Is Walking Your Dog A Real Workout?
What's Up SimplyFit Family,
In the hustle and bustle of life, we often look for ways to kill two birds with one stone. For dog owners, taking their pet for a walk often doubles as their exercise routine. But is walking your dog as effective as a workout as going for a walk or run on your own? Let's dig deeper.
While walking your dog undoubtedly has benefits - providing moderate exercise, fresh air, and bonding time with your furry friend - it might not always pack the same punch as a focused, uninterrupted workout. Here's why:
Stop-and-go nature: Dogs love to explore, sniff, and mark their territory. This often leads to a stop-and-go pattern which can interrupt the pace and intensity of your walk. Consistent pace is crucial for cardiovascular benefits and calorie burning.
Unpredictable speed: Your pooch might see a squirrel and pick up the pace, or find an interesting smell and slow down. These variable speeds can make it hard to maintain a steady, brisk walk or jog that raises your heart rate.
Limited challenge: If you're used to more vigorous exercise, a leisurely dog walk might not challenge your fitness levels. You might not build strength or endurance as effectively as with dedicated workouts.
Distractions: Managing a leash, picking up after your dog, and ensuring they're safe from traffic and other hazards can take away from the focus on your workout.
If walking your dog is your main form of exercise, don't be discouraged! Here are some tips to make it more effective:
Pace training: Train your dog to walk or jog at a steady pace. This might take time and patience, but it can help turn your walks into more of a workout.
Incorporate intervals: Try walking briskly or jogging between two or three lampposts, then slowing down for the next one or two. This form of interval training can increase the intensity of your workout.
Combine workouts: If possible, dedicate some time to walking or running on your own, in addition to walks with your dog. This allows you to focus solely on your fitness goals.
Remember, every bit of physical activity counts, and walking your dog is better than a sedentary lifestyle. But for optimal health benefits, you might need to supplement dog walks with additional workouts.
Keep moving, SimplyFit Family!
The SimplyFit Team
The information in this newsletter is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of SimplyFit.