Everything I know about fitness I learned from my dogs. No really. Dogs just have it down. They’re perfectly balanced little creatures and if you watch them you can learn a lot.
Walking – My dogs never turn down a walk. NEVER. They are always up for it, even several times a day if someone’s willing to take them. My dogs will walk alone, together and even with friends. They obviously know all about the benefits of walking.
Running – Both of my dogs love to run and they go often but what amazes me is how they run. Some days they go out for speed work, typically when there are squirrels or ducks nearby, and some days they prefer a long slow run with Mommy. Regardless of how they run, they almost always let me know what they’re up for, even if they don’t feel like running and prefer a rest day.
Breathing – After running or walking my dogs tend to pant. Panting regulates the temperature in a dog and calms their bodies down after a workout. Deep breathing is great for de-stressing and dogs know this. Don’t forget to breathe deep after a good workout and you can even pant if you want to.
Eating – If you feed a dog a balanced diet he will stay healthy and trim but if you feed a dog a ton of snacks and extra meals, he’ll pack on the pounds just like a human. A dog’s diet is very simple, no fads, just a balanced diet and no overeating.
Drinking – Dogs are smart. They know that they need water and they drink plenty of it. I am constantly checking the water bowl because my dogs drink constantly throughout the day. They instinctively know how to stay hydrated and if I let that bowl get empty Boomer will bring it to me with a look of disgust as if he cannot believe that I would not know that he needs water. I told you dogs are smart!
Sleeping – My dogs get a good 8-10 hours of sleep every single night and they also take several naps throughout the day. They play hard and they rest hard. A dog knows when he needs some quiet time.
Dogs can even help you get your workouts in when your schedule is really tight. Yesterday, I was busy, busy, busy and I didn’t think I would have time for my crossfit workout and Boomer still needed a bath. With Boomer’s help, I was able to combine the two and I’ve added a new WOD to my crossfit routines.
So you see, dogs are pretty savvy when it comes to health and fitness. I think we could all learn a little something from them.
What’s one thing your dog or pet has taught you?