Dog Fitness Tips: Consistency

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Our “6 C’s Pyramid” for fitness provides a framework upon which a lifestyle fitness program can be created. Once you and your dog have mastered the 1st level (convenience, cross training, and common sense), you will now move into the second level where you will start to reap the benefits. Consistency is the 1st component of the middle tier of the pyramid and just might be the most important “C” of all.

 

6 C's Pyramid

 

Consistent Workouts for Dog Fitness

No matter which types of exercise you and your dog like to do, one of the most important aspects of a canine (and human) fitness program is consistency. Without consistent, regular exercise, the body will not be able to capitalize on your efforts and progress will be minimal at best. We see this all the time in the human fitness industry. How many times have you heard a gym friend or a running partner who shows up once a week or twice a month complain about their lack of progress? The fact is that the body will begin to lose fitness after a week or two of inactivity, depending on your fitness levels and the type of exercise you and your dog perform.

 

Losing fitness after week long breaks is not the only part of the story, however. Sporadic training can result in little progress, which can disenchant the human participant, and can lead to a complete abandonment of any exercise routine for themselves and their pet. Anecdotal surveys suggest that humans who are inactive will likely have inactive and overweight pets as well. So let’s nip this in the bud and strive to be more consistent with our dog fitness and human fitness programs.
Runningisourthing
 

Fitness Consistency Defined

Assuming we all agree that maintaining a consistent fitness routine is good for our dogs and ourselves, the next step is to define fitness consistency. Like most things related to fitness, there is not a one size fits all answer. For an exercise-a-holic like me, consistency means a minimum of 1 workout, and often several workouts each day. I would guess that I easily average close to 900 exercise sessions per year. SlimDoggy Jack, a fit albeit senior dog, averages over one exercise session per day as well.

 

For many people and their dogs, daily exercise is hard to fit in to their busy schedules. If that is truly the case, then I recommend a minimum of 3-4 workouts per week, in the form of walks or jogs, as a measure of consistency. With that said, I would challenge all dog owners to strive for a daily minimum of 30 minutes of exercise with their dogs (and a little extra in the gym for themselves 2-3 times per week). This may sound daunting, but time management, especially in the morning, can help make this goal a reality. If you have a cramped schedule, try booking your exercise time with your dog as an appointment on your calendar and keep that appointment just as you would if it was a ‘real’ meeting.

 

Whether you can exercise daily or not, make sure to create a consistent schedule that will work for you and your dog and stick with it. If you are committed to exercising yourself and your dog, you might as well commit to exercising consistently so that you both can reap the benefits of your hard work.

 

Further Reading

http://runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/losing-running-fitness/

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28 Comments

  1. Our dogs behave much better on a consistent schedule. They seem to take comfort in knowing what’s next. This goes for exercise/play time as well. I was exhausted tonight. But the dogs expected a game of fetch with me and a walk around the property. Since it was low impact for me, I sucked it up and did the work, because they expect it, they love it, and I was able to eek out that last stretch of energy from them so that they can sleep well tonight.

    The house is so quiet right now.
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…Is Maltodextrin Safe for DogsMy Profile

  2. Hi Y’all!

    What a neat idea! An appointment with us! Although I’m very good at reminding my Human when it’s time to do everything…like feed me, walk me, get me fresh water…even get up in the morning…Humans tend to be lazy if you allow it! Don’t you agree?

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
    Hawk aka BrownDog recently posted…Fit Dog FridayMy Profile

  3. Consistency is so important for so many reasons. If you are consistent your brain expects the exercise, so if you skip, you feel bad and your body misses it. We are hooked and that is good thing.
    Emma recently posted…Handling Success And Failure With Your DogMy Profile

  4. Great post! I know I have breaks in training routines and I for sure can tell as I have to go over the soreness all over again, so I bet the animals feel the same way.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…FitDog Friday~Pond FunMy Profile

  5. Well put. I’ve found consistency and novelty are the two keys for exercising with Eko. If we jog the same route too frequently he starts dragging – not from exertion, but from boredom. Now I try to keep the time of day we exercise consistent while changing up what we do/where we go.

