Humans were once classified as hunters and gatherers. We were a mobile, energy-expended species in search for food, and we existed like this up until about 10,000 years ago. With the onset of agriculture, however, our lifestyles and mindsets changed. Humans learned to raise animals and plant crops; soon, our digestive systems were forced to convert and extract nutrients from foods that underwent chemical “processes”.Evidence suggests that dogs were domesticated by hunter and gatherer societies approximately 12,000 to 14,000 years ago. As man adopted dogs, the dogs’ need to hunt and scavenge decreased. Evolving together, humans began to select and breed for desirable traits in their canine companions. This selective breeding evolved into today’s classification of the 8 groups of dogs; sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, herding and mixed.
Agriculture changed the human existence as domestication transformed the dog. All of this ‘evolution’, translated into new and sedentary lifestyles as our biologies remain stuck in the past.
Today, our dogs are trained on our time. If we feel like watching television all day, then no doubt, our best friend is by our side. We are already aware of the damage this does to us physically, but did you know it messes with our psychologies as well?
In humans, obesity results in many common psychological disorders including depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorders and anxiety. Dogs also suffer but since they can not verbalize their problems, it is up to you to recognize them.
If your dog displays any of the following behaviors: hyperactivity, excessive barking, whining, chewing, digging, eating furniture, rummaging through garbage or aggressive playing he/she could be letting you know they are in need of better nourishment and more exercise or activities to keep them challenged. Millions of years of hunting and searching instincts cannot be suppressed with today’s culture and habits.
As it is your responsibility to care for yourself, it is also yours to care for your dog. “Cardio Canine” will help your dog sleep better, rid himself of nagging anxiety, calm his destructive behaviors, keep him stimulated and above all solidify your bond. Proper exercise and nutrition are paramount for you and your dogs’ mental and physical health.
For this week’s “Cardio Canine” workout, you will need 2 water bottles, a inflatable dog bowl and a dog leash of at least 6 feet. And, please, before trying this workout, consult with your doctor and veterinarian, if you haven’t already done so.
Cardio Canine work-out #3
1 minute walk followed by 1 minute light jog followed by 15 Prisoner Squats 1 minute walk followed by 2 minutes of a light jog followed by 15 Prisoner Squats 1 minute walk followed by 3 minutes of a light jog followed by 15 Prisoner Squats
Walk at moderate pace as you do the following 10x each, consecutively:
. a) Wide Arm Circles Forward
. b) Wide Arm Circles Backwards
. c) Small Arm Circles Forward
. d) Small Arm Circles Backwards
. e) Make a Fist, Point your Thumb Out, and with Your Arms Extended, Move Thumbs Forward and Backward
. f) Make a Fist, Point your Thumb Out, and with Your Arms Extended, Move Thumbs Up and Down
Followed by: 3 minutes light jog
Walk at moderate pace as you do 3 Sets of 10x: Shoulder Press with Water Bottles Walking Abs hold for 5 seconds each
Followed by: 1 minutes recovery walk
Jog at light pace as you do 4 Sets of 10x: Pectoral-Fly Twists (arms out, arms in, twist right repeat and twist left)
Followed by: 1 minute recovery walk 2 minute light jog 5 Minute Recovery/Cool-Down Walk
Repeat this work-out 3x this week
Prisoner Squat—Stand upright with your feet, shoulders’ width apart. Put your fingers on the back of your head and clasp them together. Stick your chest out as your shoulder blades pull backwards and bend your knees as you squat down towards the ground. As with all squats, keep your knees over your feet and torso tight, then push back up to starting position.
Arm Circles—Stand upright with your arms extended by your sides and your palms facing inward (towards your front). Large circles are approximately 1 foot in diameter; small circles are tight-small circular motions less than 6 inches in diameter. Thumbs Backwards and Forwards: arms are extended, palms open with thumbs up (like the Fonz, as my trainer used to say) and move your wrist backwards and forwards. Thumbs Up and Down: With arms extended, reverse thumbs down and pump downwards.
Shoulder Press—With a water bottle in each hand, bend your elbows so that the water bottles reach the height of your ears. Keeping your core tight, extend your arms and push those water bottles up and then in so that the ends contact one another. Then bend your elbows back to your ears and repeat.
Walking ABs—Walk upright, making sure your shoulders are back and pull your stomach in and hold for 5 seconds and release. Do not change your posture and do not stop breathing.
Jogging Pectoral Fly-Twist—With your palms open and facing front, bend your elbows and pull your shoulders back. Squeeze your chest muscles as you bring arms in front of you until your elbows make contact and then come back to center. Then, keeping your head and hips pointing forward, twist your torso left or right.
If you have been a faithful reader of “Cardio Canine, A Exercise Program for You and Your Dog,” I am happy to tell you that after completion of this weeks’ workout, you will have now targeted all your major muscle groups. Although there is still plenty to come, feel free to incorporate all the different exercises to create a more challenging workout.
As always, allow you and your dog proper rest during the workout and the appropriate recovery times post-workout. And, don’t forget to nourish yourself and your best friend with the eating guidelines described in week #2. However, be sure to avoid avocado, alcohol, onions, garlic, coffee, tea, chocolate, grapes, raisins, dairy products macadamia nuts, candy, gum, fat trimmings, cooked bones, peaches, plums, raw eggs, fish and meat and excessive salt in your dogs’ diet. These foods, in varying quantities can be toxic to your dog.
Please feel free to contact me with questions and/or comments at MarisaBellis@msn.com (please write CC in the subject line) and be sure to pick-up next weeks’ “East Bay Life” for work-out #4 as we amp up your workout on hills, introduce some dog games and learn about the human-dog bond.
Happy Tails !!!