Benefits of a Quick Workout with your Dog

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The last of the seven habits of fit people and their dogs is probably the one that most people don’t utilize: having one or two “go to” quick (e.g. 15 minute) workouts to use when time is short.

 

Time is often the biggest limiting factor that prevents us from achieving our exercise and fitness objectives. There never seems to be enough hours in a day to do all the things we planned, including getting a proper amount of exercise. And if we are pressed for time, not only will our fitness suffer, but our dog’s fitness will as well. One way around this time problem is to create a short duration, high intensity workout plan that can be used on those crazy days where time is an issue.

 
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Benefits of a Quick Workout

There are many studies that have shown the benefits of high intensity training. One of the reasons that short duration, high intensity exercise is so effective is due to the so called after-burn effect. Also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), the after-burn is the body’s reaction to high intensity training that manifests in the form of an elevated metabolism after the exercise session is done. Some studies have shown how 15 minutes of sprinting could burn as many calories over a 24 hour period as an hour or more of steady state jogging.

 

A second benefit of short, intense exercise is that the body absorbs less stress than long duration efforts, which could lower overall injury risk for some athletes. Although short, intense workouts are hard, they are not long enough for the body to become overly fatigued and thus, overuse and form deterioration is less likely.

 

The third benefit of shorter, high intensity training is the runner’s high effect. Humans and dogs are both susceptible to this exercise induced feeling of euphoria that comes about from moderate to high intensity exercise.

 

The Value of Advance Planning Short Workouts for your Dog

Having a go to workout for days where time is short requires that you have a specific plan in mind before you start. Otherwise, your limited exercise time will be spent thinking (about what comes next in the routine) instead of actually doing (the exercise). For this reason, I recommend creating one or two structured workouts and pull from this pool as needed. On days where I oversleep, I might only have 15 minutes to workout, instead of the usual hour or more, before having to leave for the office. Simply jogging for those 15 minutes, although better than nothing, will not do much for my fitness level. Instead, I will often use a Tabata protocol or other type of intense workout to amplify the intensity during the short duration available, thus burning calories and improving fitness.

 

A similar approach will work for your dog. On those days where you just don’t have the time to get your dog’s planned workout in, swap a shorter, more intense workout so that they burn their calories and stay fit and lean. This is a far better option than skipping the dog’s workout all together!

 

In an upcoming post I will share some example workouts for you and your dog that will meet the definition of short and intense. I would have liked to include these in this post, but I kind of ran out of time 😉

 

Further Reading

http://www.metaboliceffect.com/exercise-calories-you-may-be-burning-more-than-you-think/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/the-rise-of-the-minimalist-workout/

http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/exercise-after-burn-0

 

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18 Comments

  1. This would work for me as I could run a short distance but any further my knees will hurt. Time is my biggest factor.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…A Fun Therapy Visit~Thursday Barks And BytesMy Profile

  2. We do this a lot!
    Lauren Miller (ZoePhee) recently posted…Frosty Morning Run! Fit Dog FridayMy Profile

  3. A quick workout is much better than no workout and we fit those in here and there too.
    Emma recently posted…Titles Are ToughMy Profile

  4. Great post, I have joined in the fun and I love getting out to exercise! Very nice to meet you.

  5. This is something we definitely do when time is short. Running through the backyard is a great alternative when we can’t get in our normal walk.

  6. HITT is great. Love getting in some sprints at the beach with the pups.

  7. Quick workouts are great! I like that rush you feel when you’re in constant motion. Jax is going to require several quick workouts each day – I can already tell!
    Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…CHOOSING MY GOLDENDOODLE PUPPYMy Profile

  8. PAWESOME Post! I think brief 15 minute workouts are better overall anyway. Having a dog really keeps you in shape. Don’t you think? They motivate you to want to go for that walk or run. The best feeling is when you’ve thoroughly exercised your dog and they’re so tired that they need a nice long nap afterwards! 🙂
    Cara from Barkocity recently posted…4 Simple Spring Safety Tips!My Profile

  9. Can’t wait to see the sample quick workouts. I’m so busy that may be the only kind we can squeeze in!
    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats
    Susan and the gang from Life with Dogs and Cats recently posted…Cats are Not Allowed on the Dining Room TableMy Profile

  10. I’m definitely more about the quick hard work outs rather than the lonnnnnnnng ones. I am not exactly a huge fan of jogging or anything like that, so I prefer to go hard, get done quicker! haha!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Pet Poison PreventionMy Profile

  11. I’m looking forward to the examples. Most days exercise is a priority, but there are times when I am pressed, I’d love to have ideas for those times.
    Jodi recently posted…Follow-Up Friday, March 20, 2015My Profile

  12. Looking forward to your quick example workouts! We don’t have any short workouts handy, so that’ll be nice to have! The only super quick ones I can think of are running up & downstairs and playing fetch in the yard.
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…Enjoying the Outdoors, Courtesy of Spring!My Profile

  13. I’m interested in the examples too! Mr. N could use some intense workouts before I go to work.

  14. I look forward to learning what those workouts could be. I like your idea of planning ahead. If I’m planning a special thing with my dogs, or even just a walk, I forget to plan time for getting all the stuff together that I need to bring with me, and getting harnesses on, etc., and then I get frustrated with the time that takes. It’s worse in the winter, when I need time to put extra clothing on as well!
    Jan K recently posted…#52Snapshots “Green”My Profile

  15. Love the idea of having a few “go to” short workouts. Can’t wait to hear your suggestions!
    Diane recently posted…5 Healthy Ways to Celebrate the First Day of Spring (with your dog!)My Profile

  16. Good ideas because time is definitely at a premium for us.
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…The Y Drill And MoreMy Profile

  17. Hi Y’all!

    Great idea. Usually when time is short, like today, it’s pitch black outdoors and my Human can’t really see where to step, much less where I am or what I’m doing…add the pouring rain to the mix and any workout went out the window…or in this case “in the window”?

    Y’all come on back,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
    Hawk aka BrownDog recently posted…There Are Many Ways…My Profile

  18. This week, we were the 15 minute workout masters!! Thanks for the great workout advice!!
    Smileys!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo
    Dory’s Backyard recently posted…My New Friend PaulieMy Profile

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