The Best Time to Work Out with your Dog
Exercising your dog consistently is one of the keys (along with diet) to keeping them fit and healthy. Heck, consistent exercise and proper diet is the key to your own health and fitness as well. One of the behaviors that I have noticed over the years when it comes to fitness is a “start then stop” mentality.
The “start then stop” exerciser will begin a fitness program with great zeal but the enthusiasm quickly wanes until, after a few weeks, the exercise routine is all but abandoned. In my opinion, one of the ways to combat this is to schedule the workouts early in the morning, so that exercise is completed before life’s daily distractions can potentially get in the way of a consistent regimen.
This concept is important when it comes to your dog’s fitness as well, because if you are not consistent with your dog’s exercise, they will also fall victim to the stop-start model and they will very likely be under exercised (and probably over fed). Further, many pet parents get a majority of their own exercise when they exercise their dogs.
When is the Best Time to Work Out with your Dog?
To answer this question, I found a study done last year by the fitness wearable technology company Jawbone. Jawbone analyzed data on over 1 million people using their technology to find out (among other things) which times of day were associated with consistent exercise habits. The results of this study were no surprise to me as they are consistent with the anecdotal evidence I have witnessed over the years.
The jawbone study reports that people who exercise early in the morning are more consistent than people who exercise at other times in the day. The study reports that the three best times to work out to achieve consistency (defined as those working out 3 or more times per week), are, in order, 6 AM, 5 AM, and 9 AM. Conversely, the ‘popular’ time of 6 PM is associated with the most inconsistency in workout patterns.
Another unrelated finding of the study was that the more frequent the person exercised during the week, the better their overall mood was. Daily exercise was associated with a much better mood: there is a substantial increase in happiness between people who exercise five days or less per week and those who work out six or seven days per week. No doubt the combination of endocannabinoids and the overall feeling of being fit and healthy are mostly responsible for this.
The results of this study certainly apply to our dogs. First of all, it is very likely that dogs who are exercised early in the morning are more likely to get consistent exercise than dogs that are exercised at other times during the day, if for no other reason that their owners are more likely to be consistent in the morning. Second, the idea that daily (or near daily) exercise will lift a dog’s mood makes complete sense. Dogs that are exercised regular will have better social skills and confidence and will feel strong and healthy. In addition, like people, dogs will experience a form of runner’s high euphoria with intense exercise.
In reality, the truly best time to exercise your dog is the time of day that best fits into your schedule. With that said, scheduling early morning work outs for you and your dog will increase the chances that you will both stick to the exercise program and therefore be more fit and healthier than those who wait until the evening to work up a sweat.Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below - lots of fun fitness tips and advice!