A couple weeks ago, we told you about a hot new exercise trend called Work Out Like Your Dog. While most people are probably not interested in digging through the dirt for some novelty calorie-burning, plenty of people are interested in maximizing their normal exercising. Here’s what you’re burning in an average day with your dog—and how to up your intensity.
Walking: 120 calories (per 30 minutes): The amount you walk your dog obviously depends on where you live and your dog’s activity level. (If you’ve got a Great Dane and a large fenced-in yard, you may not even own a leash.) But on average, most people walk their dogs for about fifteen minutes a day, twice a day, so your calories burned add up to about a half hour of walking—or 120 calories for an average-sized woman.
Walking on the Beach: 150 calories (per 30 minutes): If you’re one of the fortunate few with easy access to a beach, increase your walking resistance levels with some sand (while enjoying some beautiful scenery)! You’ll burn more calories than just walking down the street—about 150 per half hour.
Going for a Hike: 220 calories (per 30 minutes): Woods or mountains more your thing? Hit your local trail and you’re likely to burn 100 calories more than the average walk. Of course, that’s all dependent on the terrain—if things get really steep, you could burn upwards of 300 calories in just 30 minutes.
Playing Fetch: 30 calories (per 30 minutes): Unless you’re Michael Wacha (that’s the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher that Andy Cohen’s dog Wacha was named for!), you’re probably not burning an excessive amount of calories just tossing a ball. However…
Playing Competitive Fetch: 200 calories (per 30 minutes): If you stop waiting for your dog to do all of the work, you can give yourself a hearty workout. Toss the ball or the Frisbee and then race your dog to the end. These little stop-and-go power sprints will not only be fun for your pupper, but they’ll also drastically increase your calories burned in the average fetch session.
Tug-of-War: 50 calories (per 20 minutes): If you’ve ever played tug-of-war with a larger breed, you’ve probably felt it in your muscles. So while tug-of-war does, in fact, elevate your heart rate, it also target strengthens your shoulders and upper back—a major benefit usually reserved for weight training.
Washing Your Dog: 50 calories (per 20 minutes): It’s no secret that many dogs hate baths and will fight you every step of the way. But cleanliness is a necessary evil, and also a quick way to burn off that handful of Cheez-Its you ate earlier: You’ll burn about 50 calories simply washing your dog for 20 minutes.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding: 500 calories (per 60 minutes): This is another activity that’s geographically dependent, but if you have easy access to SUP, consider taking your pooch. It’s fantastic exercise for you and incredibly fun for your dog—especially when he jumps off your board to go for a swim. (Jump in after him and you’ll torch a few extra calories yourself!)
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