Hello fellow dog walkers,

Do you use hand-held weights while walking your doodle?

I was thinking of getting some upper arm exercise on my daily walks with Alma.  She tends to stop and sniff frequently.  I am left standing (no cardio) until we resume walking. (I don't intend to rush her along.)  I'm interested in finding out if using a hand-held weight would be a good/bad idea.  

If you use hand held weights - how much weight and brand do you use?  I saw these weights on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BUYT6B4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I appreciate your input.

Diane and Alma

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  • I have an MS in exercise physiology and worked as a personal trainer with a specialization in strength training and muscle rehabilitation for many years, and I can tell you that it's a very bad idea for several reasons. 

    Also, regarding what weight another person might use, that would vary for every individual in any exercise involving weight and strength training. 

    • I'm glad you replied.  My current workout routine is good but I was hoping to add some arm workouts while walking Alma.  I'll skip the hand weights for sure.  Thanks!

  • Hi Diane!

    Back in the 80's I used handheld weights while walking until I learned that A) They really aren't heavy enough to help build muscle in a beneficial way and B) they put stress on the wrist and elbow joints because of the added weight (that isn't really helping anyway!). :-)

    If you'd rather not move her along, and don't care to just stand there, a couple of exercises come to mind....

    Squats- Make sure correct form is used- i.e. not letting the knees jut out in front of the toes.

    Tree pushups- stand 2-3 feet from a tree, lean forward and do pushups against it. Or, drop down lower and use a park bench for hand placement. Park benches are also great for Tricep Dips, too, by the way.

    Jog in place, or better yet, Alternating High Knees- lifting your knees up as high as possible in rapid succession. 

    Or, you can get creative and do some "intervals" with light jogging for a few blocks followed by walking fast for a few blocks.  Alma would need to learn that she can't stop and sniff while you are jogging - only when you are walking. 

    We have a bike path system in our city that has various pieces of exercise equipment set up in stations along the path. It's a great way to get some extra exercise along the path. I also see runners and walkers doing their own little "stations" with some of the exercises I mentioned. When I'm walking in a neighborhood, though, I prefer to just walk. :-)

    (As always, consult with your provider before before starting or changing an exercise program according to your own fitness level.)

    • Thanks for the suggestions.  I do a few exercises while waiting for Alma.  I was hoping to get my arms toned more.

  • I had some a few years ago that I was wearing on the treadmill. One of them gave me a big cyst on my wrist.

  • Lori had some great ideas for exercises and Karen's wisdom in this area is worth following :-)
    I don't ever stop for sniffing unless I think maybe it's time for a pee break for the dogs.  I don't consider it rushing my dog, just that my dog is accompanying me on my walk and my pace is the pace ;-)  Would you consider keeping up the pace you want for a set distance and then stopping for a short sniff followed by another set distance at your pace?  Then you could still give her sniff time, but not to the detriment of meeting your walking goal.  If not, that's okay too...it's your walk and it's okay to stop for Alma.

    • I'm fine with letting her stop and sniff.  She heels well when I tell her to when I don't have time to linger.  I was looking for input on hand weights because I was thinking it would give me something to do and help my arm muscles.  I have a daily workout routine that includes cardio and weights so I'll continue with that.  Walking Alma is definitively not a workout - more of a stroll and smell the roses along the way : )   

  • Well, another thing to think about when you are trying to scoop.  We have some leashes for walking multiple dogs, but it is always a challenge when we have to get three dogs cooperating while we scoop.  My husband tried walking all three but was total discombobulated when he had to stop to scoop.  I limit myself to two dogs only at a time and prefer only one.  But you might practice what to do with your weights as you manage a scoop.

    • I'm always so amazed by people who can walk multiple dogs.  I would be hopelessly tangled in all the leashes for sure.  After reading Karen and Jackdoodle's reply and the one from Amy and Annabelle, I won't be adding any hand weights while walking Alma.  But I agree, it might be tricky to scoop - and what a mess if poo ended up on the weight!  The one I was considering has a type of mesh strap that slips over your hand.  Perhaps not so easy to clean.

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