Enjoy the Fitness Benefits of Volunteering at the Winton Woods Riding Center
It’s a new year and many people make resolutions to get in shape. For the volunteers who ride and help at the Winton Woods Riding Center, getting fit is just part of the fun.
Horseback riding is a balancing act, where the rider is in constant motion with the horse. The rider uses leg cues and core strength to direct the horse’s movements and stay in the saddle. Abdominal and back muscles are strengthened resulting in better posture and balance. Leg and calf muscles are firmed and thighs and gluteus muscles get toned. Posting the trot or riding in the two-point position needed for jumping (where the hips are raised up out of the saddle), for example, are cardiovascular workouts that burn calories and increase endurance.
For those who don’t ride, the barn offers many fitness benefits. Grooming and tacking horses, mucking stalls, lifting hay bales and carrying water pails all provide strength training and calorie burning.
There are mental and social health benefits, too. Working with horses is a lifelong learning process since no animals are the same and each situation is unique. The sense of accomplishment and increase in self confidence that come with learning new skills are mental health boosters. Socially, it’s an opportunity to make friends and make a difference by supporting the Winton Woods Riding Center’s many programs.
As our volunteers know, the WWRC provides great health affirming opportunities without the expensive gym membership. Plus, there are horses! How many gyms have that?
Amy Taghiof, Volunteer