Why Run With Your Dog?

Personal training for dogs. You’re kidding, right? Actually, no, we’re not. Research suggests up to 40% of our dogs are overweight, and they suffer from the same health complications that overweight people do. Veterinarians (including myself) are becoming more and more concerned about the increase in joint pain, heart disease and other obesity related illnesses in dogs. Hence, Pooch to 5k. Dogs can’t lift weights, or use the gym. If you’re going to increase their fat burning, you need to increase the intensity of their exercise. This means that a daily stroll just won’t cut it any more, it’s too laid back. The Pooch to 5k program will help you get your dog from doing nothing much to comfortably running 5km, over a period of 12 weeks.

Because you’ll be running with your dog, you’ll also get a great workout three times a week, as you train yourself to run 5km. Why not subscribe to our dog health and fitness newsletter and grab your dog, and you’re ready to go!

Archive for Runner Health

May
01

The Importance of Proper Injury Recovery

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A young woman massaging her painful knee

This post is for the human in  your running partnership and has been written because I’m injured, I was getting better and I didn’t rest enough and now I’m sore again. It’s my own fault, and I’m frustrated.

Everything is going great; running is like breathing, training becomes the most freeing part of the day, miles fly under your feet rather than passing slowly, and then all of the sudden: ouch! Sometimes, the pain of being told not to run is greater than the actual pain of the injury. But this is the most dangerous time for runners.

When the will to run becomes strong and the injury stops hurting after a couple of days, health professionals can seem ridiculous in saying to wait weeks to get back out there. After all, you know your own body. It feels fine, and surely a short jog wouldn’t hurt? Doctors, podiatrists and physiotherapists tend to be over-conservative in their prescriptions for rest time, right? When we want something, rationalisation becomes easy and the years of training and experience that our medical team have under their belts seem irrelevant. They aren’t.

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Aug
22

Exercises For Running With Your Dog

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We use all sorts of muscles when we run. Leg muscles are the obvious ones but we need a strong midsection (you may hear people refer to your core when talking about muscles in this area) to maintain good running form or posture. These muscles act as a corset around your entire abdomen, carefully holding in place your internal organs. Our core muscles and our back muscles support our spine and we need good spinal alignment in running as well as day to day life to avoid referred injury and/or back problems. And finally we need good upper body strength. We use our arms in synergy with our legs as we run; we pump them to generate leg lift.

There are plenty of ways to strengthen these groups of muscles and being a personal trainer, I have a lot of experience in working with people to develop optimum muscle function. In this post I will be discussing how to hit all of the muscles you need to improve your running form, capacity and times whilst out running with your dog.

Plan your run so that you know what exercises you are going to perform at each stop and how many stops you are going to make. Perform a brief full body stretch and then try the following:

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Apr
17

Do Dogs Get a Runner’s High?

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Endorphin Rush. Runner’s High. If you’ve ever done any intensive exercise, you’d be familiar with the feeling of relaxation and well being that follows a good workout.

I’ve often thought that my dog seems to feel just as good as I do after a run, but I’ve been unable to find any scientific proof, until now.

Researchers at the University of Arizona put dogs, humans and ferrets on a treadmill, and measured the amount of endocannabinoids that were produced after exercise. Endo – produced inside the body, cannabinoids – chemicals that activate cannabinoid receptors in the brain that cause a euphoric feeling.

Ferrets aren’t a species that evolved to run, so it’s not too surprising that they didn’t show any response to running. However, both dogs and humans showed much higher levels of endocannabinoids after a session on the treadmill. This means that our dogs do indeed get that runner’s high.

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Apr
08

Easy, cheap, and cold.

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No, I’m not talking about my past life as a contract killer…

Make an ice pack to treat injuriesIf you get injured, the acronym you use to remember the treatment regime is R.I.C.E.R.  This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, and Refer.  They’re all pretty obvious, maybe except for refer – it means to see a doctor if it is serious, debilitating, or fails to resolve within a day or so.  Anyway, ice is sometimes inconvenient to use – it gets wet as it melts, you have to remember to fill the ice cube tray, and your children steal all of the ice cubes to make slushies when you’re not looking.  Well, not any more!  I’ve created the perfect ice pack to treat injuries.  This ice pack doesn’t make a puddle, it doesn’t have lumps of ice, and no-one is going to steal it to make cold drinks.
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Sep
29

RICE for Injuries

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Knee InjuryIf you’re lucky enough to get an injury while running, you need to look after it.  There is a simple acronym to help you to remember the correct injury management protocol: RICE.

Firstly, the R stands for Rest.  That means, from the moment you notice the onset of an injury, immediately cease  strenuous exercise, as much as you can.  Resting allows your body to form scar tissue to patch up an injury whether it’s a scrape or a graze up to a muscle tear.  Continuing running will only aggravate the injury in its acute phase.

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Categories : Runner Health
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