Monday, 11 January 2016

Dog Walking to Fitness


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 Fitness

 Try 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?  


No problem...
  • 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.
Have you ever thought about using your dog to get you fit?  Will 2016 be the year your dog helps you to a fitter lifestyle?  I bet they'll enjoy it as much as you! 



ANIMALTALESThe Melton House

29 comments :

  1. It's that time of year again

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is my 3rd attempt to comment, hopefully it will post this time :) My only exercise is walking Doc, unless you can count doing numerous chores and walking T to school and back ;) x #animaltales. Dean of Little Steps

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry about that and I have no idea where your other comments went. I am glad to hear Doc is providing you with your exercise.

      Delete
  3. We need to work on improving our fitness this year too. We're lucky to have some really great walking spots near us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snap - and today I did a usual walk but then made did an extra loop to make it longer :)

      Delete
  4. great ideas and suggestions. If you find a good route you can spend a lovely day out walking. Great for your and the dog #animaltales

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope to blog about some of our favourite walks over on the gite's own new blog http://www.eco-gites.eu/blog

      Delete
  5. We've just got a new puppy and I'm looking forward to getting a bit fitter! I'm including this post on the Britmums Pets Round-up - hope that's ok x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's brilliant news - both the new puppy and including my post in your BritMum's Pet round-up. Thank you. Can you tweet me when it is ready at @EcoGitesLenault.

      Delete
  6. These are all great tips! My dog loves to sniff so I don't really walk her for exercise (I enjoy the gym for that) but I do try to get her little legs moving. When we're on a new hiking trail she walks at a regular speed but in town, it's sniff sniff, stop, walk, sniff, sniff. Hahha. Walking is fantastic exercise so every little bit helps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Saari is scared of lots of people I don't often take her into town ... but when I do she has to sniff EVERYTHING!

      Delete
  7. Dogs really are the best way to get fit - they are good running companions too (when they are young!). Thanks for some really good tips here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simon runs and Saari will go with him but she can never work out whether to trot alongside him or break into a canter as he runs sort of in-between in speed for her.

      Delete
  8. Hi Rosie, one of the good things about being a dog owner is that you can get fit without it being a chore. Last year we joined a walking club and if the walks aren't too long we take the dogs too, they love it too as they 'meet' other dogs and people.

    Just after Christmas we managed to buy decent walking shoes for under half price, it's probably the best time of year to shop for them.

    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I much prefer walking in good walking boots than wellies but when it is very wet I do have to walk in wellies and they are nowhere near as comfortable. Good boots are essential for lots of longer walks, especially over rough ground. I am meeting up with a friend on Sunday for a dog walk but I suspect we will walk slower than when I am on my own .... and gossip more!

      Delete
  9. I'm doing this already now that Stella is up to longer walks and I'm not falling over with dizzy migraines as much. The biscuit tin is hard to ignore but I'm not doing too bad! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to say after my fast hour walk today I failed and had a slice of cake - but it was banana loaf with added currants and oatmeal and reduced sugar so not as bad as it could have been. Best do an extra long walk with Saari tomorrow then!

      Delete
  10. all Bob and I have are pavements to pound, and by heck we walk some miles, we do visit the desert on a Friday for him to run off the lead for about an hour or so, before it gets to hot, I pack a little kettle and some breakfast muffins as well as a few treats for Bob to munch on before we drive home

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the idea of tea and muffins on a dog walk in the desert!

      Delete
  11. This is a fabulous post and I agree that walking the dogs can be such a healthy thing to do. Unfortunately I cant walk our dogs but hope to when my health improves in the future. Angela from Daysinbed #MeMyselfandI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's hoping your health improves enough very soon to take Yoda and Caspar for walks.

      Delete
  12. I don't have a dog myself but this would be a great reason to get one, companion whilst exercising :) #memyselfandI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or get together with a dog owning friend :)

      Delete
  13. We are getting a dog so i will soon be a dog walker. I will be ensuring this becomes part of my get fit plan rather than loose weight plan. I need to tone up not loose :) #memyselfandi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent news. I have been speeding up my dog walking over the last few weeks and taking on more hills and feel so much better for it. The dog is really happy too :)

      Delete
  14. I love these tips, look at the difference fast walking can make to the calories that you can burn! I would second the walking boots tip, both my husband and I have invested in good boots and they are invaluable. Thanks for linking up to #memyselfandI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know - a pair of decent boots and some fast walking and you can burn up so many more calories and NOT have hurting feet!

      Delete
  15. We have just got a 9 week old puppy, looking forward to taking her out for walks and hopefully losing some weight at the same time!

    ReplyDelete

I love receiving comments and I do read every one but if you are simply here to spam me with a link, guess what ... I won't publish it.