Cross Training Benefits for You and Your Dog
We are excited to have TWO FitDog Friday posts today – I know that’s unusual, but we are so excited that we released our new SlimDoggy Food Database and Calorie Counter, we had to add the announcement along with our regular FDF post.
One of our fundamental exercise principals is called the 6 C’s Pyramid, which we wrote about several weeks ago. Today we will explain the benefits of Cross training and how it can help you and your dog get fit and stay healthy.
To recap, the 6 C’s Pyramid depicts the relationship between behavior fundamentals that lead to regular exercise which in turn lead to the ultimate goal of any fitness program: positive change.
What is Cross Training?
According to Wikipedia, cross training is defined as training in sports other than the one that athlete competes in with a goal of improving overall performance. It takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of each training method, while at the same time attempting to negate the shortcomings of that method by combining it with other methods that address its weaknesses.
In layman’s terms, cross training simply means using a variety of training methods and activities to achieve a desired level of fitness. Human examples include runners who swim and bike and weight lifters who practice Pilates. A canine example is an agility dog that swims or does specific core work.
Cross Training Benefits
There are many benefits of cross training and these benefits apply to the human and canine body including:
- Provides you and your dog a multitude of exercise options to choose from so that you both can remain active year round and without being limited by poor weather or lack of equipment or facility access.
- Provides an active recovery protocol for ‘off days’ so that you and your dog can rest while still remaining active.
- Provides a more balanced training regimen which and lead to a stronger and more athletic and functional human and dog.
- Reduces injury risk because you and your dog reduce the repetitive stress from doing the same exercise routine each day. Plus, you work more muscles in more ways so that your bodies become stronger.
- Allows you and your dog to continue exercise while recovering from injury. Maybe your dog is unable to run due to an injury, but by cross training with swimming or core work, you can maintain their fitness while they are recovering.
- Reduces exercise boredom for both you and your dog. Let’s face it, doing the same thing over and over again can lead to boredom for both of you. Mixing in different drills and sports can keep your workouts energized.
- Produces a higher level of all around conditioning and a better balanced body.
That is an impressive list of benefits and it is easy to see why cross training can be such an important aspect of any canine (or human) fitness routine. In our next installment, we will provide some cross training ideas that you can do with your dog to keep fit and have fun while doing so.
Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!