Today, my 10 pounds in 3 months challenge begins. I fluctuated between 132 – 136 pounds for years and was happy with my weight and appearance. Then I let my sweet tooth get the best of me this past spring and knew that I needed to make a change when I stood on the scale and saw that I weighted 142 pounds. As I type this, I weigh 139.
I’m a busy woman and joining a gym just doesn’t fit into my schedule, so I dusted off my favorite work out videos, grabbed my hand weights and then wondered…
Can My Dogs Help Me Lose 10 Pounds?
My boyfriend’s sister is a dog walker and we watched her get into great shape due to her dog walking business. I reached out to fitness professionals and learned that our dogs can be a great partner in our weight loss and fitness goals.
Dogs Can be An Important Part of Rehabilitation
Dr. Alissa Sklar found that her dog was great incentive to get outside. She had ACL repair surgery and walking with her Labrador-Bernese, Jasper, became an important part of her rehab. Now that she’s be given the go ahead to start running again (a past time she enjoys), Jasper is her running partner.
“He’s game for an outing any time of day, any weather, and unlike my other human running buddies, I don’t need to work around his schedule!” ~ Dr. Sklar about her dog Jasper
6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Dog Walk from Fitness Professionals
Laura Williams has a Masters in Exercise and Sports Science and owns the site Girls Gone Sporty (clever, right?) shared these great tips for getting the most out of our dog walks. I’m going to be following her advice to the letter…
Incorporate interval training.
Whether you decide to alternate walking with jogging or walking with speed walking, interval training is a proven effective way to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn more calories. Try alternating between a minute of moderate-intensity walking or jogging with a minute of high-intensity walking or jogging. The great thing about this is anyone can do it! You just base your intensity levels off your current level of fitness.
Hit the trails.
Walking on the street or sidewalk is great, but the varied terrain of trails will challenge your balance and coordination, forcing you to pay more attention to your exercise routine. Plus, your dog will love exploring the outdoors and the time will pass more quickly because the scenery is more engaging.
Find a leash-free park.
If you really want to enjoy exercising with your dog, find a large, leash-free park in your area where you and your dog can get out and stretch your legs. If your dog’s off the leash, you can throw a ball, Frisbee or just let the dog explore while you walk the perimeter of the park. You can even incorporate other exercises, like walking lunges, push-ups, squats, park bench step ups and more into your walking routine because you won’t have to worry about juggling the leash as you do them. You can even recruit a friend (with a dog) to go along so your dogs can play together while you exercise together.
New York Fitness Professional, Lisa Singer, adds…
Walk briskly for 30 minutes 2x a day.
Make sure you walk at a brisk pace at least 30 minutes twice a day once in the morning and once in the evening and keep your heartrate up by wearing a heartrate monitor to make sure you are in your target zone of 65-80 percent of maximum heart rate.
Walk, don’t snack.
When you are bored and reaching for a snack take your dog for a walk until the urge passes.
Go for trails with hills.
When walking your dog pick a road if you can that has hills so you can interval train with your dog going on a flat surface to hills.
Angela Hubbs recommends…
Interval train. (I love that all three trainers recommend this!)
Walk fast for 5 minutes then jog for 1 minute. This is a great workout for you and good exercise for your dog. Interval training has proved to be one of the most effective ways to burn calories.
As you walk the dog add lunges, tippy toes and squats especially when the dog stops to sniff around. This makes you engage all the muscles of your legs. Maybe even finding a long stair case as this will add a cardio element to your workout.
Add upper body work.
Add push ups, dips and planks on benches that you pass as Fido sniffs around. Don’t forget about your arms, they are important to maintaining a strong body too. Key is adding small details into your regular routine that will aide in keeping your body healthy and strong.
So today is Day 1 of the challenge. Lots of dog walking, lots of exercise, less junk food. I’ll let you know on December 5th how hard it was to lose those 10 pounds and what I did with our dogs that helped most.
Now it’s your turn! What weight loss tips have worked for you?