How Horseback Riding Can Be Beneficial to Health
By Brandi Swieter
Most people aren’t concerned with health when they head out for a horseback ride. Many simply enjoy riding and look for any opportunity to do so. Horseback riding can actually be beneficial to health, making it a pastime more people should be trying. It helps both physical and psychological health in several ways.
It Builds Muscle and Strengthens the Core
Horseback riding counts as exercise. The activity involves much more than simply sitting and being carried around by a large animal. People actually need proper core strength, stability, and muscles to be able to hold on and stay atop the horse for the entire ride. By remaining in the squatting position, people are building muscle in their legs. The thighs must grip the horse to keep from falling, making them stronger.
The core gets strengthened as well. The body is working to stay upright and stable. The muscles that support the trunk, such as the back, abs, and pelvis, all get stronger each time a horse is ridden. Individuals who want to work on these areas of their body can start with horseback riding.
It Eases Stress and Relaxes the Mind
Being outdoors, even just for a few minutes, can ease stress and tension. People who spend extra time outdoors can have their minds relaxed and their worries erased temporarily. Horseback riding provides exercise while outdoors, allowing the body to release endorphins that make people feel happier and stress-free. Just a half-hour on a horse can do the mind good. It’s an easy way to de-stress after a hard day.
It Promotes Socialization Skills and Companionship
People often feel alone when they don’t have anyone to socialize with regularly. This leads to feelings of isolation and depression. Horseback riding allows people to socialize with a horse. They can pet them, allow the horse to get comfortable around them, and even talk to them before, during, and after the ride. It offers a form of companionship and promotes socialization skills, helping people feel less lonely.
People who ride horseback can continue doing what they love knowing it’s not only fun, but also healthy. Those who don’t yet ride should give it a try and experience the benefits for themselves. The activity provides plenty to look forward to, and there are countless ranches around that offer riding lessons for those who don’t have a horse of their own.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mission, Tex.