Walking with your dog is a great way to keep up with a healthy daily exercise routine. Walking is a much needed exercise for your dog but for you it is important to keep walking without hurting your back.
It is important to pay attention to the shoes that you are wearing even if it’s only for a short walk, try and make sure your feet are comfortable and the shoe gives adequate support and cushioning to prevent injuries
If walking with your dog on a lead try to keep it a comfortable distance so you don’t overstretch your arms and keep it flexible in case your dog suddenly decides to jump forward without warning!
Aim to keep a good posture and walk a steady pace. When you bend to greet your dog bend at your knees if possible rather than your back. Sometimes it may seem tricky to do this but if you’re constantly trying to persuade your dog to come back and bending over to re attach his lead your back muscles will get tired and are more at risk of having problems.
When you get to a bend in the path attempt to turn your dog with your body and avoid letting them get too far ahead of you so when you turn them at their shoulders they won’t be able to resist as much.
Listen to your body:
Gradually increase the distance you walk instead of just walking to the point that you’re exhausted. Dogs get tired too so they may appreciate having regular breaks while you have a few minutes rest.
Where to walk?
Try and vary your route in its length, direction or even just the side of the path! It’ll help keep your muscles evenly worked out and may help keep your dog focussed. If you have chance to go off road then vary the terrain you walk on. Beaches on holiday, forests, gravel all help to give your dog a change from just tarmac and for you, your ankles will gradually increase their strength and your back, hips and legs will appreciate the change in muscle work and load.
Walking is brilliant exercise for both of you. I hope these suggestions help a little in preventing back problems this Spring.