Monday, May 22, 2017

How I Keep Up with My Active Dogs - Exercise

I previously wrote about how I use food to fuel me to help succeed and keep up with my active dogs. Exercise also helps me to keep up with my dogs, and make the most out of my days. It, like food, contributes to my overall health.

Like everyone else, I am busy. I work, have dogs, cats, chickens, and acreage. I have family and friends. But I choose to take care of myself, and make time to exercise.

I don't workout for hours on end. I don't take time away from my pets or other responsibilities for it. But I make time for it. I workout anywhere from 3 to 6 days per week, for 30 minutes to an hour at a time.

I spend very little time on the treadmill, elliptical, or other cardio machines...but I do lift a lot of weights.

There are many benefits to weight training. Greater overall strength. Stronger bones. I **feel** like my metabolism is faster (so I can eat more) because increased muscle mass requires more calories. I feel better. My clothes fit better. I sleep better.

I am fortunate in that one of my best friends is a CPT. She also is a dog owner and a raw feeder!! She has helped me accomplish many of my goals, and showed me how to safely exercise and lift weights. I am not a trainer, so I recommend anyone starting out weight training consult with one in order to be safe.

I don't lift 5 lb dumbbells. I lift heavy. I am not bulky. Women have to try really hard to get bulky.

Another great thing about working out is cute workout clothes! I sometimes get to show off my love for my dogs while at the gym...

Some examples of what I do

I spend the majority of my time in the gym lifting. I do partake in cardio exercises, for my heart and lung health. Some weight training exercises get my heart beating faster than cardio. These are the big, compound movements that involve more than one joint, and they are my favorites (deadlifts and squats, to name a couple.)

LEGS - I need strong legs to walk and run with my dogs, and to lift things. Most bulk raw come in cases of 30 lbs or more. I try to train legs twice a week, but am not always able to manage that. I always do squats, good mornings, and deadlifts on leg day. Squats and deadlifts work every muscle group in your body except your chest. They truly work your abs! I regularly do various versions of lunges, step ups and step downs, leg extensions, leg press, cable pull throughs. If I'm feeling really froggy, I'll abductions and adductions. Most of these exercises really hit your glutes too!

BACK - I need a strong back to manage my dogs on leash, to lift heavy items, and to pull myself up if needed. Deadlifts and good mornings work your back, along with your legs and everything else. Back is probably my second favorite body part to work. I like to do bent over rows, seated rows, lat pulldowns, and pullups. 

SHOULDERS - I need strong shoulders while walking my dogs, plus a nice pair of shoulder caps looks great on anyone. Overhead presses torch your abs along with your shoulders. I also like Arnold presses, face pulls, lat flies, upright rows, and around the worlds.

ARMS - I don't do a ton of isolated bicep and tricep exercises. Many other exercises hit them. But I do a couple of different types of curls, and some skull crushers and tricep pull downs.

CHEST - chest is easily my least favorite thing to work. I hate it. So I do cable flies, flat and incline bench press, and that's about it...

ABS - a strong core is important, and looks nice. Many compound exercises engage and work the core, in addition to their targeted muscles. I do a few different crunches, and love kneeling cable crunches. Sometimes I'll throw in some scissor kicks and Russian twists because apparently I'm a masochist. 

I like feeling strong, being strong, being able to hike with my dogs, lift heavy cases of raw meat with ease, and lift my dogs on occasion. 


  1. Awesome post! Very inspiring! I do pretty much only cardio ... running and walking with Remy. I'm strong and fit but I know I could be stronger if I actually did some lifting exercises.

  2. Eep. Your recent posts on how you keep up with your active dogs are great - but I'm definitely feeling the guilt! Becoming a dog trainer is making me realise how much stronger I need to be, so getting into proper physical training is on my to-do list...

  3. I too need to exercise to get in shape. We owned a few dogs and some of them are strong in pulling you really need to exert an effort if you want to control them. Thankfully our small ones are not that much of a "puller" they haven't destroyed any of the harnesses we bought at


Thanks for the howls!!