If your goal for 2106 is to get fitter but, like me you are not keen on sport or joining the gym, then have you considered how your dog can help you get fit?
Dog Walking to FitnessTry these simple tricks and ideas to increase your fitness and shift a few pounds:
- If you are already walking your dog then try and increase your walking speed. Rather than ambling along, walk as fast as you can and get your heart beating.
- Make your walks longer. If you are already walking faster you can walk for the same amount of time but expend more energy.
- Don't shy away from those hilly walks. Where I live in Normandy I have loads of walks I can do and I am making sure I tackle some of the hilly ones several times a week.
- Find new walks to keep it interesting. Your local tourist office and/or country parks will no doubt have walks packs with details of guided walks you and your dog can discover.
Don't be tempted, however, to hit the biscuit barrel or cake tin once you get home or you won't get the benefit of all those calories you have just burnt off. If you are not sure how many that is then have a look at these figures:
Average calories burnt walking:
Walking at 2mph (leisurely pace) for an hour - 170 cals
Walking at 3mph (average dog walking speed) for an hour - 225 cals
Walking at 4mph (very brisk pace) for an hour - 340 cals
These are approximate values based on a 10 stone person. They will increase slightly for heavier people and even more so when walking uphill and if carrying a weighty backpack. This compares to just 70 calories sitting quietly and watching TV.
So what if you don't have a dog?
- You could walk with a friend who has a dog
- What about seeing if an elderly neighbour would like their dog walked?
- Contact your local refuge and see if they need dog walkers.
Just a couple of points of note.
- You don't really have need of lots of special kit to go dog walking but I would recommend investing in a good pair of comfortable walking boots, ideally the most expensive you can afford. Your feet will thank you for this!
- If either your your dog hasn't done much walking then please do build up your speed and distance walked over a period of time.