Exercise is terrific for our body and mind. While it has been a challenge for most of us over the past few months, the easing of lockdowns should motivate us to get out again. If you’ve ever had trouble sticking to your fitness goals, consider how your playful pooch can help you out. Our dogs love to exercise and will seldom turn up the chance to get moving and explore the outdoors.
Exercising with your pup is a fantastic way to support their health and happiness as well as your own. It’s also a great way to improve the bond and relationship you share with them as they motivate you to keep moving. Now is an excellent time to form new habits and routines. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together four paw-some ways to exercise with your dog as well as some guidance on how to keep the routine going.
Walk the Walk
Walking is one of the best ways to get exercise for a reason. According to BetterHealth, “Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance.” These benefits are just as accurate for your pets. Better yet, your dog loves exploring the outdoors, and many will even be ecstatic just to hear the word.
“Walking is one of the easiest routines to get in to, and you can do it anywhere”
Commit to taking your dog on a daily walk. There are no excuses, almost everyone can do it and even ten minutes is far better nothing. Walking is one of the most simple routines to get in to, and you can do it anywhere. Are you bored with the local park? Hit up an offroad trail or a hike. After a while, you’ll be looking forward to it just as much as your pup!
Turn it up. Jog it out.
Take it up a notch and jog it out with your marathon pup. Just be careful, some breeds are not suited to more intense training. Pugs, bulldogs and boxers to name a few should skip this one out - always consult your vet. If your dog is up for a challenge, they’re the perfect companion to run with. They will act as a pacer, maintaining a good rhythm and company as you work up to longer distances. Just like walking, the key is to be consistent and take it slow. While your dog can potentially handle up to 50kms a week after extensive training, it’s crucial to safely build-up to this level, never pushing yourself or your pet beyond their comfort level.
Have fun and play!
Exercise comes in many shapes and sizes, most of all, it should be fun. If you can’t get into the repetitive nature of running or walking, playtime is for you. Playing fun games with your pet is just as good for you and your dog’s fitness and can be more engaging for many owners.
There are lots of ways you can play with your pup, whether it’s teaching them an agility course, playing tag or tug of war. Setting up basic obstacles and playing fetch can be just as useful for your dog’s fitness, it doesn’t have to be complicated! Perhaps you could get down to the beach on a beautiful day to mix up the scenery. Get creative, improve your bond with your dog and most of all, remember to have fun!
Get serious with some outdoor training
Kill two birds with one stone by training your dog outdoors. Start with the basic commands and work your way up to more advanced tasks. Electronic remote dog training collars (e-collars) are a very effective and safe option to reinforce your dog’s skills, off-leash while out and about. Remote dog training collars use a remote to provide mild stimuli, such as a high-pitched sound, vibration or mild-static to discourage unwanted behaviour and reinforce commands while off-leash.
You can switch your dog’s remote training collar on when you head out for a walk or training session. Over time, your dog will learn what you expect from them and the behaviour you find acceptable as their owner. The greater understanding you have of one another increases the chances of a happy and well-behaved pup. By training your dog off-leash, you’ll both be getting great exercise as you have more freedom to move about.
How to start and maintain a routine
If you’ve decided to give one or more of these exercises a go; consistency is key! Here are three essential tips to get started and to keep it up:
- Make a verbal and written commitment. Tell your family and friends that you’re going to take your dog for a walk every day. Make them hold you accountable.
- Use a habit tracker. Whether it’s a smartwatch, phone app or physical calendar, record how and when you get your exercise in. You’ll be able to see where you slipped up and visualise your success.
- Take it easy to begin with. It might be tempting to rush into intense sessions, but you will likely burn out. Start small and work up in manageable increments. As a general rule, increase your sessions by no more than 10% a week.
A quality, well-calibrated dog training collar is an excellent & safe tool that can ensure training and exercising with your dog outdoors remains a stress-free experience. Dog Gear offers trusted electronic dog training collars, utilising warning tones to prompt your pup safely. With free Australian shipping and same-day dispatch, our products will be with you fast. Follow us on Facebook for the latest advice, updates and dog training tips!