Fall Workouts For You And Your Dog
September 19, 2016
As the summer heat gives way to crisp Autumn days, it’s the perfect time to leave the gym behind and break a sweat with your best bud. Aerobic exercise not only works the body, it also stimulates serotonin production in dogs and humans alike. Getting at least 30 minutes a day helps you both stay in shape and feel happy. Here are some fun ways to do your cardio together. As always, watch your dog for signs of exhaustion and bring plenty of water.
Light Interval Training
If your dog is in good shape and well behaved on your walks, try adding in some jogging or sprinting on your next jaunt. Start with 15 seconds of high intensity jogging or running with a 15 second rest. Gradually build your way up to one minute of walking and one minute of running for 30-60 minutes at a time. Your trainer told you high intensity intervals were the best way to torch calories and this definitely counts! Aerobic exercise stimulates serotonin production in dogs just like it does for us!
Fetch is an underutilized human exercise too. Usually, we just stand there while our dog does all the work…but why? A good toss will give you twenty seconds to do push-ups, lunges, squats, or sit-ups while you wait. Add in some chases of your own and you’ll both get a full body workout while you’re out enjoying the crisp, Fall air.
Does your dog wake up every morning and stretch it out? Doga is perfect for you! If your dog naturally likes to stretch into a sequence all their own, this partner yoga sequence can help you bond on a new level. Many cities even offer in-person classes for you, your pooch and all your friends!
Make Your Own Game
It’s like soccer, but it’s not. Running around a field chasing a ball is fun for humans and dogs alike. Use a dog-friendly, chewable ball to play “keep-away” with your pal. You’ll both be able to practice your coordination while running your tails off. Herding breeds are especially skilled at this game. In fact, it’s not uncommon for dogs to learn how to “kick” the ball away on their own using their nose or body. Your dog might surprise you with his or her innate skills.
Create Some Friendly Competition
The more the merrier. Invite your dog’s BFF out to the park and hold the world’s cutest foot race. Have a friend run a long distance away while you hold the dogs at a the invisible starting line. On your command, run alongside the two competitors and see who takes the gold. They’ll love the camaraderie and you’ll be motivated by their enthusiasm and energy. Trade places with your human pal for an active rest and take turns racing the dogs back and forth. The fastest member of your pack buys lunch!
Couch Potato and Tator Tot
Snuggles on the couch might be your dog's favorite activity but it isn't doing anyone any favors. Use commercial breaks to try some home workout moves. Our favorite? The hide and seek squat. Take a dog toy (not a treat; the whole point is to get healthy!) and show it to your pup, squat and move it in a figure 8 around your legs. They'll start to get it and follow the toy through your legs...which at this point should be on fire! Say "so long" to your couch potato days and make it work with what you've got at home or on the go.
Teach Them Hurdles
…by demonstration that is. Most dogs naturally jump over objects in their path, so it’s usually pretty easy to teach this behavior on command. Try harnessing that instinct in your dog by using positive reinforcement. Demonstrate the jump yourself back and forth so that you’re both working on your leg strength. Once your dog can clear a small hurdle without any difficulty try adding a short sprint before. If you can master this together you’re well on your way to learning the sport of dog agility.
Dogs love routines, so if your daily walk is working for you, stick to it. As long as you’re staying active and enjoying your time outside this fall, you guys are in good shape!