Reviewed by: Erica Grandjean, APD, BNutr&Diet
Walking with your pooch is a great way to keep fit – plus you’re more likely to be motivated as it’s not just your needs that are being met! Keeping your dog fit and healthy is essential to their wellbeing.
Not only is walking free, it can be done anywhere, is low impact and gets every muscle in the body working without exhausting all of them.
Other benefits include:
- Improving circulation
- Reducing risk of heart attacks and disease
- Promotes healthier blood pressure
- Enhances your mental function and mood
- Better sleep
- Strengthens your bones and prevents osteoporosis
However, if you’re looking to amp up those walks and get more bang-for-you-buck, calorie-wise, here are 5 ways to get a better burn!
Aim for at least 45 minutes
Depending on your pace, you’ll burn around 200 to 300 calories an hour walking. Set aside a good chunk of time for a walk to maximise that burn! And remember, consistency is king.
Fast-paced running games with your dog (think chase and fetch) is a great way to burn more calories through interval-style exercise, and keep your dog alert and engaged.
Remember to be mindful of your dog’s fitness level and agility. If they start to look tired, it’s time to ease up.
Add some strength moves
Towards the end of the walk, particularly if you’ve got an opportunity to let your dog loose and enjoy a park, do some quick strength moves.
Try the following sequence:
- 8x burpees
- 12x bench push ups
- 30 seconds of squat jumps
- 30 seconds of alternating knee raises
Repeat twice for extra burn!
Incorporate hill walking
You’ll burn at least a third more calories by walking up an incline. Try and incorporate some hills into your walk, and keep the pace fast.
Add some weights
Adding weights to your body will increase your calorie burn as your muscles work twice as hard to keep you moving.
You can add a weight vest, or simply fill a good-quality backpack with free weights or bottles of water.
The more you walk, the more you’ll feel the physiological and psychological benefits, and the more likely you are to stick to it. Simple, but true!
Keep the pace fast
While all physical activity is good, if you’re looking to increase your calorie burn, you’ll need to keep a consistently speedy pace!
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