Is horse riding a good exercise to lose weight?
As time goes on, American men and women are increasing in both stature and weight and that is the real health issue for many people.
To curb this disturbing trend modern health specialists usually recommend balanced, healthy diet and regular physical activity. But for some such traditional weight loss exercises as jogging or swimming can be unsuitable because of the underlying health problems, such as joints pain. For people with joints who can’t stand jog, horseback riding may be the great solution to burn some calories effectively.
At first glance horseback riding might not seem like the best way to burn many calories but in fact it is quite opposite of what some people think. From all different ways to reduce weight horse riding may be the most pleasant and interesting.
Many people love horseback riding as a pastime or a sport, but they may not realize how much it can benefit their physical and mental health. One of the advantages of horseback riding is that it can help people burn calories and lose weight. However, how many calories does horseback riding burn? And what are the factors that influence the calorie consumption of horseback riding? This article will attempt to answer these questions based on some research and data from online sources.
Your weight and the time you ride on a horse are the biggest factors in how many calories you burn while horseback riding. A rule of thumb is that about 100 calories per 20 minutes of horse riding (walk, trot, canter) are burned for a 180-pound person and 65 calories per 20 minutes are burned for a 120-pound person.
Recent scientific study conducted by professor D. Sigler in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University found out that riding for 45 minutes at a walk, trot and canter can burn up to 200 calories.
To calculate the energy the horse riders expended the University researches measured their heart rate, respiratory frequency, pulmonary ventilation, oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production. The result was very promising. They compared calories burning rate during horse riding with other physical activities and found that it is very similar and equally effective as the other exercises.
|Acitivity||Activity time (minutes)||Amount of calories|
|Horseback riding (walk, trot, canter)||60||up to 200-300 calories|
|Intensive horse grooming||60||up to 200-250 calories|
|Walking||60||up to 300-350|
|Jogging||60||up to 557|
|Cycling (medium speed 12-13.9 mph)||60||up to 800|
So it is safe to say that average person can burn around 200 calories in 45 minutes of horseback riding. This number can vary depending on the person’s weight, the riding speed and intensity, and the weather and terrain conditions. For instance, a person who weighs 150 pounds can burn around 238 calories in 45 minutes of walking on a horse, while a person who weighs 200 pounds can burn around 317 calories in the same time. Likewise, a person who rides at a faster speed such as galloping or trotting can burn more calories than a person who rides at a slower speed such as walking. A person can burn around 400 calories per hour of trotting and around 700 calories per hour of galloping on a horse. The weather and terrain conditions can also affect the calorie consumption of horseback riding, as riding in cold or windy weather or on hilly or uneven ground can require more energy and effort than riding in mild or calm weather or on flat or smooth ground.
Horseback riding can also help tone and strengthen various muscles in the body, especially the legs, core, and back. Riding a horse requires balance, coordination, posture, and flexibility, which can improve the muscle tone and endurance of the rider. Riding a horse also involves constant adjustments and movements of the body to communicate with the horse and respond to its movements, which can work out different muscle groups and joints. Horseback riding has a MET value of 5.5 for general riding, which means that it uses 5.5 times as much energy as sitting still at room temperature. The MET value can increase for more intense or vigorous riding activities such as polo or jumping, which have MET values of 8 and 9 respectively. Horseback riding can also help improve cardiovascular and respiratory health, as it can increase the heart rate and oxygen consumption of the rider.
Horseback riding is not only a physical exercise, but also a mental one. Riding a horse can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness, as it can provide a sense of relaxation, enjoyment, connection, and accomplishment. Riding a horse can also help boost confidence, self-esteem, creativity, and problem-solving skills, as it can challenge the rider to overcome fears, learn new skills, express emotions, and cope with difficulties. Riding a horse can also help enhance cognitive functions such as memory, attention, concentration, and decision-making, as it can stimulate the brain and improve neural connections.
To sum up, horseback riding is a beneficial activity that can help burn calories and lose weight, as well as tone muscles and improve health. The number of calories burned by horseback riding depends on various factors such as the person’s weight, the riding speed and intensity, and the weather and terrain conditions. Horseback riding can also provide many positive effects for mental well-being, such as reducing stress, increasing confidence, and enhancing cognition. Horseback riding is therefore a great way to stay fit and have fun at the same time.