Regular readers of this blog will know how much we love our furry friends here at Little Soap HQ. We’ve written before about the many fantastic ways they can help to improve your emotional wellbeing and enhance your not only your social life but your overall mental health too. Our dogs are our friends for life; our reasons to get up and out every single day and we wouldn’t change it for the world! With this in mind, and ahead of Love your Pet Day, we thought it would be a good idea to extend on these thoughts a little and focus on other ways that owning a dog could be just the boost you need for emotional and physical health. Here are three easy ways to get fit with your dog- enjoy!
It might seem obvious, but it deserves to make the top of the list! Taking your dog for a walk is probably the best way to improve your general fitness, and this one is really a no-brainer. Your dog needs a walk every day, and this means that you’re going to walk more. More steps means more improvement in your physical health. Win win!
So assuming you’re already walking your dog regularly, how can we make this basic activity a little more challenging? Aim for a little progressive overload every now and then. What do we mean by this? Challenge yourself more and more at regular intervals, so that the body is encouraged to adapt and change, and thus your fitness levels increase and improve. Set yourself a goal to walk a little further each day. Or step up the pace to a brisk walk rather than a stroll. Each time you set out for a walk, ask yourself how you can make this one a little more challenging than the last one. Keep a record of your goals so that you can see how your fitness is progressing each time you go for a walk.
Take it to the next level: why not step up the pace a little further and progress to a slow jog or even a run? You can them progress to interval training: sprint for30 seconds, walk briskly for 60 seconds, and repeat. This is such a great way to incorporate new exercise challenges into your every day routine!
It really doesn’t have to be just walking when it comes to getting it with your dog! This is one activity that is just perfect for dogs with lots of energy, and you may find that increasing the energy expenditure of your pooch could even help with any behavioural issues too.When you’re getting sufficient exercise on a regular basis, the serotonin levels in the body begin to build up- and the result is a feeling of increased calm and relaxation. And this goes for both you and your dog!
Take it to the next level: Increase your distance regularly, and plan out your route to involve more uphill stints so that you get a really good workout in each time you cycle.
Fun & games
Keeping your exercise regime fun is vital if you’re going to stick with it- so why not turn it into a game? The well-loved game of ‘fetch’ can
actually be a really good workout for you both, and its probably one activity that you’ve never realised can actually be amazing when it comes to improving your fitness!
Simply take aim and give it your best throw- and while your dog is bounding after the ball, you have as long as it takes for him to return, to get as many reps in as possible! Squats, jumping jacks, static/ jumping lunges, on-the-spot sprints- all great exercise that can be performed in short bursts for maximum impact!
Take it to the next level: aim for shorter breaks in between throws, to really push yourself. Alternate this with longer sessions overall was your fitness improves.