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Safety tips for running with your dog in the summer

Safety tips for running with your dog in the summer

Temperatures have been soaring recently, and although it feels like we can celebrate the fact that summer is here, it’s also an important time to look after your pup. 

We’ve popped a few important tips below regarding dogs and hot weather running:

1. Take your dog for a run in the early morning or late evening when it’s cooler – avoid the midday heat.
2. Go on shorter runs and stay in the shade where you can – your dog requires less exercise in the summer.
3. Bring plenty of water for drinking, and cooling off if necessary. Remember to take a collapsible bowl if your dog will not drink from your Camelback or water bottle. Take frequent water breaks – your dog can’t tell you when he/she is thirsty.
4. Run near water. Your dog will be able to cool off in the water; even just dipping their paws in will help.
5. Run on grass wherever you can, pavements get very hot and can burn your dog’s paws.
6. Consider run/walking. This will give your dog a little break to cool down.

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Two people wearing their green Dog Jog running number are sitting on the ground holding their dog who is wearing a Dog Jog medal.
Virtual Running Benefits

Virtual Running Benefits

The period of lockdown resulting from the pandemic has changed the look and feel of many parts of our day to day life, including hobbies, activities and so much more.

This is also true for running, where many large events have opted to go virtual instead of being delivered in person.

But running virtually can be a great thing, allowing runners a tangible goal during an uncertain time – as well as grabbing some goodies along the way!

We’ve put together our list of the top 4 benefits of running virtually.

1. New Motivation

Let’s face it; motivation during the past 12 months has been harder to come by than usual. Not knowing what the future holds has had a real impact on our way of living, socialising, exercising – everything.

So having a virtual event to look forward to can be hugely important to your motivation levels. Being able to set a goal and follow a training schedule gives you something to aim for and can help create good habits, even after the event is over. Virtual running actually produces two really important aspects for effective behavioural change – accountability and incentive.

2. You’re in Charge

One of the best things about a virtual event – you’re in charge! You get to decide what your event day run looks and feels like. Do you want to breathe in nature? Go for it. Want to jog around your local park 10 times? Why not. Want to run laps around your garden? Be our guest. The only thing you need to worry about is completing the distance of your chosen event, the rest is up to you.

3. Community Feeling

Even though we won’t be together in person, that doesn’t we won’t be together in spirit! Unfortunately, guidelines have dictated over the last 12 years that crowds should be avoided. So when else will you be able to join other like-minded runners, all trying to achieve a similar goal?! As soon as you put your race number on and head out the front door on your event day, you join the #bigfunrun family and become part of something much bigger.

4. Swag

If we’re being honest with ourselves, one of the best things about running an event is the kit you receive afterwards. If you don’t Instagram the medal once you’re finished, did you even run the race?!

But completing a virtual run is a huge accomplishment in itself, and you deserve to have that achievement commemorated with some great goodies.

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Healthy Snack Options

HEALTHY SNACK OPTIONS

It’s a strange time, and being asked to vastly reduce our time outside has meant that many of us are spending far more time at home than we’re used to.

For some, being at home all day makes little difference to the daily routine, but for others, it can lead to an increased urge to snack.

So to help out, we’ve put together a list of guilt-free, healthy snacks that can actually boost your energy and improve your running performance!

1) Bananas This is an obvious one. Bananas are quick and easy to eat whilst simultaneously being a great source of potassium, boosting muscle function. They’re full of good carbs and are beneficial to the body before, during or after a run.

2) Popcorn Corn kernels are whole grain, making them nutritionally similar to whole wheat bread or brown rice. So as long as you’re not covering your popcorn in butter, sugar or salt, it’s a low calorie and highly filling snack!

3) Carrots & Hummus Carrots are another snack that are low in calories but filling. They’re a good source of potassium and fibre to the body, which helps slow down the digestive system and give the body a steadier supply of nutrients. Why not make your carrots a bit more interesting and pair with hummus? Hummus provides runners with iron and protein, which is essential for the body.

4) Cottage Cheese Cottage cheese is absolutely packed with protein, which helps runners by boosting muscle rebuilding and repair. It’s also a good source of calcium, which can help reduce the chances of bone injury.

5) Dates Dates are a common snack for runners. They’re naturally very sweet and like the other snacks on the list, provide a lot of carbohydrates and protein with relatively low calories. Dates pair well with nuts, which are another good source of protein.

6) Hard-Boiled Eggs Eggs are incredibly nutritional, and provide high amounts of protein, riboflavin and biotin. They’re very easy to make in bulk and serve as a highly nutritious meal on the go.

Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash

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Smoothie Recipes for Runners

Smoothie Recipes for Runners

There’s nothing worse than running on an empty stomach. Not having the energy to fuel the performance you’re capable of can be frustrating and ultimately demoralising for runners. Smoothies are a really effective and healthy way to increase your energy levels and can boost recovery post-run. 

