Running with Rufus

by Mackenzie M. | November 2nd, 2012 | Cardio, Running

Earlier this month I decided to start my running habit once more given the colder weather and renewed inspiration. For a little added pull and motivation, I decided to take my dog, Rosie, jogging with me. This turned out to be one of the most strenuous jogs of my life, because I was out of shape, and because the canine kept pulling me along. Doing it a few more times, I discovered tips to keep in mind when running with your dog that will allow for easier technique, but also added motivation.

The first thing to keep in mind when running with a dog is that the pooch will inevitably become very excited and will pull you along. While this may seem like a good way to run faster at first, after a few blocks you may be too tired to continue. To combat this issue, start running in short and fast spurts, rather than a brisk marathon. Dogs are great motivation for quick sprints, because as soon as you start running they take off. Running in short spurts is proven to be healthier for your cardiovascular system than a slow and steady jog. The exercise will be more fulfilling, but this will also give your dog a chance to run free and unrestrained by a consistent and slow speed.

When running with a dog, it is understood to hold on tight to the leash. While this makes common sense for restraining the dog, the resistance on the arms from pulling the dog’s weight actual contributes to the cardio benefit of the run. The resistance is sure to build arm muscle, and it also generates a force that will inevitably motivate the runner to go faster. Be sure to switch arms for the most benefit, and be sure to apply a little pull when running so the arm muscles are flexed. This arm action, combined with the running in spurts, is sure to promote a healthy cardio workout.

Of course safety needs to be kept in mind as well.  Be careful the leash does not tangle your legs resulting in a fall, and be wary of other dogs that you encounter on your run.

Finally, for the ultimate in running motivation, go for a quick jog on both the evening and morning walk with the family dog. It is best to walk the dog outside several times a day, but this can also become a consistent cardio workout for the owner. Get into the habit of doing short sprints each time the dog needs to go out, but at least twice per day.

Running is a hard habit to begin, but it becomes far easier when your furry friend is encouraging it. Eventually, your dog will also get into the habit of running outside, making them far easier to control.

With these simple tips, it will be easy to get back into the habit of running or to begin a new and fit regimen. Who knew your pooch could help you stay heart healthy?

  1. […] week I wrote some tips about running with the family dog to increase running habits. This week, I want to focus another […]

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.