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Turn The Walk Into A Workout

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dog jogging with woman

The weather is finally getting better, so we’ll be out for walks with our dogs a lot more.  As you know, walking is great exercise for you and your dog, but as an article in the April 2013 Whole Dog Journal points out, there are ways to turn the walk into a better workout.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Pick Up The Pace.  Dogs often like to pause for “sniffs” and take their time walking.  Try doing 5-10 minutes of slower warm-up, then pick up the pace for the main part of the walk, allowing  some time at the end for cool down.
  • Increase Distance.  Start slowly, gradually adding more distance to the walk.  Pick some days for “long walks” and some for the “short walk” route.  This will give your dog some variety and help build his endurance, and yours.
  • Do Some Climbing.  If you have hills in your area, add some hill walking to your walk.  It’ll add some difficulty and will be great for strengthening your legs.

The walk is for your dog too, so here are a couple of suggestions to pump up the walk for your dog:

  • Ball Racing.  If your dog likes to chase a ball, have him wait by you while you throw it, then race him to see which of you can get the ball first.
  • Frisbee.  Does your dog like to catch frisbees?  Try it with multiple frisbees, throw one, and when your dog is almost back with one, throw the next.  This will keep him moving and will give you some good upper body exercise.

Before embarking on a new exercise routine, check with your doctor and your dog’s vet.  Make sure you have plenty of water for both you and your dog so you’ll both stay hydrated.

Enjoy the walkies!


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