Why Horseback Riding Makes For A Great Workout — And How You Can Make The Most Out Of It

There are many ways to get a good workout. Whether you choose to sweat it out in the gym or play a sport, there’s something for everyone. One sport that requires plenty of athleticism is horseback riding. Horse riders need to be in good shape to succeed in their sport as it requires plenty of physical strength and balance. Whilst riding can look effortless to the untrained eye, it is certainly a workout!

We’ve previously discussed that there are exercises you can do to keep fit before getting in the saddle, but did you know horseback riding can also help you reach your fitness goals? In fact, you can burn an estimated 294 calories during an hour of horseback riding. Here’s how you can make the most of horse riding as a workout:

It is a great way to lose weight

Since horse riding burns a good number of calories, it is an excellent way to lose weight. This sport also takes relatively less effort than other exercises, such as weight lifting or high-intensity interval training. The impact on your joints is also minimal because of the movement.

Another reason horse riding plays a significant role in weight loss is that the workout is not limited to being on the horse. There is plenty of work that must be done before and after the ride. For instance, catching, grooming, and tacking up the horse before you ride can help you work up a sweat. You may also have to walk your horse after the ride to let it cool down properly.

Tips for riding and weight loss

There are various ways to make your riding and weight loss journey easier to achieve. These tips can help you out.

Prioritise nutrition

Doing the workout during the ride is just one part of the equation. To reach your fitness goals, you also need to focus on nutrition. Remember that it is not about limiting food intake as much as it is meant to fuel your body. Cutting back on your intake significantly may achieve the opposite effect as the body compensates by storing a reserve, resulting in weight gain.

This is especially why the most reputable weight loss programmes are based on groundbreaking nutritional and behaviour-change research. Such programmes also reward participants for healthy habits, such as eating vegetables, drinking water, or moving more. This will prevent unhealthy eating habits from forming whilst you train.

Make sure to warm up

As with any other physical activity, a high-quality warm-up programme is integral to your preparation for the main exercise. To do this for horse riding, try working out 20 minutes before your ride. Doing so will allow your body to reach the fat burn zone more quickly once you hit the saddle. You will also achieve ear-shoulder-hip-heel alignment and ready your joints to move along with your horse. Don’t forget to include stretching as part of your warm-up.

Be patient

Remember that results take time. Weight loss will not happen overnight, even with an exercise like horse riding. What will bring you results are the small, consistent efforts that you put into training. During your weight loss journey, it is also important not to be afraid of building muscle since this will provide you with plenty of support and stability.

The Bottom Line

Losing weight can be done with almost any exercise or sport. Knowing how to safely and effectively do these activities can help you trim down. They can also help you gain the skills and confidence to go the extra mile.

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