New year fitness ideas for dogs and owners
December 7, 2021
New year, new you?
Many of us start to think about exercise in January. It can be hard to stay motivated when its dark and cold outside, but sticking to a new year fitness challenge is much easier with a friend. And what better friend than your dog!
Finding an activity that you enjoy together will help with motivation. And why stick at just one? You will both benefit from a varied exercise routine as it gives overused muscles, joints, and ligaments a chance to rest and recover. It will also make your fitness journey more interesting and more likely to last…
Six ways to get fit with your dog
Upgrade your daily walk – A one-hour walk can burn up to 200 calories and can be very rewarding for you both. Warm up in winter months by exploring new routes that you and your dog can enjoy together. If you can’t spare an hour you can also upgrade shorter walks by changing the speed, adding hills, using obstacles, and incorporating some play time
Doggy jogging – It might take a bit of training to get the pacing right and make sure you don’t trip over each other, but dog jogs are great excercise as well as great bonding for you and your dog.
Dog agility classes – Agility training is fun, energetic, and stimulating for both you and your dog. You can buy (or make) equipment for your garden, or start visiting a dog club or training centre with all the right gear. If you have children at home and some space in the garden, a home made agility course can tire out dogs and kids all at the same time!
CaniX (Canicross) – This sport involves running with your dog attached to a harness around your waist. There are running events countrywide, starting at 2K. Find out more about this activity and find a CaniX weekend event near you.
Bikejoring – This involves getting on your bike and cycling while your dog runs ahead, pulling you in a harness. It is typically geared towards medium to large dogs, and is a high-intensity workout. Discover more about bikejoring.
Doga – Doing yoga with your dog can benefit you both. Dogs picks up on human emotions and can also become stressed out by too much stimulation.. Doga lets you spend quality time with your dog while engaged in a calm and reassuring activity. Learn more about doga.
And while you are re-thinking your own health, why not spare a thought for the health of the planet?
Six ways to make your dog activities more sustainable
- Can you walk to your activity location? In this way you can both save on carbon emissions and increase your daily workout.
- Use eco-friendly dog poo bags – biodegradable poo bags will help reduce plastic pollution, as will compostable ones (just don’t put these on compost used for food crops!)
- Did you know you can get eco-friendly dog collars, leads, and harnesses?
- Take a re-usable water bottle out and about with you to keep you both re-hydrated. Here are some eco-friendly options; Ocean Bottle and wearthlondon.com
- Need new gear? Search for ‘sustainable sportswear UK’ and find a range of active brands.
- Don’t throw away your old sportswear and dog leads, try donating them to a local charity shop instead.
Before you start, booking a check-up is wise to ensure your dog is in the right physical condition for your chosen activity.