Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my dog, Hendrix. Walking Hendrix is one the best parts of my day and makes sure that he doesn’t join the 41 percent of Aussie dogs that are estimated to be overweight or obese. Every breed and size of dog will have different exercise and nutritional requirements so make sure you talk to your local vet or pet shop about the best way to look after your pooch. There really is no excuse not to take your dog for a walk. Not only is walking free, it can be done virtually anywhere and has mental and physical benefits for both you and your canine companion. Some of the health benefits of getting active with your pup include:
Walking for at least 30 minutes a day helps with weight control for both you and your dog.
Who can stay stressed when they’re with their furry friend? Getting outdoors with your dog is great for your mental wellbeing and mood and regular exercises reduces stress and anxiety for both pet and owner. Studies have shown that just being around animals can also lower stress levels in humans.
Brisk walking is great for your cardiovascular fitness and can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. If that doesn’t encourage you to get walking, I don’t know what will!
It’s true that walking is relatively low-impact but that doesn’t mean you can’t step things up a notch. Walk for longer, walk faster, add resistance (ankle weights) or add in some hills to give you and your dog a bit of a challenge whilst simultaneously burning calories and giving you and your dog a great workout. I also love to walk Hendo to a local park so I can add in some body-weight exercises while he enjoys some time off leash. Squats, lunges, burpees and step-ups on a park bench are some of my go-to moves when I want to take my walk to the next level.
Over the weekend dog walking becomes a family affair. Snez and I push Willow in the pram while Evie takes the reigns, aka leash, with Hendrix. It’s a fun bonding experience that allows us to get outdoors and stay active as a family. Why not walk down to the local park for a picnic or kick of the footy to make it a fun day out for the whole family, including your four-legged friend.
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