Put the Work Into the Workout
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is, but for workout walks to be a fitness building experience, you will need to do more than just a regular walk at your regular pace. As with any workout, aiming for a variety of aerobic activity, some strength building, and some flexibility exercises will give you a well-rounded fitness routine.
Keep in mind that most health experts recommend that we exercise at a moderate intensity. What does that mean? For the human half of the team, a good rule of thumb is that if you can talk while you walk, you are moving at about the right pace. However, each of us is an individual, so you may want to talk with your health care provider or fitness trainer to develop your personal goals.
There are several strategies for turning a basic dog walk into a fitness-building workout. A great idea is to vary your approach and try for one or more of the below suggestions on different days of the week.
(1) Step up the pace. Perhaps this is obvious – but it is also one of the best strategies for building fitness. When you head out for a walk, warm up for the first 5 to 10 minutes, and then challenge yourself to move at a quicker pace than you normally would.
(2) Go long. Increasing distance is another great strategy. Make some days your long walk days, and increase your normal distance or time.
(3) Try intervals. Interval training is when you take small chunks of time – say 30 seconds to several minutes – and work out at a higher intensity, followed by a rest cycle. So, for example, on a walk, you could walk fast or even jog for one block getting your heart rate up, and the next two blocks walk at a normal speed to let your heart rate recover (go back to normal).
(4) Climb to new heights. Walking hills (assuming your knees and back can handle it!) are a great way to add difficulty to your workout and also some strength training for your legs.
While out on your walk, at a park or other quiet location, give your dog a sniff break or ask for a stay while you do some calisthenics, stretching or strength building exercises. Try squats, lunges, calf-raises. Add in some vertical pushups off of a building or pole and some leg-lifts and tricep dips on a park bench for a full body workout.
These are tips that will get both you and your dog moving in a fitness direction, but it may not sound like much fun for your canine pal. In order to make it a positive experience for you both, add in some fun time.
Published by MarciaTheDogNanny
About Marcia – The Dog Nanny
Marcia is not new to dog training. She qualified as a professional dog training instructor in 1984 and gained behaviour certification in 1985. She has been around big dogs all of her life. She grew up in England with Harlequin Great Danes and as an adult began breeding and competed in confirmation, obedience and agility with her Dobermans.
She is a professional member with The Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (CAPPDT), The Pet Professionals Guild (PPG) and a Authorised Mentor Trainer for The Animal Behaviour College (ABC). Marcia is also a Canadian Kennel Club Member and the Director of Evaluators for Therapeutic Paws Of Canada.
As Certified Canine Behaviourist & Certified Professional Dog Training Instructor she stays informed by continuing to advance her current knowledge in the field and is familiar with the latest, most effective training techniques and equipment.
Marcia started breeding in 1985 and today breeds and competes in confirmation shows across Canada & the US with her Dogue de Bordeauxs.
She came to Canada in 1991 and resumed her private dog training and issue resolution business under the name “The Dog Nanny” in 1998. Prior to that her clients were from word of mouth only, and that’s where the idea for the Business name came as many clients said she was just like Jojo from the TV series Super Nanny only for dogs.
Due to the restrictions in local by-laws, she was unable to open her own Dog Training school in Innisfil, Ontario. Therefore, when she was asked by PetSmart, in Barrie, to come on board as the lead/head trainer, Marcia saw an opportunity to teach group classes and improve the standard of training. She was with PetSmart for 5 years. Due to company regulations Marcia had to attend PetSmart’s 2 week course, so has an additional certification in dog training as an Accredited Dog Trainer.
In September of 2011 Marcia met Claudia from Dogs Scouts Day Camp, and Claudia was kind enough to offer Marcia the use of her facility and grounds thus the beginning of The Dog Nanny’s Canine Training Academy. Marcia has had clients travel from as far as Orillia, Collingwood, Alliston, Vaughn and Newmarket to attend her classes there.
Marcia also volunteers for Therapeutic Paws of Canada (www.tpoc.ca) and has been the Director of Evaluators since 2004. Therapeutic Paws of Canada is a non-profit organization of volunteers providing animal Therapy for human needs (physical, mental, educational, motivational, socialization) through regular visits to hospitals, residences, schools. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life and health through the animal/human bond. Marcia speaks at all TPOC Events/Seminars some of which are open to the public and those in the Pet/Dog Industry.
Marcia is also a member of several web based groups as an Expert Panel member and has done several Web Conferences on Canine Behaviour and Training.
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