Written by Charlotte Campbell
The Benefits of Summer Evenings
Lighter nights can be great news for both your dog AND your fitness levels. Use the extra hours of walkies time to your full advantage. You’ll both fall into your baskets tired out and content at the end of the day. Nothing like mixing bonding time with your four-legged pal whilst getting fit!
So, if you want the satisfaction of being an excellent dog owner and hitting your fitness targets at the same time, give these a go…
A long walk is a great way to stay active even when you are on a rest or low-intensity day. Plan a route that both you and your dog will enjoy. Somewhere with interesting scenery for you, and new smells for your pup are ideal. The sense of variety will make this less challenging workout engaging and fun.
Dogs love most things, but they especially love running. Train your dog’s obedience as you train yourself in an HIIT walkies session. Warm up before you set off, and take things at a brisk pace for a few minutes. Then, begin alternating bursts of sprints. Your dog will undoubtedly love racing alongside you as you go flat out. Then, as you slow back to a brisk pace, make sure your dog heels and does the same.
If your dog is too excited by this change of pace to heel obediently at first, don’t worry. It’s just more motivation to repeat it regularly as part of your workout.
Add-In New Terrain
Plan out a walk that includes inclines and different terrains. The great thing about dogs is, unlike friends or kids, they never complain when the going gets tougher. They like the challenge of a hill or trough. So let that canine enthusiasm rub off on you and pick something just out of your usual comfort zone. Your glutes and core will get more of a workout the more difficult a trail is to conquer.
If you want to stick to an urban environment, add in sets of steps you could run, jump and lunge your way through. Make sure you give yourself enough time to be back at your car or home by dusk though if you go rural– don’t get stranded somewhere without street lights!
Fetch is traditionally a fairly lazy way to tire out and play with your dog. It’s fun and gets a bit of arm movement going, but it’s hardly a blast of cardio. However, you can introduce blasts of exercise as you wait for your dog to return the ball or Frisbee.
Do jumping jacks, squats, or run on the spot as soon as you have thrown to the dog. The farther you throw, the more time you get to work out AND the harder you have worked your arm. If the ground is clear and dry, you could throw in some burpees or push-ups, too.
If you’re feeling competitive, you could even race your dog for the ball once you’ve thrown it.