Horseback riding is a great form of exercise but it is also quite physically demanding so it helps to keep up your strength and endurance if you are going to become a regular horse rider. Exercise and diet in addition to your horse riding routine, are important.
Nutrition and diet play a great role in helping to keep up your muscle strength and overall fitness levels and when you are horse riding regularly you will be burning up energy and needing to boost your stamina.
We spoke to the team of Equi Supermarket and they gave us five healthy diet tips for regular horseback riders, to help keep you in tip-top shape:
Don’t forget to drink
Hydration is crucial for your health and if you are going out on an all-day trek you need to make sure you keep up your fluid levels. Make sure you drink water regularly throughout the day – you need to be taking in at least two litres.
If you are working on a long, intensive ride, or it’s hot while riding, you might need even more hydration support so make sure you have isotonic sports drinks with you while out and about in the heat for any length of time.
Becoming dehydrated while out horse riding could be dangerous, as it can leave you lethargic and confused so if you are heading out to any kind of rough or hazardous train you should always make sure you take enough drinks with you.
Don’t cut the carbs
Carbohydrates give your body fuel and energy so make sure you consume a portion of carbohydrates with every meal. You need to aim for a gradual release of energy throughout the day so choose carbs which are low GI.
You can choose items like wholegrain bread, wholemeal pasta, noodles and sweet potatoes for that slow release of energy and avoid highly processed carbohydrates like white pasta and white bread and rice.
Cutting out carbs completely is a common misconception when it comes to creating a healthy diet plan – your body needs carbs for energy and they are not the enemy as long as they are the slow-releasing kind.
Keep your protein levels up
You need protein for strength so make sure you include a strong portion of protein with every meal you eat – make sure it is lean protein and use different sources to ensure you get a balanced daily diet as well.
Good sources of protein to incorporate into your healthy diet include chicken, fish, nuts and seeds, pulses, lean meat and low-fat dairy so make sure to include a variety of these choices within your diet every day.
Try to avoid regularly eating fatty meats in the hope it will provide protein as the negative effect of the fat in your system will counteract the good from the protein. Always opt for lean meats or chicken, or even a protein-based vegetarian meat alternative.
Choose the right fats
A key diet tip for keeping healthy is to make sure you choose the right fats. Some fats are essential for our health while others are incredibly bad for us so avoid excess fats. Foods like pastries, pies, deep fried food and oily food should be eaten only in small amounts.
When cooking, try to avoid deep fat frying items and oven cook instead. You should always opt for a monounsaturated fat while cooking, such as olive oil, to help reduce your intake of unhealthy fats on a regular basis.
Finally, it’s important to eat regularly – you should never go for any length of time without food – aim to have regular snacks and meals throughout the day to help keep your blood sugars and energies balanced.
When you are going out on a long ride or training hard then you need to eat and drink more than normal to allow your body to recover. Items you should have on hand to help after a long ride include sports drinks, cereal bars, bagels, toast, fruit and nut mix and malt loaf.
You should also include at least five fruit and vegetable portions every day, alongside your regular quota of carbohydrates and protein, to ensure your regular meals are healthy and balanced and providing your body with all the nutrients it needs.
Horse riding is a very physically demanding past time and in order to be safe in the saddle it’s important to keep your health and diet in tip-top shape. These are just our five top diet tips for horseback riders but there are plenty of other crucial things you can do to keep your fitness levels up including embarking on a regular exercise regime to build strength and improve overall fitness levels which will help to support your horseback riding dreams and desires to come true.
Blog Credit: Equi Supermarket