One of the issues our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other sports medicine specialists hear about from many of our clients is, “Where do I find the time to workout?” There are many strategies we can suggest, but if you have a dog, you can incorporate regular physical activity into your everyday routine, have fun, and do it all with your best friend.
Walking is a good place to start, both for you and your dog. It’s an activity both of you can enjoy. To get the most out of it, you want to work up to a brisk pace. You can easily gauge if your pup is able to keep up with you, and that will depend on the breed, age, and physical condition. Once you are in a routine of walking everyday, you can increase the distance little by little. Studies suggest that alternating two minutes of high intensity walking with two at a slower pace can give you optimal results.
Jogging & Running
Not all dogs are made for jogging, and that may be due to the breed and build, as well as age. Some dogs are better suited to long distance running, such as Labradors, while greyhounds are best for short sprints. Check with your vet to be sure. A puppy will be enthusiastic, but they’re not really ready for a full blown jog until they’re full grown. You want to build up towards about a 30 minute run, including 5 of warm-up and 5 for cool down. Taking the same
route everyday can help your dog focus on the run – and not on every new scent he passes by.
Hiking is an activity your dog will adore. They all love to explore and find new scents and places. Just like walking alone, you’ll want to increase the pace to a brisk level, but uneven terrain, hills, and valleys can do a lot of that work for you. It’s also an excellent way to take a road trip with your pet. Remember to get the right vaccinations before you go, including flea and tick prevention, and be aware of ticks both on you and your dog in areas where Lyme disease is present.
Throw & Fetch Games
If your dog loves to chase the ball, there are various ways you can let Rover enjoy his short sprints while you incorporate some exercise for yourself. Here are three ideas – and if you need any help with proper form on other advice on how to perform these moves, our Toronto physiotherapists and other sports medicine specialists are available to help.
- Squat & Throw – stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and perform a squat as low as you can while holding the ball in both hands. When you begin to rise back up, make it an explosive push to your toes, and throw the ball behind you over your head as far as you can.
- Burpees – throw the ball as far as you can, and perform as many burpees as you can before your dog comes back with it.
- Soccer – there are special dog-friendly soccer balls you can get, so you can play keep away from your pet as long as you can.
Cycling, Dancing, Rollerblading & More
Once you get going, many people find themselves completely hooked on working out with their dog, and why not? Fido is always enthusiastic, and will never let you forget a workout. There are many activities you can explore that will take some time and practice, depending on the time commitment you can make, including dancing, frisbee, inline skating, and cycling. If you have a ready pool or body of water, swimming is another option, and a good one for olderpups and humans alike.
Our Toronto physiotherapists, massage therapists, and other sports medicine professionals agree – whatever gets you exercising on a regular basis is a good thing. If you have any questions or concerns about your musculo-skeletal health or condition, please come by one of our Toronto physiotherapy clinics or call to make an appointment today.