Dog walking is known as a type of low-intensity and low-risk exercise. Taking your dog for a walk daily or working as a dog walker can have several positive effects on your physical health. A study at the University of Sydney stated that dog walking could also be used as a preventative method for heart disease. Researchers found that dog owners could reduce their risk of heart disease by dog walking for at least 150 minutes per week. There are ways to turn regular dog walks into something exciting for both you and your pooch.
Whatever you choose to do, keep in mind that the welfare of your dog should always be the first thing on your mind. The kind of exercise and the amount that you walk depends upon the age, breed and the health of your dog. Don’t forget to carry a bottle of water along whenever you go for a walk because it is possible for your dog to get overheated.
Some of the things that you can do to make the most out of dog walking are:
● Increase Your Pace Gradually
When you want to utilize the full potential of dog walking, start slowly. Decide to go for longer walks instead of the regular 30-minute ones. Another thing that you can do is walk briskly along with your dog by increasing your pace a bit. Keep an eye on your dog and see to it that they match your pace. Researchers have found that brisk walking offers more of a workout than the gym – literally, all you need to do is walk faster for longer.
● Engage in Interval Training
Interval training is alternating between high-intensity workouts and low-intensity recovery exercises. According to Scott Weiss, the athletic trainer and exercise physiologist, “High-intensity Interval Training burns more calories during and after a workout than continuous aerobic training.”
The best thing is there is a very simple way to incorporate interval training in your daily dog walks. Alternate between brisk walking and steady walking – walk briskly for one block, then switch to a steady walk for the next block and switch back again.
● Play Games
Instead of sticking to normal doggie games like throwing a ball or a stick, think of a game that makes you move too. Let your dog retrieve a ball that you had thrown earlier, and while they are doing this run as fast as you can in another direction. Keep repeating this as long as you can. If you are in the mood, you could also decide to play tag with your dog. Various studies have shown that running regularly can actually help to prevent medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, brain stroke, and high blood pressure, obesity, and heart problems. One of the studies published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that walking or running for 30 minutes daily can enhance the mood of a depressed patient.
● Hike in the Woods
Plan an outing with your dog and take them on a hike through the woods. While it is true that it may require making proper plans, hiking can be quite beneficial for you as well as your dog. Hiking involves a lot of climbing and traversing uneven terrain, and is ultimately more strenuous than dog walking. When you are looking for something different than your regular walking, hiking is sure to add a bit of excitement.
Who needs to buy a gym membership when you have a dog? Make your dog your workout buddy and you will never need any other external motivation to exercise. The best thing is that the activities you can do with your dog are independent of bad weather conditions. All you need is the will to exercise and a dog to cheer for you!
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