Hello there! It's Monday...WOOO WHOOO!! Did you have a good weekend? I hope you had a productive one!! Lets make this a FITastic week and work on crushing some goals! Sound good?! :D
Today's post is all about adding a furry pal to your exercise session. Dogs are far from just fluff and sloppy kisses! Above is my fur baby (lots of fur...she could use a haircut...lol) and she loves the outdoors!! Holiday (Holi for short) often reminds me when it's time for a walk or time to play :D She makes a great accountability partner...lol! Holi loves the whole cardio thing...especially when she decides to chase a squirrel!! :D Working out with your dog is a FUN way to stay in shape! Exercise is as important for your dog as it is for you!! Plus, a well exercised dog is often a well behaved one! It's a win-win situation!!
Studies are confirming that canine owners are more likely to exercise regularly and to be fit and healthier then their pet-free peers. People who exercise with their dogs are more likely to maintain a consistent routine then those who sweat solo. "Canines can offer energy, enthusiasm, and social support," says Shirley Archer, a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise.
Dogs make awesome workout buddies! A dog's always ready and willing to go!! Unlike a workout partner, neighbor, or coworker, an ever eager furry pal never cancels on you at the last minute, complains about being tired, or backs out from rain or snow.
Dog owners often log in double workouts. Sometimes we don't see taking the dog out as a sweat session. But don't discount those walks. If you keep a moderate pace, you can burn up to 68 calories in 20 minutes! Yes, please!! Throw in some high energy games of chase, tug-of-war, and Frisbee, and you'll stoke your metabolism even more!!!
Here's a workout to try with your dog...
Sprint for 1 minute, then command your dog to sit or lie down while you do as many burpees (yes, you read it right...lol) as you can in 1 minute. Continue doing this for 10 minutes, then repeat up to 2 more times, swapping out burpees for squats, lunges, or pushups! You got this!! Just do it :D
There's no need to limit yourself and your furry pal to walks around the block or runs in the park. Dogs crave adventure and many breeds are perfect hiking, biking, skating, or swimming buddies. Just be mindful with some of these activities if your dog loves a good squirrel chase...lol! But overall, dogs want to be your fitness buddy!! The emotional and mental bond you share is pretty amazing!!!
Did you know that dog owners are less likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure?! It's true!! Whether healthier people tend to be pet owners or people with dogs tend to sweat more, it still equals lower risk ;)
Just a few things to keep in mind when working out with your fur buddy...
- Check with your vet, as some breeds are better suited for exercise then others.
- Dogs can't complain about being tired, sore, or needing more downtime, so it's up to you to monitor their effort and recovery closely.
- Make sure your dog wears a life vest if they're going paddle boarding or kayaking.
- Even though dogs don't sweat, they still need lots of water. During workouts, keep your dog sipping every 15 - 20 minutes.
What if you don't have a dog?! No worries!! You can still get in some canine workouts! Volunteer to walk or run a pound dog!! It's an awesome way to workout without the ownership of a furry pal. Remember, working out with a dog is a fun way to stay in shape :D
Exercise isn't just a nicety, it's a necessity for maintaining optimal physical and mental wellbeing. I'm sooooo glad that this fur baby of mine loves the outdoors and exercising...lol! Life is good!!
If you have any comments, I'd love to hear from you! If you have a question about volunteering to walk or run a pound dog in your area, I'll try my best to find the answer!!
Have a great week! Make it productive and of course, try some exercises with your furry pal!!
I'll be posting again on Thursday :)
Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist