How Can a Dog Trainer Stay in Shape?
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Get enough sleep.
- Incorporate cardio activity into your day.
- Stretch your muscles.
- Take supplements.
If you are training your dog (or clients’ dogs) to perform in agility, flyball, or other sports, you know the importance of keeping your canine athlete in top condition. Handlers are no slouches themselves though, so it’s equally important for you to keep yourself in peak physical shape as a dog trainer. During training and competitions, you need to be able to keep up with your dogs. Read on to find out how you can stay in the best shape possible to improve your sporting dog’s chances of success.
Eat a Healthy Diet
You’re undoubtedly feeding your sporting dog the best food you can, but are you doing the same for yourself? When you’re running all week long from work to home to training to competitions, it can be easy to neglect your diet. The problem with this is that, by relying on high-carb, high-salt, or high-sugar foods, you’re not helping your body achieve its best possible shape.
Before a competition, go ahead and eat carbs, but don’t make refined carbohydrates a mainstay of your diet. Instead, try to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. This means eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and dairy products. Consider talking to a nutritionist about the healthiest diet for your specific circumstances.
Get Enough Sleep
You might not realize that the amount of sleep you get directly affects your overall physical and mental health. You have undoubtedly had the experience of feeling groggy and fatigued after an evening during which you didn’t get enough sleep. Sleep is when your body repairs itself from the little traumas of the day, so when you don’t get enough of it, you will often notice muscle soreness, a lack of coordination, and other maladies that can affect your performance. A lack of sleep can even lead to or worsen depression or anxiety.
So, what is enough sleep? Most adults need between seven and eight hours of shut-eye each night. If you’re not getting that, then make the effort to improve your sleep hygiene and get to bed earlier. Some tips include limiting your afternoon caffeine consumption, keeping televisions and smartphones out of the bedroom, and making sure that your sleeping area is cool enough.
Keep Your Heart Pumping
Of course, as a dog trainer you’re a lot of exercise while training and on competition days, but it’s important to make sure you’re moving your body every day for at least 30 minutes. If you have a week or two off, you’ll notice it when it’s time to get back on track, so add some aerobic activity to your daily regimen.
How can you get it when you’re not training? A simple walk or jog is enough to keep you in shape during breaks. You might also try swimming, dance classes, or even yard work on the weekends. Pulling weeds and pushing the lawn mower will give your heart a workout, and it will keep your neighbors happier, too. And, of course, simply playing with your dog, going on hikes, or playing an intense game of Frisbee on the beach will keep both of your hearts healthy.
Stretch Your Muscles
Stretching is important for athletes, and as a dog trainer you’re no exception. You need to keep your joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible. You wouldn’t neglect to condition your dog in this way, so be sure to take care of yourself by incorporating stretching into your workouts.
You could take up yoga as a great way to stretch and relax. Another option is to choose some stretches that are particularly effective for agility handlers and work them into your daily routine. You’ll want to stretch after your muscles are already warm, so do them after your warm-up or even after your cardio workout.
Take Appropriate Supplements
Supplements that boost your flexibility and your immune system can help you stay in great shape and ward off illnesses that could cause you and your dog to miss training and competitions. Elite Science, for example, offers products specifically designed to help with joints, muscles, immune system health, and more.
If you’re serious about training your dog and competing in various dog sports, you know that you need to stay in good shape. By following these suggestions, you’ll have a lower risk of injury as you train. You’ll also be more likely to be around for a good, long time for your dog and the rest of your family. Talk to your doctor about ways that you can stay in good shape as a dog trainer, and do some additional research into products and activities that can benefit your overall health and wellness.