Sign up to our newsletter to earn a 10% discount code on your next purchase!
Every athlete knows how hard it can be to find an exercise partner that’s willing to go to the same lengths as you during your workout. Luckily, most dog-owners who love to engage in physical activity will tell you that pets often make excellent workout companions. In fact, there have even been some studies that show how people who exercise with their dogs may even be providing themselves with a more intense workout than they realize. Of course, there are specific safety measures you should consider taking to ensure that not only you get the exercise you need, but that your pet isn’t enduring more than it can handle. For any athlete trying to work their little buddy into the mix, here are a few tips to consider when it comes to efficiently exercising with your dog:
While many dog owners consider running with their dogs as a chance to get some exercise as well as wear their pet down for later, there are also unforeseen benefits that can arise from having your companion be a workout buddy. Researchers from the University of Missouri that analyzed whether those who run with a dog are actually providing themselves with better opportunities to lose weight than compared to most nationally recognized diet plans. Participants started off engaging in 10 minute dog walking sessions three times a week, gradually building up to 20 minutes a day, five times a week. The results showed that the average participant lost 14 pounds after abiding by this routine for 50 weeks, which is better than what the majority of major dieting plans report.
While your workout is certainly important, no decent pet owner wants to have to sacrifice their dog’s enjoyment by dragging it along with them during a jog. For starters, you need to take into account what type of dog you have. Smaller breeds such as pugs or Chihuahuas will probably not make the best running partners, unless you’re carrying them along with you. Dogs with longer legs, such as Labradors or golden retrievers, will be able to take bigger strides, allowing them to adequately keep pace with you down the stretch. If your dog is overweight, you’ll also most likely encounter periods where the animal simply can’t go on. If weight is a concern for your dog, treat the scenario as you would yourself, and put it on a healthier diet. Running in addition to eating better food will help contribute to weight loss.
The time of day you take your dog along for a run with also has a big impact upon its well being. Dogs only produce sweat through their paws, and pant just to try to stay cool. With all that fur, running with you under the hot sun can be a grueling experience. Try to time your routes either early in the morning or just before the sun sets, so your pet can avoid any possible chances of overheating or fatigue. It’s also a wise idea to bring a water bottle along so you can squirt some fluids onto your dog’s tongue all throughout the jog.
Remember, some dogs won’t pick up on this type of workout routine right away. It may take some training for the animal to understand that this isn’t the same as going out for a regular walk, where it can mosey around and take time to smell its surroundings. Begin easing your dog into these types of workouts by running at a slower pace at first, gently tugging at its leash once it abruptly changes direction. Never continuously pull back on the leash, which can easily hurt the animal’s neck.
Sometimes, it can be unrealistic to expect your dog to consistently run with you for however long your jog is. A great way to combat the inevitable inability to focus is by adhering to more interval methods of running. This means having a few minutes of consistent running followed by a quick resting period, where your animal can stop to relieve itself or catch its breath. You can continue this method throughout your workout, increasing the periods of running while decreasing the resting durations the longer you jog.
If you have a particular destination that you’re running to, try jogging non-stop until you arrive there, then take a few minutes to rest or hydrate your dog. A great place to head out to is a park, where you can also engage in a rousing game of Frisbee with your dog to keep the physical activity going. Looking to switch things up? Head out to a public place that has a long set of stairs, and jog up and down each step, with your dog following you. This will add more intensity to both of your workouts. Finally, if all else fails, a stimulating game of tag or fetch is always a bonding exercise that can wear both of you out.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride:
Whether you’re preparing for a cycling race, training for a triathlon or simply appreciate the exhilarating cardio workout you get from riding, your body (the lower half in particular) is certainly being challenged.
Most of your focus will be on the meat of your training – developing programs for each ride to incorporate different terrain, speeds, hills and other aspects of riding itself. But it’s also important to remember that your training doesn’t stop once your session ends. In fact, time spent after you hop off your bike is just as important as time spent on the saddle. Cooling down and taking part in athletic recovery reduces your risk of sore muscles and injuries, which can sideline you and set you back in your schedule. This is especially problematic if you are on a deadline for a race.
After each bike ride you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles and allow your mind and body to return to their resting states. It’s also useful to incorporate self massage into your routine each week, especially after an intense ride. Massage will help loosen up muscles even further, which is important so you don’t create any imbalances.
There are several key muscles you should focus your massager on after a bike ride: