Being able to squeeze in a good cardio workout during the day used to be such a struggle. Mornings were hard because I wanted to sleep and the snooze button is too easy to hit (also I live where we have winter and it’s dark. Like nighttime dark into what should be morning). But evenings were also hard because of life. Whether that meant going to drinks or dinner with friends or just being too worn out from work to make it. So sometimes I’d workout over lunch.
As you know may know from how to get the best arm workout with your dog, I am a recent mother to a beautiful Golden Retriever. Now that I have a dog, it’s like I have to work out. We go on two walks a day or he becomes a terror and there’s no chance of sanity!
It isn’t always easy to walk him and I still don’t always have the motivation, but I’m starting to notice a different in my body. Here are some tips for a good cardio workout even if you’re new to walking with your dog.
Use Your Dog to Get a Good Cardio Workout:
1. Start Small
When Bran and I started walking, especially in the morning, we would do 6 blocks. We had to figure out how long it would take us since I had to be at work. Sometimes, we would go even shorter if he was being difficult or I was running late. This is a great opportunity to get the feel for each other and get your dog used to how you want him to walk before going longer distances.
I use a retractable leash (If you want to know what that is, check here). Especially since he’s young, sometimes I need to put him on a short leash to keep him moving. Other times, I don’t want to stop at all the things he does, so he gets a little more length.
2. Set the Pace
After you know how long, on average, it takes you to walk a short distance with your dog, you can go longer distances– But with new territory comes new smells and more distractions. You have to be the one to decide how quickly you are going to walk and keep things moving when your puppy gets distracted (This is when that retractable leash comes in handy). This way you can still tackle the length of your walk in a reasonable amount of time.
3. Increase the Length/Frequency
Once you both have a good dynamic between your walks, start to increase how far you go. When you have more time, go for longer walks.
Bran and I have started going to the dog park that is on a incline and has a track about a 1/3 of a mile in length. When we go, I walk 3 times around so that I get a mile walk in. I’ve always been told that walking decreases back fat, and whether or not it’s true, I’m really starting to notice a difference in my waistline. And he is more exhausted after the park, so it’s a win-win.
4. Add Resistance
If you can find an area that has hills or an incline of some sort, you should walk it. We have started walking hills and it’s a good cardio workout by increasing my heart rate from using my legs so much. And rockier paths are helping to tighten my thighs and glutes. Getting that toned bod WITHOUT a gym membership– self high-five!
Walks are great for your pup to burn energy and a good cardio workout for you! Bran and I have also enjoyed a great deal of bonding time. So get off your buns and get your cardio in.