If you’re looking for an enjoyable way to keep fit, dog walking is a great idea. There are a lot of benefits that come from owning a dog and exercise is just one of them.
While simply getting out on a dog walk is good exercise in itself, there are other ways to tweak it so you gain even more exercise benefits. Below, you’ll discover several more ideas for using dog walking for exercise.
Make Sure You Set a Routine
The best way to use dog walking as exercise is to get into a set routine. Depending upon the breed of dog you own, it is recommended you walk twice a day for 30 minutes. Most people find it best to go early in the morning and then again in the early evening.
When you establish a routine, you’ll get plenty of exercise without really thinking about it.
Walking over Different Terrains
One way that dog walking can help to boost your exercise routine, is to walk over different terrains. You might not think about it, but you use different muscles when walking over different types of terrain.
Try to mix up your dog walks. Sometimes you can stick to paths, while other times you can go on grass and even hike up mountains. By mixing up your dog walk, you’ll also have less chance of getting bored with the routine. So, pick different places you can go, particularly at the weekends where you can typically travel a little further afield.
Push Your Pace
If you are only going on shorter walks, you can get more out of them by pushing your pace – that is, walking faster and more deliberately than you usually would. With longer dog walks, you can get away with sticking to a gradual pace. However, when time is short, a more intense and faster pace will give you the exercise you need.
Just remember that if you’re only just starting out, it’s important to build up your pace slowly. Trying to do too much too soon could result in injury.
Combine It with Weights
If you want to give yourself an extra challenge while you’re out walking, you can add in some hand weights. With this, you’ll need to ensure your dog can walk off lead without any issues. Simply carrying the weights can be enough to give the body an extra workout.
You could also invest in a weighted dog walking vest. However, it is important to discuss this with a veterinarian beforehand. Improper use of these vests could give your dog knee, back, and hip problems. Hand weights are the safer option as they pose no risk to your dog.
These are some of the main ways dog walking can be used for exercise. Just playing with them while you are out can also boost your exercise routine. Studies have shown that dog walkers get a lot more exercise than those without pets. So, embrace going out for your daily walks and watch yourself start to become much fitter.