Anyone who’s ever walked a dog will have noticed the sheer joy they experience while playing fetch.
Now, you can experience that same elation with a dog-inspired workout that’s strictly for humans.
The slightly barking bootcamp, which has been created by national pet charity Blue Cross and fitness instructor Born Barikor, is designed to get humans to understand and appreciate the health benefits that dogs get from their favourite outdoor activities.
All of the exercises in the 45-minute aerobic and conditioning workout for humans have either been adapted from well-known dog exercises or have been directly inspired by man’s best friend.
They include high intensity interval training (HIIT) fetch, tug-of-war, frisbee and even a circuit routine.
The class was commissioned by the charity to raise awareness of how exercise keeps dogs healthy and happy.
High numbers of dogs arrive at the Blue Cross centres across the country due to behavioural needs stemmed from under-stimulus or lack of appropriate activities and exercise.
‘Work Out Like A Dog’ combines full-body strength training with high intensity cardio bursts to tone, improve endurance and fill participants with positive energy – in much the same way that regular exercise helps dogs stay healthy.
The class consists of:
A warm up (8mins): consisting of agility, obstacle course and hurdle exercises
Trick circuits (10mins): get up, down, rollover, sit, and stay your way through squats, planks and more
Games (15 mins): a round of HIIT ball fetching, frisbee and tug-of-war
Cool down(ward) dog (3-4 mins): stretch and end with a ‘howl of happiness’.
The bootcamp will be running daily from Monday 30 January to Friday 3 February at 7.30am in Victoria Park, meeting at the Park Pavilion.
Sarah Dickinson, head of media relations from Blue Cross, said: “We hope the ‘Work Out Like A Dog’ bootcamp will be an eye-opener for dog owners and would-be dogowners.
“Humans can communicate when they feel frustrated or want a change of scenery; if they need to let off steam with a good long run they just head out and do it.
“By contrast most pet dogs are completely reliant on us picking up signals that they require some stimulation or have to spend some energy. This workout should remind everyone what a huge emotional and physical difference it can make when we get that right.”
Personal trainer Born Barikor added: “Anyone would agree that in addition to losing weight or toning up, regular exercise acts as an incredible release for pent-up energy or stress.
“We weren’t designed to spend all day cooped up and sedentary - and neither were our furry friends! With ‘Work Out Like A Dog’ we wanted participants to channel the joy a dog feels playing their favourite games in the park, as well as the physical benefits.”