Your Highest Most Devoted Training Partner

| August 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

We have 4 little Chihuahuas, Peanut, Butter, Toast, and Jelly that are a handful. Amazingly, their little legs, courageous spirits, bossy and demanding personalities have them out front towing the line as to whom will lead our pack and whom will follow. Hence at the end of our dog walks, we are sweaty and a tad out of breath. Now these little breeds are not necessarily bred for to be exercise buddies, but you get where I am going.

We don’t have to confine our exercise medium to “going to a ______,” you fill in the blank: gym, yoga, Pilates, bleachers, whatever. Let’s focus on our dogs for now as a source of energy/calorie burn. At least one out of every two households has one or more dogs. That’s my bet, just based on looking around. Think about you and your friends. Almost everyone I know owns a “furry person” or two, and considers them family.

Since our furry friends need exercise too, why not incorporate their need with your need, and buddy up. We’ve all seen the skateboarding English Bull dog and multiple dogs that can surf, and dogs that do acrobatics catching Frisbee’s, so those dog loving owners get it. But, perhaps they are a bit more, let’s say advanced. My little pack can’t catch anything, except hugs and kisses. They can ride my lap, but that’s about it.

Let’s come back to the beginning, the dog walk. Look at it differently and change up the order. Let your dog take the lead and go where “they want” to go. Most dogs are so well heeled that they follow us. My little pack wants to lead, but I do steer them. Why not follow them? You may be amazed where there noses take you, and the terrain will hence be different for you too, and the smells and excitement will also add another level of exertion to their workout.

If you have a dog that is close to running with you, about to, or actually is, bare in mind the exhaustion of running on them as they begin. Some breeds are better built to run. A block in distance for my pack, due to their gate is way farther than for a long legged breed. Your actual running gate may be a two or three stride gate for your dog.

Age wise, dogs are already older and have shorter life spans, so take it slow and be wise. Stop when they pull up, as they may be using the “Oops, what’s that smell?” as a diversion to slowing down the pace. On the other hand, I have known dogs that will chase a tennis ball or dive in a pool for a racquet ball until they have a heart attack. They love it so much, and it’s so exciting, that no end is ever in sight. My arm is about to fall off but they keep on wanting more. Gotta be wise and take five.

Your dog’s ability to participate in the same exercise as you will be dependent on his current fitness, hydration and nutrition levels. Like mom used to say, “Don’t go running around after you just ate, you’re going to get sick or get cramps.”

True mom; I still hear you in my head. It’s the same for dogs. A well hydrated, well rested, well fed but with ample time to digest a meal, is the best canine fitness pal. Just like us, if you are not very fit, you cannot do a 10 level workout off the bat, with 10 being all out effort. If your dog isn’t very fit, you’ll need to tailor your exercise to help him/her reach a better and improving fitness level over time. Their aim is to please us. So don’t let their willingness to please take you to the vet’s emergency room.

Some dogs are trackers. While some are fetchers; some love agility, swimming, running, chasing you on the bicycle; and some have even won “America’s Got Talent” and have a show on the strip in Las Vegas.

Dogs are God’s gift to our hearts: 1. For the love they give us, and get from us, and 2. To actually improve our heart function and cardio vascular health, if we use that love to fuel that need, for both canine and human.

Fitness Together Mission Hills offers personal training with qualified professionals by regular appointment in private suites. Exercise and nutritional programs are custom designed to fit your needs and abilities. Call (619) 794-0014 for more information or to schedule a free fitness diagnostic and private training session. See what others are saying about us on Yelp and San Diego City Search.

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