holds on as intended, the more they will increase the muscles in the lower half of their body. People ride in an almost squat position with their feet in the stirrups and their legs slightly squeezed into the body of the horse. As the horse moves, the rider’s muscles will be working to hold on and remain in position. Anyone looking for a good leg workout can try horseback riding as an option.
A Stronger Core
The core muscles get worked as well while riding. The pelvic muscles, back muscles, and abs simultaneously receive a good strengthening session while on horseback. A stronger core can lead to better posture and improved balance, making this a great added benefit of riding horses.
With a strong core that offers support to the rest of the body, riders can stay on their horses easier. The first ride may not feel so stable, but over time and with plenty of practice, those who ride horses can gain better stability and improved coordination. Ride often to improve faster.
Improving overall health should always be the goal. Try looking for fun activities that can help, such as horseback riding. This activity not only promotes fitness, but also has a positive impact on mental health. Find a ranch in the area or search for local lessons and set out on a ride as often as possible to reap the benefits.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Apex, N.C.