Here are our top 5 recipes.

1) Banana Smoothie

– 1 cup of milk (whatever kind is your preference)
– 1 large banana
– 1 tablespoon of peanut/almond butter
– ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

This is a really easy and quick one, simply pop all the ingredients into your blender and then blitz until you get a consistency you’re happy with. Bananas are perfect for an active lifestyle, they’re quick and easy to eat, and they provide energy through their healthy carbohydrates and potassium. This helps control muscle contractions during activity and also aids recovery by restoring electrolyte balance post-activity.

2) Green Smoothie

– 1 cup of almond milk
– 1 apple
– 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
– 1 tablespoon of peanut/almond butter
– 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

If you can see past the colour it turns your smoothie, spinach is a great ingredient. It’s low in calories, but high in fiber, iron, zinc, folate, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. The nitric oxide reduces the amount of oxygen muscles require during activity, making running easier and reducing the chance of injury. Just 2 small handfuls in your smoothie will provide a huge amount of nutrional benefit! Blitz all the ingredients together and pop in a scoop of protein if desired.

3) Blueberry Smoothie

– 1 cup of milk
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup blackberries
– 1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt 
– 1 large banana
– 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Blueberries are incredibly good for you. They are very low in calories but high in nutrients. They’re packed with antioxidants, which protect your body from unstable molecules that can damage your cells and contribute to aging and diseases. Adding the yoghurt into this recipe is not only delicious but is a good source of protein and calcium. Again just pop in to the blender and blitz until its smooth.

4) Tropical Smoothie

– 1 cup of milk
– ¼ cup of Greek yoghurt
– 1 large banana
– 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
– 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
– 1 teaspoon dessicated coconut (optional)
– 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Pineapples are packed with immune-boosting nutrients and enhance heart health by dissolving artery plaque. They’re great to eat post activity as they reduce the time it takes to recover from exercise due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Mango is full of fiber and antioxidants making this smoothie packed with nutrition and perfect for a runner pre or post run. Put the ingredients in the blender and blend till its done. Add the coconut and/or honey if you like your smoothies a little bit sweeter.

5) Avocado Smoothie

– 1 cup of almond milk
– 1 ripe avocado
– 1 cup greek yoghurt
– 1 kiwi

Avocado is full of healthy fats. This helps to fill you up, meaning a single avocado can reduce the desire to overeat or snack later in the day. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, making them a great source of energy for longer exercise sessions. A whole avocado contains around 230 calories – providing 3g of protein and 9g of fibre, which ensures high energy levels and stabilised blood sugar.

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Taking Care of your Mental Health and Wellbeing

Taking Care of your Mental Health and Wellbeing

In times like this, being asked to stay at home and avoid other people can be daunting and it might feel quite difficult to manage your mental health and wellbeing.  

It is going to feel like a difficult time and will feel harder than usual to look after yourself, but we have put together a few ideas that may help:

1.    Create a Regular Routine – Write out a schedule or plan to follow which you can easily access and see every day. Try to follow your usual routine as much as possible. Get up early, continue with your normal morning routine and go to sleep at your usual time.

2.     Plan for Working at Home – If you can, set up a workspace with everything you need and take regular breaks in a different area of your home for a change of scene.

3.     Keep Busy – Try and find ways to spend your time. Have that clear out that you’ve been putting off for months or a spring clean to organise your belongings. You could also use this time to contact loved ones who you’ve been meaning to catch up.

4.     Keep Active – Try to include exercise into your daily routine. Many of us don’t have equipment at home but why not get creative and find things you could use as alternatives? There are also lots of resources online with exercise workouts you can follow.

5.     Coping with Anxiety and Claustrophobia – Try and find safe zones in your homes and work on breathing exercises. Open your windows, sit in your garden, try and get some fresh air. Regularly change the rooms you’re spending time in. 

If you’re looking for more advice on how to take care of your mental health and wellbeing during this time there are a number of charities that are offering advice at this time:

SAMH – https://www.samh.org.uk/about-mental-health/self-help-and-wellbeing/coronavirus-and-your-mental-wellbeing

MIND – https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/#collapse816a3

Young Minds – https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/youngminds-publishes-advice-for-young-people-and-parents-on-mental-health-impact-of-coronavirus/

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Samantha and Savannah – Blog 1

