Spring has officially sprung in London, which means its time to get fit and ready for summer!
We are on a health kick here at PetLondon HQ, and have been taking inspiration from the latest health trend to hit America, working out with your dog! We want to share the best ways to exercise with your pooch in the city, because having a canine workout buddy means you can work on getting fit whilst also keeping your pooch active, healthy and entertained!
One of the simplest ways in which you can exercise with your pooch is to take them jogging. The best way to do this is to do what has been referred to as ‘interval jogging’. This is a great workout to do with your pooch, as you and your pooch can chop and change from leisurely stroll, to brisk walk, to jogging. Your dog will love this supercharged dog walk! Having your pooch alongside you will serve as a great motivation and it’s a great twist on the usual daily dog walk. Let your dog canter alongside you as you run, and then trot as you briskly walk. Mixing up the speeds will stimulate your pooch, and serves as great cardio for humans!
Even a visit to the park with your pooch can be a great opportunity to exercise with your dog by doing activities together, such as playing frisbee or catch. Repetitive throwing actions are a great form of exercise for your upper body and arms, and it goes without saying that dogs love to play fetch! To make playing fetch a workout for humans too, instead of watching your dog, race them after throwing the toy/stick and see whether you or your furry workout buddy retrieve it first.
If you feel like you would need some additional motivation working out in the park with your dog, and would rather be part of a group, then why not join one of the more unusual fitness groups, Barking Fit! Brainchild of Georgina Jackson-Sytner, Barking Fit allows you to work out with other dog owners and their dogs. Costing only £10 a session, this outdoor fitness class held in leafy Battersea Park describes itself as, ‘a constantly moving outdoor group fitness class where dog owners get a work out and their dogs get a run.’The Barking Fit class of humans and canines gather at 10am every Thursday – meeting at the iconic Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park. As well as providing a broken down work out session, which focuses on cardio, gluts exercises and abs, this is a great class for meeting new people and bonding with your pooch. Your dog might even make some new furry friends!
For a more relaxed and creative fitness activity to do with your pooch, think about trying out the latest trend, Doga! This is doggy friendly yoga, where your pooch can join you whilst you practice your postures. Yoga has a plethora of benefits, and your pooch will appreciate being brought along! A great place to practice this is with the leading pioneer in Doga, Mahny Djahanguiri, who holds classes in Camden. Mahny firmly believes that practicing Doga with your dog can deepen the bond between owner and their pooch. There are even private ‘Paw-2-Paw’ sessions, which provide a more tailored yoga therapy experience for you and your furry yoga buddy. It is easy to see the benefits of merging yoga with spending quality time with your pooch; yoga is primarily about relaxing and focusing on core breathing, and this in turn can remove the controlling emotions we often develop with our pets, and can replace this with a refreshingly natural and equal bond. Combine the all important meditation and human yoga postures with one of Mahny’s canine massages for your dog and your pooch is bound to be eager to return!
City life can be hectic, and we understand that often a home workout is all that can be squeezed in to a busy schedule! A great way to include your pooch in your home workout is by using one of their toys or a treat whilst doing your exercises. You and your pooch can work out at home by merging a game of fetch with your abdominal workout. Begin by doing some sit-ups whilst holding your pooch’s favorite toy, and when you sit-up pretend to throw the toy, so that your dog will race to retrieve it. Of course, every few reps be sure to actually throw the toy! Your dog will be thoroughly entertained and go wild, and you will be getting a great work out.
It can’t be denied that dogs make the best workout buddies. They won’t ever cancel on you, and their unbridled excitement to be out and about is brilliant motivation.