The Health Benefits of Horseback Riding Part II

horse-ridingHorseback riding can be therapeutic for people with mental disabilities, emotional disorders, and people who are handicapped. The motion and position of the rider while on a horse greatly improves the balance, spatial awareness, coordination and motor development, all of which are common problems in such people. The control of the mind and body which are required to ride can help the person become more sensitive to his or her surroundings, and also to consider other factors in his situation besides himself. This also helps improve the person’s reaction time.

Building a strong, consistent relationship between the horse and the rider through the riding as well as grooming teaches people about trust and loyalty, as well as responsibility.

The Health Benefits of Horseback Riding Part I

Horse-back-ridingHorseback riding is a popular tourist attraction and is often considered to be a fun, relaxing activity. People who use horses as part of their daily routine, however, know that riding is actually incredibly beneficial for our bodies. The Japanese recognized this fact years ago, and created an exercise machine with simulates the different motions of a horse.

While riding, the core muscles are strengthened in a way that can only be achieved through certain exercises. The back, arms, thigh and stomach muscles work to control balance and movement throughout the length of the ride. Posture can also be greatly improved, as the correct riding position requires the person to sit with a straight spine and shoulders back. While riding at a fast pace, like a canter, the blood receives more oxygen, breathing is extended, circulation is improved and metabolism is increased.

Riding also often exposes a person to more fresh air. The animals in the stable can help boost the immune system. Even the grooming of the horse before and after a ride exercises ones’ muscles.

The Importance of Exercise During the Winter

The never-ending urge to stay in bed for the whole of the winter can make it nearly impossible to stick to your exercise routine. You figure you’ll catch up when you regain your energy. This attitude is very incorrect. In fact, exercise is especially important during these months! That lazy, depressed feeling will only worsen if left stagnant. Also, during the winter months people are generally less active, as the weather does not really allow for walks and fresh air, while the boredom and slow feeling increases their appetites. The best and healthiest way to keep your energy levels up, your weight down and to eliminate that constant fatigue is by boosting your exercise schedule.

Make a real effort to increase your heart rate at least once a day. Try jumping rope, using a treadmill or elliptical trainer, or even going for a jog if the weather allows it. Sweating is incredibly healthy. Not only will the activity help you stay in shape for bathing-suit season, but it will improve the condition of your skin, your mood, and your entire day. Physical activity boosts your immune system, which can actively help you avoid winter illnesses like the flu, skin diseases and other inconvenient, insufferable conditions. The exercise will also increase the production of “happy” hormones, which will make it easier for you to deal with the weather and do what needs to get done during the day.

Pumpkin Pie is Perfect for Your Health

/Pumkin-PiePumpkin pie is said to increase the length of lives. No joke. The alpha and beta-carotene found in pumpkins and other fruits and vegetables are very good for your health. When consumed, the body converts them to Vitamin A. Researchers believe that the conversion of beta-carotene is more efficient than that of alpha-carotene.

Alpha-carotene, on the other hand, is said to defend the DNA from attacks and malfunctions. Regular consumption is believed to help avoid cancer.

Both of these nutrients are from the carotenoid family, which is indeed similar to the word ‘carrot’, as the substances cause the orange color in many vegetables.

So for all you pumpkin pie lovers – enjoy this season’s meals to their fullest!

To Flu Shot or Not To Flu Shot?

Doctors and friends have recommended that you get this shot for months now, but you are still hesitating. Is it worth it? Is it effective? Will it just make you sick?

The flu, or influenza, is very common in the winter months. It is a respiratory virus which generally causes conditions such as a cough, fever, body aches, sore throat, headaches, chills, fatigue, nausea/ vomiting and more unpleasant symptoms. The virus is usually transferred when touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth, but can also be spread through breathing in some cases as well.

The vaccine is easy to get, and is offered at every clinic and doctor’s office. Getting the shot can protect both you and the people around you from a real threat. True, the flu is normally harmless, but complications of this disease cause around 25,000 deaths every year. Most of these complications occur in people over 65, so if you spend a lot of time with an older relative or client you should consider getting the vaccine for his or her safety, and not just your own. You will also benefit from the shot, though. It will make your season more pleasant, lower your amount of sick days, and just keep you healthier.

Health care services recommend that everyone over 6 months of age get the vaccine. Pregnant women, people with young babies and people with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to getting or spreading the flu, which can be dangerous. If you are still unsure, consult with your doctor regarding your personal situation.