The NHS recommends that children and young adults do at least an hour of aerobic activity every day. In the years that they have been studying this topic, it has been found that it can affect the quality of exam results. Studies have shown that regular exercise appears to increase the size of the brain area which controls learning and verbal memory. Exercise also helps thinking processes and stimulates chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells. Most importantly, regular exercise reduces stress and anxiety. Combining this exercise with something that kids will enjoy doing is a great way to encourage them to stay healthy.
Horse riding has psychological benefits
The British Horse Society recently commissioned research from Brighton University into recreational horse riding in the UK. The research looked at the physical, psychological and general well-being benefits of horse riding and found that it improved the management of anxiety, depression and negative feelings. Bearing all of this in mind, you may want to consider one of the many excellent University feeder schools such as Colaisteraithin.ie, which is based in the beautiful countryside with easy access to horse riding. There are also many UK schools offering excellent equestrian facilities for the pony mad youngsters. Or you can simply find a pony or trekking club nearby for fun weekends.
Get back in the saddle
There are many types of exercise, but nothing that can offer quite the same emotional benefits as horse riding. British Equestrian Federation is focusing on ways of to attract both newcomers and former riders back into the saddle. Exercise is not just restricted to riding – helping with grooming and general tasks all build strength. Being around horses is a great stress-buster, which is just as important as the physical activity. The sense of ownership and bonding with the horse is something they focus on to increase the emotional benefits. Whatever your age, horse riding has positive effects and can be enjoyed as a family, so get your riding hat ready.