The New Year is upon us and I think it’s safe to say that losing weight and getting in shape is a top resolution for most people. With that said wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to lose your pooch with your pooch? We’re all doing the two to three walks a day with our dogs but how do we amp up those walks to increase the health benefits? Believe it or not there are some no cost and low cost options.
Amp Up Your Walk
Here’s a super simple way of amping up your walk with your dog. When your dog stops to sniff and do it’s business take the opportunity to perform single leg lunges or squats. You can take the advanced option of performing walking lunges every five or ten minutes on your walk. Race walking is a fun way to challenge you and your dog by varying the pace of the walk. These exercises do not require equipment and can spice up your walk to no end.
Practicing commands can be both physically and mentally stimulating for your dog. Incorporating these commands into your walk is easy to do. Ask your dog to sit while you perform squats or lunges or use the down command as you perform pushups or planks. Always remember to praise your dog for a command well done.
Injecting exercises and commands into your walk brings a lot benefits. Boredom is eliminated which as we know can be the death of a workout. You get to increase your strength and cardio capacity with the simple addition of these exercises. Your dog experiences increased physically and mental stimulation not to mention improving upon their commands. A positive experience between you and your dog will help establish a deeper bond.
But what if you are the type of person that needs a little extra motivation? Why not team up with a friend to be your walking buddy? It’s great if your friend has a dog as it helps with the socialization of your own dog. Setting a goal with your walking buddy is a good tactic as you can both help each other stay on track and provide motivation. You could also use a dog workout app. I’m currently using and reviewing an app called Thank Dog Bootcamp. Today was day one. There are twenty workouts to take you through the month. Each workout is designed to cover certain body parts. By the end of the week you will have covered your entire body. Each workout covers commands for your dog as they workout with you. It’s important however to look at the videos of both exercises and commands so that when the instructor shouts them out you’ll be familiar with them. I loved the fact that you could add your own music playlist to the workout for that extra motivation.
Workout #1 Chest, abdominals, and commands.
I took off to the park with Galaxy and Thornton and found a pavilion where I could utilize the pavilion poles in part of the workout. This was stated in the app. We pressed play and it all became clear how the app works. The instructor alternates your exercises with commands for your dog. If your dog has yet to master some of the commands I would suggest taking small soft treats to aid in the training. I performed a series of chest presses using a pole, abdominal crunches, commands, jogging in place, sprinting, and many more.
I found the workout to be surprisingly enjoyable. Galaxy and Thornton found it very stimulating both physically and mentally. The music helped a great deal and I loved the bootcamp instructor’s voice guiding us through the workout. One thing I would suggest is getting an exercise belt to clip your dog’s leash to you. It just gives you more freedom when you don’t have to hold the leash during your exercises. It was a great workout and really fun to do with my dogs. There are nineteen more workouts this month and I’ll be reporting after each one on my radio show Facebook page. The app is a mere 99 cents and can be downloaded here.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful when working on your fitness goals for 2014…..here’s to happy exercising with your dog and a chance to say goodbye to your pooch with your pooch.