Dogs Make Excellent Workout Buddies
Let’s face it, we don’t always have time for 30-45 minutes of cardio, or do we? Any cardio workout is better than no cardio but how do you fit it in on a busy schedule? As we’ve said countless times before, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn over a period of time to lose body fat. The best way to up your energy expenditure is by doing a mixture of resistance training and aerobic exercise. The problem becomes finding the time to do both. While a session of weight training may take only 20 minutes, a cardio workout can take considerably longer. To burn about 400 calories by walking at a 15-minute per mile pace, you would need to walk for an hour. Even running 4 miles at 10 minutes per mile, which requires a high degree of cardiovascular fitness, takes 40 minutes plus time to stretch. For a busy person, that’s a lot of time yet with very few solutions.
The other answer is to consolidate your activities. In other words, get things done while you’re doing your cardio workout. If you can’t go without reading the morning paper, bring it on the treadmill when you get up. If you barely see your significant other, make it a point to exercise together.
A new study done by the University of Missouri-Columbia shows by walking the dog for just 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week you can lose an average of 14 pounds. This is the ideal win-win situation for both you and your beloved dog. A 140 pound woman, will burn about 70 calories for just 20 minutes of dog walking.
Not only can dog walking help you shed the pounds, but it also can lower blood pressure, increase mental sharpness and lower the risk of heart disease. Walking would be a way to help shed some harmful belly fat, which is a cause of serious health issues including stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and even breast cancer.
Here are 3 easy things to do on your walk to increase the calorie burn.
1. When you stop at the park to play fetch, throw the ball or Frisbee then jog over to your next location to throw from. Each time try running to a further location. This is a classic version of interval training.
2. Play some tug-o-war! This might not work so well with a toy poodle, but if you have a larger breed dog this is a great way to do some quick strength training in as you pull and tug the rope from Rover.
3. Work in 10 sit-ups, jumping jacks or push-ups when you are held up at a light rather than just standing around waiting for the ‘walk’ signal. These quick exercises will get your blood pumping and raise your heart rate, increasing your calorie burn.
Want another quick workout tip? Take your dog on a walk before dinner and take an energy bar or a quick snack with you. Not only will you get a tasty snack and energy boost for your walk, you will not be starving and over eat at dinner.