Running with your dog is wonderful! It is great exercise for both of you, wonderful bonding time and just plain fun. Seeing more and more and more people out and about with their dogs when spring is in full bloom makes me very happy. I especially like to see runners with dogs. Correction. I like to see people out for a run with a dog if they are swinging a bag full of poop or they are visibly carrying a bag and are prepared for the inevitable. Nothing spoils fitness time with my own dogs than having to dodge piles of poop scattered along the sidewalk. And I know it is runners. How do I know? Well, these perfectly spaced dog droppings are almost always on popular running routes and trails. The volume of these movement dispersed dog poops increase during nice weather and during local marathon training times. So there you go runners. I know it's you. Everyone does. We're glad you are exercising with your dog. But stop messing up the neighborhood. Start scooping that poop!
2. Always bring more than enough poop bags. Bags are light. They take up minimal space in the tiny pockets of your running tights or jersey. There is no excuse not to have plenty of bags on you every time you run. I always carry at least three bags per dog every single time I leave the house, whether my dog has pooped recently or not.
3. Pay attention: I haven't personally seen it happen but I have a feeling that most runners don't clean up after their dogs because they don't notice their dogs lag a bit and drop poops while running. Fit dog time is always great but it should also be together time.
5. Squat: I am a big fan of plié squats. I always included them in client strength training workouts. My Pilates classes do them at the beginning of each and every class. A plié squat is an ideal way for those runners with dogs to scoop that poop, stretch and cross-train all at once. Like the lunge, be sure to have a wide stance so your toes stay behind your knees as you squat. Press your knees back so they stay stacked over your ankles (use your inner thighs!) Engage your abdominal muscles, hinge at your hips (the top of your thighs) and keep your back flat as your bend to pick up after your dog. Just like the lunge, keep your head above your heart.
6. Stretch: If your dog poops towards the end of your run. you can stretch your hamstrings as you stop to scoop that poop. Simply put your feet parallel at hip width, keep your legs as straight as possible, engage your abdominal muscles, hinge at your hips and fold forward to the ground. You can also stretch your hips, strengthen ankles and improve your balance by cleaning up your dogs poop from afigure four stretch. Always keep your bent knee behind your toes and avoid resting your lifted leg on your knee cap. Be careful of putting your head below your heart if you are not in a cool down phase of your run.
Taking your dog running is excellent for you and your dog. But leaving poop laying about is bad for plants, our water supply and public health not to mention that it is just unsightly and rude. So while you are out getting a good workout for you and for your dog, improve your workout and the world; always scoop that poop!
Always consult with a doctor before beginning a new exercise or prior to changing your exercise routine. I always recommend having a fitness professional check your form on any sport you do, running, strength training, stretching, etc. Poor posture while doing any kind of work out can cause more harm to your body than good.