Looking for that perfect piece of home workout “equipment” this year? You may not need to look any further than something with four legs and a wagging tail. Recent studies have now shown that dogs are some of the best motivators to get their humans moving. Dog owners are more likely to take regular walks, but research is also now showing that dog owners are more active all over than those who don’t have dogs.
While I do not personally believe that walking your dog can or should replace focused workouts, it goes a long way to maintaining an all around active lifestyle. (If you have a large breed dog that can run, you may be able to get a better workout with your dog than I can with my ten pound miniature dachshund!) In the winter months when it is harder to get outside (Let’s face it, I am not going for walks when the temperature is -12!), we focus more on agility training.
Is this a workout? Kind of. While I would not ever replace my gym membership with my canine agility class, it DOES require some amount of fitness and for someone that is newer to working out it could be a good addition. I wear a fitbit to track my daily steps. A typical agility class records me 6000-7000 steps, or more than half of the daily “recommended” steps. Depending on the size and speed of your dog, many of those steps will be at a running (or sprinting!) pace. You will quickly learn in agility that handler skill is vitally important and often requires quick turns and the ability to think on your feet. I have also found agility to help with the overall focus and listening skills of my dog.
This winter, Latte (my dog) and I had the awesome opportunity to be a member of the Eukanuba Tribe. What does this mean? Eukanuba is sponsoring us to raise brand awareness about their new EXCEL food. EXCEL has LESS FILLER, no corn and better ingredients. Eukanuba sent us lots of doggy “freebies” to share with our friends and I would like to share some with you! I will send a goody bag to the first five readers that comment with their favorite way to be active with their dog(s)!
Agility is only one idea to stay active with your dog. How do you and your dog stay active?