Monday September 24 2018

Fun ways to work out with your pet

Dogs can help raise your energy and en

Dogs can help raise your energy and endorphins levels, which can literally make any stressful day more manageable. STOCK PHOTO 

By Joan Salmon

One of the ideal pets in this regard is dogs. They are the perfect workout partner and will not flake out on a scheduled workout or make excuses because they are always happy to see you and excited to play with you.

Elly Barangi, a fitness coach, says working out with your dog will not only benefit your health but also intensify the bond between you and your dog due to the endorphins your body releases while exercising.

According to shape.com, an online portal, a March 2011 study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health in the US found that dog owners are more likely to reach their fitness goals than those without them.

Likewise, people who work out with dogs say dogs are better exercise companions than humans. Think about it, a dog will not bail on exercising because it is tired or could not find an outfit for the evening walk.

Road work
Robert Ddamulira, a fitness instructor, attests to the fact that dogs are unrelenting companions. They will therefore walk miles on end with you for your road work.

If your pet is small, cats can come into the picture here too, you may perform squats while you carry them. Ddamulira says not only will you achieve your fitness goals but also make your pet happy. They will surely be ready to join in on the fun.

Chase me
Forget enlisting a personal trainer or coach to help increase your speed. Barungi says one can pick up a ball or dog toy and perform a series of cardiovascular exercises. One in particular is what he calls the shuttle run.

Place two water bottles or any other object of choice approximately 10 feet apart from each other, then drop into slight squats and begin side shuffling to the other bottle.

Keep the dog toy in hand, while encouraging your four-legged friend to follow. Perform as many side shuffles as possible: moving back and forth between the bottles. “Remember to watch out for hot surfaces and keep your dog hydrated, especially in the heat,” she warns.

Swimming
While not every public pool will welcome your pet, you can swim with it if you have a private pool. Dogs have shown to be excellent swimmers, so you will not be bored at all.
Beyond the obvious walks and runs, Barungi suggests HIIT for you and endurance of training for your dog. Running with your dog can be a great workout, but try to mix up the exercises. For example, three minutes of walking, two minutes of a steady jog, and one minute off sprint, and repeat.

Reverse lunges
While several dog owners are weary of their dogs lunging at people, reverse lunging would be a great way to exercise with your dog. Ddamulira talks of how this can be done: stand while facing your dog, ensuring that it is in a sitting position in front of you. Perform a reverse lunge. At the bottom of each lunge, ask your dog for their paw and give them a shake.

Cycling
If you are a confident cyclist and have a larger, energetic, athletic dog, Barungi points out that you may want to try bike-jogging, in which dogs wear harnesses that attach to bikes so they can pull and run as you ride. Another physical activity that you can do with your pet include; Rope skipping with the pet and you using one rope.

However, Barungi cautions dog owners to take their pet to a veterinary doctor before engaging in any exercise programme.

Benefits of jogging with the dog
• A dog helps you switch up your energy levels. When you run with your dog, sometimes you are forced to react to your dog’s frequent changes in pace.
• A dog is your body guard. Man people feel safer running with a dog, especially in the evening.
• A dog is always motivated. Sometimes you are not motivated to go jogging, and it is difficult to take the first step out the door.

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