High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, has been big news in the fitness industry for a few years now. It focuses on the principle that short bursts of intense exercise alternated with periods of rest or low intensity exercises boosts cardiovascular health, weight loss and fitness levels better than traditional cardio exercise.
A typical HIIT workout may be 60 seconds of sprinting followed by 30 seconds of power walking for a total of 15 minutes. Though the workouts are far from easy due to their intense nature they are easy workouts to squeeze into a day as they are short and don’t take up too much time.
The benefits of this way of exercising have been well documented for humans and people are now recognizing that high intensity interval training is also a wonderful way to keep dogs fit, healthy and full of stamina.
If you would like to start HIIT with your dog then it is important to begin with gentle sessions, particularly if your dog isn’t used to getting a lot of exercise. The best way to do this is to make the bursts of intensity shorter, say 10 seconds, and the rest periods longer, for example 40 seconds. As you complete more HIIT sessions you will be able to alter the ratios so that eventually the intense periods are longer and the rests are shorter.
Don’t Overdo It
Just like someone who works out at a gym, it is important to let your dog have rest days to recover from the intense exercise. Rest days are just as important as workout days as they let the muscles build and recover. Start with one HIIT session a week and build up to two or three per week.
Keep it Short
The great thing about HIIT is that it doesn’t take much time to complete a workout. Keep the sessions short, around 10 minutes is enough, and remember to warm up and cool down with some walking or tug games first.
Make it Fun
You don’t have to stick to running and walking for your HIIT session. Choose activities your dog will love. If they love chasing balls then throw a ball up a steep incline for them for a minute, then walk them for 30 seconds and repeat. Get creative!
If you would like to improve your own and your dog’s fitness levels then high intensity interval training is a must.