Conditioning Without Trying : Walking the Dog

Walking the dogThis month Blaine and I will be looking at the many fun things to do which will keep you fit without really trying. First off, a personal favourite - walking the dog.

I've always been a dog lover; as my first pet was a labrador given to me when I was aged 2, this is understandable. Having a dog - particularly a large, highly active one - brings with it a great range of activities (otherwise known as general conditioning work), and a whole load of fun.

If you have a dog, several things have probably already come to mind. For those that don't, however, here's some of the fun you're missing :


Taking a dog for a walk is a little more energetic than a calm walk up the street to buy a newspaper. After being confined in a relatively small area for most of the day, the dog is usually excited to get out. If you've ever seen a dog jump the fence and escape from its owners, only to go for a run and chase birds, you'll know what I mean.

Trying to walk slowly whilst an excited creature almost runs beside you just isn't feasible. It's more like going for a jog.

Throwing the ball/stick/whatever's handy

For an exercise that's clearly targeted at the dog, there's a fair bit of work involved in repeatedly throwing something. Perhaps its also the wrestling I throw in at the end of each return (it's a lot more fun than simply asking him to drop the ball). Whatever the case, it works.

Swimming (with the dog)

Ever seen a dog at the beach? Once they realise that the water coming in isn't a threat, you'll never see him/her happier. Running flat out after birds, or simply diving about in the water.

If you're miles from the beach, the next best thing is a pool (or any large body of water really). Dive in, reap the usual benefits associated with swimming (highly recommended following a particularly heavy workout) and your dog will be right in there with you.

Incidentally, you'll probably get tired before he/she does.

In fact, almost any activity you do with your dog will end up giving you a bit of a workout. Think of it as a light recovery session with an extra helping of fun.

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Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Google+, Facebook; and of course his online home. Enjoy.

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