    • That’s exactly what we do. We go out every morning, but luckily we have 4-5 different trails we can run right close to the house.
      mkob recently posted…Dog Fitness Tips: ConsistencyMy Profile

  6. We have our humans on a schedule. Who knows what life would be like without a Sheltie to keep them in line.
    Bailey recently posted…Friday FlowersMy Profile

  7. Consistency is definitely key. I know my huskies let me know when something isn’t happening when it should or the way it should haha!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…#Giveaway time on the Pet Parade!My Profile

  8. Oh exercise – how I hate you. That said, I know it’s important. My walking buddy (we stopped walking for a month) got a new dog yesterday. We’re going to resume walks next week, this time incorporating our dogs. I’m sure it will go better than without the dogs.
    Flea recently posted…Do Cats Like Dog Treats?My Profile

  9. Creating the exercise habit is hard for people. I’m thankful I don’t have a hard time fitting exercise into my day because it’s something I enjoy, but I do have trouble creating other healthy habits such as adding variety to my existing exercise routine or trying to cut back on sweets.

    I think if we actually plan a specific time for our new habit, and stick to it, that can help. Saying “I’m going to run with Ace tomorrow” is not specific enough. But if I say “I’m going to run 20 minutes with Ace right away when I get up” then I’m more likely to follow through.

    I also read your Craigslist post from last year. Great post. It is awful that all of that goes on, people selling puppies like that. Personally, I still see Craigslist as a useful resource for good rescues and shelters to use, but I agree it’s so sad and frustrating how some people use it to support a sketchy breeding business.
    Lindsay recently posted…5 reasons Craigslist is a valuable tool for dog adoptionsMy Profile

    • Our dogs get out every morning…and it is etched in our day. I agree about Craigslist. It started out as a useful resource, but now there is so much questionable stuff on there, it’s hard to feel comfortable with it. I can see where it’s useful for rescues, but I hate supporting them because of the other stuff that goes on.
      mkob recently posted…Dog Fitness Tips: ConsistencyMy Profile

  10. With Sampson’s recovery he needs 15 to 20 minute walks two times per day. I’ve been finding that walking the dogs in the morning is very enjoyable to me and I’m thinking once he’s recovered, I may continue to make that morning walk, the bigger one and then a quick break in the afternoon.
    Jodi recently posted…Follow-Up Friday – May 23, 2014My Profile

    • That’s what we do…it’s so nice a quiet and peaceful in the morning and we are all fresh!
      mkob recently posted…Dog Fitness Tips: ConsistencyMy Profile

  11. Consistency is key! Great to plan workout into your lifestyle that will allow you to keep it up!

  12. Veruca is very consistent about waking me up for her morning walks. 4:45 am consistent! Which is good for me too, so I can’t complain. Great information.
    Mark at DBDT recently posted…Nature Walks with Veruca #2My Profile

  13. Consistency seems to be the key to a lot of things in life. Great, great post. Thank you for the reminder. I’ve been consistent with mine and Petal’s morning walks a good 97% of the time these past three, almost four, months. It really does make a huge difference, in both of us. I feel like we’re both much healthier and happier. It’s well worth the effort. 🙂
    Marquie recently posted…Review: Collie Art from Fulcrum GalleryMy Profile

    • SO glad to hear you are getting out for a walk on a consistent basis and you are right, you feel it don’t you! Keep it up.
      mkob recently posted…Dog Fitness Tips: ConsistencyMy Profile

  14. We play fetch every day, unless it’s pouring rain, and Cricket will remind us if we try to skip it! But I need to get more consistent with my own exercise…walking and running with the dogs to get them something different too.
    Jan K recently posted…Who’s Got the #BestDogEver?My Profile

  15. It’s like any routine – once it becomes one, it becomes a natural part of the day. We don’t have to think about it any more, we don’t question it, we don’t look for excuses, we just do it. By now it’s just like breathing.
    Jana Rade recently posted…Don’t Panic. Don’t Panic … Too Late: Our Call To Pet Poison HelplineMy Profile

  16. It is hard to find time for exercise. Good suggestions on being consistent.

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