It is a common fact that exercise is a necessity if you want to keep your health in check, and having a four-legged workout buddy can make your training sessions more of a fun activity than a chore. Not only will you spend more time with your pet, but you will also benefit significantly from raising your heart rates.
Having a canine companionship alone has many health benefits like reduced anxiety and depression, lower body mass index, and improved heart health. According to some research, owning a pet can even promote longevity!
You may be wondering how to include exercise with your furry friend in your schedule, so read on to learn how and your pet can have some valuable time together!
The Standard Workouts
You are most probably already walking or running with your dog. These are the activities that most of the dog owners practice with their little buddies.
If you want to take your daily walks up a notch, you can easily increase your heart rate by taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood with your four-legged buddy. Also, you can consider jogging along a park trail.
Naturally, the faster you move, the more your heart rate will go up, boosting your cardiorespiratory fitness level.
Running, walking, and other forms of aerobic exercises are linked with a stronger heart, among other health benefits. These activities significantly enhance good cholesterol, lower the bad one, and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes and manage blood pressure levels.
To reap all of the walking and jogging benefits, you need to log about three miles a day, or at least twenty miles per week.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic is not yet over, we’re all spending more time in our homes due to the lockdowns. It has become a bit harder to keep up with the fitness regimen, so if you are looking for an efficient way to maximize the effects of a single exercise bout and to stimulate more muscles simultaneously, a full-body workout is a go-to option.
And when it comes to your pooch, regular exercise will help control his weight and keep his heart, lungs, circulatory and digestive systems healthy. It will also burn the excess energy that may cause your buddy to practice some unwanted behaviors.
Explore New Things With Your Pet
If you are bored with walks around the same blocks and are in for something new, you can give a shot to hiking, riding a bike, or roller-skating while your dog runs next to you.
There are many ways to have fun with your furry friend while also amping up your workouts. If you live next to a lake, a river, or a beach you can run in the sand together. Also, when the weather is bad, you can practice stairs running with your dog.
Playing fetch with your beloved pooch with a ball or a Frisbee guarantees fun times for both of you, while also working on your cardiovascular health.
And the great news is there are even exercise programs tailored for you and your four-legged buddy, like dog yoga.
The Outdoor Workouts
Taking your dog out on the trails and woods is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. Activities in the natural environment have their own set of benefits, like psychological and physiological ones.
And of course, your furry sidekick will enjoy spending time outdoors.
Since trees and plants produce oxygen, exercising amidst vegetation means more oxygen than indoor workouts or activities in urban settings. Also, being away from urban areas, cars and factories mean increased intake of pollutants, so you and your pet can breathe better quality air.
Let’s not forget the impact of the surface on your and your dog’s joints. Whatever your together activities may be, it is better to have them on grass or ground then indoor or on a street or sidewalk. The soft surfaces like the former ones are easier on the joints.
Many studies have demonstrated the positive effects of physical activities taking place in green spaces. Exercising in a forest, a park, or another natural environment can improve your overall brain function, reduce your stress and anxiety levels, and improve your mood.
Before starting with a certain workout regimen, make sure your pet’s fitness and ability are aligned with the intensity of the planned activity. Your dog needs to stay hydrated just like you, so access to the water is a must.
Since dogs have no sweat glands instead of their paws, they cool off by panting. When you notice your workout buddy is panting excessively or drooling, it is time for a break and hydration.
Another issue you need to be aware of is that certain breeds are more prone to overheating. Boxers, pugs, and Boston terriers have trouble staying cool, so don’t plan as much exercise with them.
Avoid direct sunlight, especially during hot weather, and instead, opt for a morning or an evening workout when it’s cooler outside. Shady parks and woodsy trails are a better option for getting your daily dose of physical activity during the summer months.
Exercise has so many health benefits, from physical ones to reducing stress and improving mood; if you do these activities while having your sidekick with you, they become even more fun!
Spending time together will also strengthen your bond with your beloved furry buddy while working towards better health.