Sometimes life can get busy, finding time for both your exercise routine and that of your dog can be difficult so why not knock out both your exercise routines by exercising together. You can get fantastic benefits by taking your pooch with you when you pound the pavement. Dogs are great motivators. Studies show dog owners walk an average 300 minutes per week compared to non-dog owners at an average of 168 minutes. Even when you’re not in the mood to exercise, knowing your four-legged friend is depending on you will get you out the door. Unlike some training buddies, your dog will never show up late or ever say no to that early morning walk. Dogs naturally walk fast so you’ll need to have a brisk pace in order to keep up.
Exercising with your dog can also be socially rewarding. Dogs act as social catalysts, creating opportunities for social interactions, topics for conversations and facilitating positive encounters with others. Try walking or running at a dog-friendly park or at the dog beach. Keep in mind dog-friendly charity walking events, they’re great for your dog’s social interaction and supporting a good cause will make you feel good too. Dogs can provide sense of security and protection. Taking your dog on your morning or evening walk when it’s dark can make you feel safer.
Don’t forget to ‘train to train’. Teaching your dog to heel for walking, running or cycling is important for their safety and yours. Whether it’s mental training or physical training, spending quality time with your dog will also reinforce your friendship!
Good luck and have fun!
Bianca Dobrich (B.Sc. Exercise & Sports Science, Grad Dip Exercise Rehabilitation)
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)(ESSAM)