When it comes to daily dog walks, your doggo certainly isn’t the only one reaping the benefits of your daily dog walks. In addition to helping keep your pet at their ideal weight, alleviating their excess energy and providing an additional opportunity for bonding, walking your pet every day comes with some built-in health benefits for you, too.
In fact, a report originally published in the Current Opinion Cardiology found that a walking-based exercise routine could significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, while researchers at the American Heart Association found that walking could cut obesity-promoting genes in half.
"It's important for me to get the most I can out of my workouts with my rescue pup Larkin," says Beachbody trainer, barre instructor and rescue dog mom Elise Joan. "Getting outside with our pets is an important part of bonding, as well as our own exercise routines."
You can further challenge your muscles and care for your body with specially designed (yet totally doable) moves that maximize every step you take while walking your dog.
Ready to super-charge your dog walks? Try Joan’s four simple moves to boost your metabolism and sculpt your body.
Dog-Walking Exercise Routine
About 5 minutes
Pet parents of all fitness levels (with your doctor’s approval)
1. Walking Lunges
Take a huge step forward and lunge both knees, alternating legs as you walk forward. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
Tip: Be sure your front knee is stacked directly over the ankle with each forward step to properly target the gluteal and core muscles, as well as your hamstrings and quadriceps.
2. Booty Kick-Backs
With every step forward, take a leg lift to the back with your opposite leg to help lift, shape and tone your derrière. Try 30 reps for each leg.
3. Incline Push-Ups
Find a park bench, fence or railing. Place your hands on the elevated surface and step back, aligning your legs and feet so your body forms a straight, diagonal line. Bend your elbows to lower your chest down. Then, straighten your arms and push upwards, completing the push-up. Aim for 10 reps every time you pass an inclined surface.
Tip: Want even more of a challenge? Try lifting one of your legs with each push-up, alternating legs with each rep.
4. Side Squats
Walking sideways, take a deep lunge with each step while keeping your back flat, your hips back and your knees stacked over your ankles. Try 10 reps facing alternating directions.
Gear Up Before You Sweat It Out
Of course, your dog’s safety should be of upmost importance during your dog walks, so ensure that you can execute these moves safely and keep ahold of your pup’s leash the whole time. You may want to consider special gear like a hands-free leash that’ll keep your doggo safely close by as you complete your incline push-ups and side squats.
Check out the Frisco Outdoor Running Belt with Bungee Dog Leash, which can be clipped around your waist and features shock absorbing bungee leash.
The Kurgo K9 Excursion Polyester Reflective Hands-Free Running Dog Leash is another option that features useful extras like storage space for a poop bag and headphones in the waistband, as well as a BPA-free water bottle to keep you and your pooch hydrated during your workouts and walks.