what seems impossible today...

will one day become your

warm-up

Choosing the right challenge

Choosing the right challenge for both you and your four legged buddy is vital for you to set the correct realistic goal that can be safely achieved and is individual to your needs.

Start off with an easy fitness challenge, and each month gradually set a tougher goal for you to aim for as you get fitter.

We have 3 challenge packages available that include walking and running challenges suitable for all levels of fitness, whether you are an absolute beginner or a running Super Star!:

  • Bronze - Starter

  • Silver - Intermediate

  • Gold - Advanced

Every dog is unique and has different capabilities. Size, age and breed has an effect on your dogs performance ability and the type of exercise they are best suited to.

We advise that you check out the Breed information Centre on The Kennel Club website to see what your dogs recommended daily exercise is before choosing your challenge.

 

If you are worried about your dogs level of health, we recommend that you consult your vet and get a health check before embarking on any exercise.

  • Always take plenty of water on your runs

  • Bring doggy treats as a reward

  • Bring Poo bags to clean up after your dog

  • Always warm up and cool down as part of a running session

  • Jog where possible with your dog off the lead if and when it's safe to do so, giving them opportunity to run at their own pace, sniff and go to the toilet.

  • Invest in a decent harness for your dog that fits properly as it makes it safer, more comfortable and easier to control.  

  • Pay attention to your dog while doing exercise to ensure they are happy, not lame and not struggling to keep up.

  • If excessively panting STOP, give them water and allow them to rest for a while

  • Prepare exercise in response to the weather. If it's hot, make sure you do light exercise and do it during the coolest part of the day such as early morning or evening when the heat of the sun has gone.

  • Do teach your dog the basic commands to ensure a more pleasurable journey together

  • If taking part in a running challenge, do alternate between running and walking days as you will both need time to recover 

Do's

Don'ts

  • Don't let them run if under the age of 1 year to 18 months old (depending on breed) as their growth plates are still developing so a lot of exercise can cause them harm later on in life

  • Don't take your dog for exercise on a full stomach. Wait at least 1 hour for both your stomachs to settle before doing activity

  • Don't run on roads for long periods of time as it can badly effect your dogs joints and cause pad problems with their paws

  • Don't push your dog to run faster, longer and harder if they are struggling and unable to do so, as this will be classed as abuse.

  • Don't attach a lead to a collar which can pull on your dogs neck, making it uncomfortable and cause injury

  • Don't start hard and fast. It's important you work your way up to fitness. If your are a seasoned runner, but your dog is a beginner, you need to slowly increase their fitness level safely to avoid injury . 

Having the right fitting harness, 

trainers & running outfit is key for a good workout

Warming up & cooling down

A simple 10 minute warm up and cool down as part of your exercise session is so important to help avoid injury and the longevity of your workout.

Warming up before physical activity increases your heart rate and gets your blood pumping and flowing around your body, which enables more oxygen to reach your muscles.

 

Warm-ups activate and primes the connections between your nerve and muscles, which improves the efficiency of movement. Dynamic stretching will help your flexibility and enables you to get a longer stride and handle the uneven ground when running off road.

How do I warm up before exercise?

A warm-up for light physical activity will take around 10 minutes and involve light aerobic activity and some dynamic stretching movements appropriate for the activity you’re about to perform. This could include:

  • fast-paced walking

  • walking up and down stairs

  • fast-paced side stepping

  • jogging on the spot

  • arm swings

  • lunges

  • squats

Contrary to what most people think, there is little evidence that static stretching reduces your risk of injury during physical activity or exercise, or even soreness the next day. However dynamic stretching, incorporated into an aerobic warm-up, remains very popular.

How do I cool down after exercise?

To cool down after a work out, simply reduce the intensity of the activity you have been doing – if you have been jogging, then walk; if you have been running, then jog.

 

It reduces strain on the heart as you gradually reduce your heart rate and begin the process of recovery. It prevents dizziness and a creates a 'Feel Good' factor'

Gently stretching each of the main muscle groups, as listed below, for 10–15 seconds will restore their length and can help bring your mind and body back to a resting state.

 

  • Walking

  • Leg stretches

  • Arm stretches

  • Stretch out your core

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