(wo)Man’s Best Friend: Benefits Of Walking The Dog
Exercising with your pooch is about more than just taking him or her out to have a whizz. We don’t have to see dog walking as a chore, it’s beneficial for your health and fitness levels too.
Studies have shown regular walking extends life expectancy, improves heart health and your mood. Depending on your fitness goals, you can make your daily walk slightly more varied to prevent boredom and also keep your dog’s brain active. Animal companionship offers stress and anxiety relief for the both of you along with slobbery licks and big smiles.
|Prepare to be WINSTON spammed. Look at that face!
Here’s your guide to fun human and pooch fitness:
Include hills along your route and really give the dog an off leash blast up the hill. You’ll not only be working those leg and butt muscles. The added intensity will give your heart a well deserved jolt! You can perform these hill runs by running up a steep incline for at least 90 secs then walking back down as your recovery. You can repeat this for a total of 6 or more sets
If accessible and permittable take your pooch in to the water. This is great for older dogs and nicer on their joints. You’ll get the added benefit of extra resistance provided from the water and I don’t know many dog’s that don’t love a swim. Jogging through water can burn over 250 calories per 30 minutes. For those pooches that are water pobes try the sand. Digging heaven also!
Take your standard “round the block “ loop and intensify it. My standard block loop is a distance of about 800m, so we walk around first then once back a the beginning ,we run the second loop. We run it fast too. Repeat this for a total of 30 mins. If your dog is anything like mine, he will love it and give you a great workout. This type of interval training is handy for burning fat and also means you can cut your workout time down. We are going harder and faster but for a shorter amount of time. WIN WIN!
Along your standard walking route, I’m sure you run into a few park benches. Why not let doggie off for a wander while you complete a few rounds of tricep dips, push ups and step ups on a park bench? Aim for 1 min rounds of each exercise, for a total of 4 sets. If you were walking near or around an oval, add a quick loop in between sets.
Keep your pet happy, healthy, agile and limber with fun games. Stick chasing, ball throwing, Frisbee catching are all ways you and your pooch can factor exercise into your day. Don’t stare at your phone while they play, get involved! It will not only strengthen your bond but that morning cardio blast will burn off some extra calories.
Be sure to always provide your dog with adequate rest breaks, enough shade and plenty of fresh, clean water. Happy exercising!
How often do you mix up your dog walking routine?
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