Hello everyone. This is a guest post from the Sainsbury’s Bank.
You’re at home, it’s raining outside and there are gripping programmes on the TV. Why would you go for a jog, cycle or pay to visit the gym where people rarely talk?
Here’s an idea: Why not use your pet for exercise inspiration? There are not only benefits for your loyal friend to get some exercise – but the health advantages to you are perhaps more than you can throw a stick at. What’s more, there may also be an opportunity to meet and greet other like-minded pet owners during your exercise regime.
Is there a suitable place to start when exercising you and your pet?
A Dog’s Your Best Friend
Taking your beloved cat around the park might be his idea of prowling– but by the time it takes him to finish you might find yourself with long, white hair and another year older!
In most cases, exercising a dog is a good way to help you watch your waistline. Regardless of whether your furry friend is a small dog or Golden Retriever, nothing can beat a brisk or even speed walk along a path or green area to get the heart pumping. What about climbing some steps? This is guaranteed to get both of you panting.
Are You Sure He’s Insured?
Before taking your dog(s) on a workout, make sure he or she is covered for any stresses and strains along the way by taking out pet insurance.
To Train Or Not To Train?
Owners may need to decide if their pet needs training, albeit for an urban jungle or rural wilderness. There is the opportunity to take your four-legged friend to dog training lessons delivered by a competent trainer or, alternately, train your dog yourself if you feel capable. The level of training will depend upon the dog’s breed and age: a puppy will inevitably demand more lessons than a mature animal.
A Schedule For You And Your Pet
Remember the exercise schedule needn’t be all about you – equally important is considering your dog’s breed and exercise needs. Importantly, over-exercising your animal could cause injury, not to mention a heavy sigh from the dog basket when you summon Fido from his slumbers on a freezing winter’s morning.
Gently Does It At First
Draw up a schedule that suits both your lifestyle and your dog’s breed. Exercising little and often is perhaps the best rule of thumb. For humans, NHS guidance recommends a minimum of 30 minutes a day as a suitable period to help keep you healthy. A brisk walk around the park before work or perhaps another session when you get home might be enough for some breeds. However, a long-legged dog will still be chomping at the bit if all you do is walk to the local chip shop and back! Once you’re both into your stride, step up the exercise sessions until you’re both at a comfortable level. For more energetic breeds, ball throwers or launchers are handy for extending the distance the ball can be thrown and, equally, your dog’s legs!
The Weekend’s Your Oyster (And Your Dog)
With more time on your hands, there is a great opportunity to take ‘Rover’ out for a hearty walk or run at the weekends beyond the half hour. You can find out more about exercising your dog at The Kennel Club and Dog Training UK.
Build The Exercise Into Activities
Using your pet for exercise inspiration doesn’t have to involve exercise for the sake of it, he or she can participate in activities and pursuits. If you have kids, why not walk or run your dog to and from their activities, if local, or family fun events – such as trips in the park or visits to Grandma or Granddad if they live down the road. Why not aim high, use your dog to help train for a marathon?
This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog.