My hubby got me this fancy new fitness-tracker-gadget for Valentine’s Day. Because, nothing says “I love you” more than having a special watch that tells you to ‘get moving’ when you’ve sat on the couch for too long. (insert eye roll) Jokes aside, it’s actually pretty cool.
Many people have the FitBit fitness trackers, but this one is a little bit more tech-y. It’s a Polar M400. Sounds like a fast car! Really, it’s a watch that tracks your activity level, sleep habits, heart rate, calories burned, and much more that I haven’t even attempted to figure out. I was very curious to see how my normal daily activity added up each day–I consider myself to be pretty active, but I needed proof. I started wearing the tracker and it turns out on a normal day, I get pretty close to hitting that 100% mark just with my usual barn work, gym time, and chasing children. After a couple days, it morphed into this race with myself to reach that 100% at the end of each day. I’d find myself doing squats at 10 pm outside of the shower to get my goal made. In that regard, it has pushed me to be more active, which is a win in my book.
And then. All of a sudden. A light bulb went off in my head and I got a huge smile on my face.
Why hadn’t I been factoring-in my riding time?! Surely that was a workout in some way, right? I had to find out. The Polar m400 has this super cool band that you can wear across your midsection during concentrated workouts to measure your calorie burn and monitor your heart rate. Normally, I take this off after my trip to the gym, but today I kept it on for my ride! Ohmygosh, you guys, I’m so excited to share the results with you! I started recording the tracker as I walked out to catch my horses, so the “workout” included my walk time, grooming, and tacking up, riding, and untacking. All of which I do really fast because I’m always short on time. I chose to ride Hot Rod and pony Kona, and I only had about 25 minutes to ride. I did my normal conditioning routine of some walking, long trotting, and then loping. Just easy stuff. Even then, my heart rate got up to 190 during the lope! I was so surprised! I wish there had been someone at the barn to gush with about it, but alas it was deserted. When I went down to the trot, my heart rate was around 140-150. Just for perspective, at the highest level of intensity during my Zumba workout at the gym, my heart rate only got to 167, so 190 was incredible–especially for doing something I love and find enjoyable!
After I cooled them out and untacked, I stopped recording the “workout” and snapped a pic of the calories I had burned. 296! Not too shabby for an easy, 30 min ride! I had burned 475 in Zumba and that took me 50 minutes. Guys, I just proved that horseback riding is a legit fitness method. Boom. Now when you say you need to hit the gym, just head to the barn instead 😉