Challenge 7 – Cardio & Loose Leash Walking/Running
Time to exercise your heart, so challenge 7 is all about increasing the length of your cardio workout (thereby improving your endurance) or the speed of your current cardio workout. If you don’t have an established cardio workout, time to start one! Regardless of which you select, your pooch will be practicing their loose leash walk/run or cani-cross cues if you have trained your dog for that sport. Not sure what cani-x is? Get more details on our Intro to Cani-cross sessions! Need help with your pooch’s loose leash walk? Check out our obedience services!
Why is a cardiovascular workout important? Your heart is a muscle just like any other and in order for it to be strong it must be worked like the other muscles of your body. If you find yourself winded just performing simple exercises such as walking up a flight of stairs or a hill, chances are you need to get to work strengthening your heart! An effective cardiovascular workout gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation throughout the body. In addition to a stronger heart muscle, some other benefits of a good cardio workout are:
- increased metabolism which can help with losing weight or maintaining a healthy body weight;
- reduced stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue;
- better sleep and more energy!
How to increase your endurance is simple – increase the time spent doing your cardio. Don’t make a huge increase — small incremental increases over time is the way to go! So if you currently walk your pooch for 20 minutes, increase it by 5 minutes the first week, then another 5 the next week until you have doubled your time by the 4th week – easy!!
If you want to increase your speed, could be from a leisurely walk to a fast walk or a fast walk to a jog or a 13 minute mile jog to a 12 minute mile jog, the process is the same. Start by including your new faster pace for a short period of time repeatedly through out your workout, without increasing your time. For example, if you are going from a fast walk to a jog, start out with 5 minutes of your fast walk for warm up then do increments of 30 seconds to 1 minute jogging followed by 2-3 minutes of fast walking until you have completed your workout time. Gradually increase the amount of time you are jogging and reduce the recovery period of fast walking until you are jogging for your entire workout!
Whichever challenge you choose to do, remember cardio workouts should start with a warm-up and end with a cool down and stretching! While you stretch your pooch can practice their sit or down cues too!