Monday, April 28, 2008

Burning Calories to a Crisp Around the Barn

In the April/May 2008 issue of Modern Arabian Horse, a magazine sent to members of the Arabian Horse Association, there is an article titled, "The Equine Theory of Relativity" by Marsha Hayes that says, "Science proves the barn is the new gym and your horse can help you lose weight." The article includes a table of how many calories per minute that you can burn while performing horse chores:

Routing feeding....................................................3.9
Feeding when running late................................4.3
Grooming, brushing............................................3.4
Picking out feet....................................................3.8
Riding at a walk...................................................5.0
Riding at a trot.....................................................5.9
Hard trot/lope.....................................................8.0 - 10.0
Catching a horse..................................................1.8 - 5.2
Stall cleaning........................................................3.8
Moving hay and shavings..................................4.1
Round pen training.............................................3.3 - 6.8
Hitching up a trailer...........................................4.3
Unloading Feed...................................................3.1 - 7.7

Ms. Hayes includes mitigating factors in her table, as the calories can vary, such as grooming a relatively clean horse versus grooming one that has caked on mud. I was ecstatic to find that someone actually researched how many calories are burned during horse chores, because I've been guessing that based upon how many calories are burned doing similar, more common activities.

I've mentioned before that I track my daily calorie intake and how much I burn off during exercise through a software program that you can get at the Calorie King website. The Calorie King Nutrition and Exercise Manager includes a huge database of food and exercise statistics. Obviously, grooming a horse is not one of the default values in the exercise section, so I have to add these activities that are a part of my lifestyle through the software's customizing feature. As soon as I saw that article, I input all those activities and calorie values, and now I am posting about it, because I think the information is worthy of passing along.

5 comments:

onthebit said...

haha...I thought from your post that this was a joke! It is really cool that someone really did this! I think my stall cleaning burns off more than 3.8 calories a minute though. When I get in the zone I can work up a good sweat!

Pony Girl said...

Great post...I knew there was ax excuse for why I stopped all my other workouts!! ;) I do miss my yoga though...

Twinville said...

And don't forget the 'horse-zone syndrome' where one gets so involved in their horses, that they spend the entire day outside in the barn or working with them that the forget to eat and have no appetite.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

On the bit - You must either be very thorough or work very fast!

Pony Girl - There's always an excuse. ;)

Twinville - No kidding! If I worked with horses every day instead of just on the weekends, I'd be a wisp of my former self. There's something about sitting at a desk all day that makes me painfully aware of my hunger, while working outdoors on the farm makes me completely forget about eating. When I fill in my Nutrition and Exercise Manager on the weekends, I always burn more calories than I consume.

Katharine Swan said...

I know this is an old post but that's some great information! I think I'll post on my blog with a link to it. :o)