Samantha and Savannah – Blog 1

Hi everyone!! My name is Sam, this is my best friend Savannah and we will be running Dog Jog Southampton on 18th of August. Savannah is an Italian greyhound who is nearly two years old and we do everything together, so when the opportunity arose for us to do Dog Jog again we jumped at the chance! We did Dog Jog for the first time in 2018 and ran for cancer research in memory of my Uncle Tom (Where we raised £300!!) But unfortunately it was a very hot year so not all dogs were able to attend for their own safety but after careful thought for Savannah’s welfare and doing everything we could to make sure she was cool enough and safe, we decided to take her to join in the fun. And she loved it!! Savannah has a classic Italian greyhound personality wise as she can be quite timid and wary of new people and dogs – but as long as she’s with us she’s happy, just needing a fair amount of reassurance! We have just rescued another Italian greyhound called Jazz who is 9 months old who, along with my husband Simon, will be joining us in our run! Although we may switch and swap dogs on our way round, we’re very excited to exercise and participate as a family. Now you may have guessed that I’m really passionate about my dogs and spending time with them which is why I love Dog Jog! It is so so important for us to spend time with our dogs bonding with them, I believe Dog Jog is perfect opportunity. You get to train together, keep healthy together and then just have a fun day together meeting other dogs and likeminded people who are as crazy as their dogs as you are! Obviously my dogs health is my main priority. If Savannah wants to walk, we’ll walk, if Savannah wants to be carried, I’ll carry her! I would never make her or Jazz do anything she didn’t want to or that made her uncomfortable, but as a sighthound running is her favourite thing, so she doesn’t tend to mind!
In terms of training we have just been attempting to go on longer walks to start with and will run up and down the park close to our house. Training has definitely been more hard on me as I find running rather tricky and Savannah has definitely been leaving me in the dust! But we’re just working on getting more laps in and running as much as we can instead of walking. We’re hoping we can run a fair portion of the DogJog but obviously Savannah and her health and well-being will come first when it comes to that. We’re so excited to get to the day and to meet and spend time with all these lovely people and their wonderful dogs! If you want to stay updated with us our Instagram is @Sister.iggies.ig where we post updates of how things are going! Excited to give you another update soon!! Sam and Savvy xxx
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Dog Jog
Mental Health Benefits of Running

Mental Health Benefits of Running

Apart from the obvious health benefits that running or jogging can give you, it can provide many psychological advantages too. No matter your circumstance, running can help ease your mind and get you back on the right track. Here are some positive changes that running can bring to you:

1. STRESS RELIEVER
 
Whatever you are stressing about, getting active can significantly reduce this. Lacing up your trainers can help with relaxation, anxiety and negative thinking cycles. Running can help your body control stress and deal with existing mental tension. Long distance runs can help you solve problems that have been nagging you. Whilst shorter speed runs can reduce aggression and tension. Make running your new friend.

2. YOUR NEW SLEEPING PILL
 
Nobody wants to be tossing and turning in bed late at night. Indulging in physical exercise, whether that is running or another form, can be your new way of counting sheep at night. Moderate exercise can also significantly improve the sleep of insomnia sufferers.

3. DECREASES DEPRESSION
 
Running can be a fantastic way of combatting that sluggish and withdrawn feeling that is associated with depression. Regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression, and it’s especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression. Running can take your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety.

4. SELF-ESTEEM BOOST
 
If you’re suffering from low self-esteem in adulthood, go for a run and watch your confidence soar. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins, natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being. Exercising in the great outdoors can also result in lowered blood pressure and increased self-esteem. Get your running shoes on and watch your confidece soar.

5. INCREASED CREATIVITY
 
An envigorating run can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards. Next time you find yourself staring at a blank page waiting for a genius idea to pop into your head, get those legs moving and refresh your body and brain at the same time by going on a jog.

So the next time you’re having a bad day or you want that extra hour in bed, remember all the benefits your body will enjoy from getting active.

Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 116 123.
CALM, an anonymous helpline for men is open 7 days a week, 5pm to midnight. 0800 58 58 58.

It’s okay not to be okay. Let’s keep talking.

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Five Reasons Spring Gets Our Tails Wagging

FIVE REASONS SPRING GETS OUR TAILS WAGGING


Brighter days, warmer weather and frolicking with our favourite four-legged friends all mean one thing – spring has arrived! What does this mean for us Dog Joggers? Here are five reasons spring gets our tails wagging…

    1. Calm after the storm

A wise man once said: “You never appreciate Spring until you’ve been through a tough winter.” – and it’s the months of battling inclement conditions and being cooped up indoors more that makes the longer days and lighter nights all the more sweet for us when they finally come round.

    1. Combine walkies with playtime

This is a great time to dust away those cobwebs and for you both to get more active on a daily basis. Why not begin taking longer walks or integrating some jogging when playing catch and watch your fitness gradually move to the next level?

When starting to take longer walks or jogs with your dog remember to build up both of your exercise routines gradually as like us our four-legged friends may need to take it a little bit easier initially and not do too much too soon.

    1. Grace the great outdoors

While treadmills make a great alternative to outdoor jogging for us humans when winter really bites, there’s no substitute for getting out in the great outdoors. The changing of the seasons is a great time to get out in the fresh spring air and explore new routes around your local area with your canine chum!

    1. Time to Train

Spring marks the start of the events calendar. So whether you’ve got a 5k or other challenge event planned that you are looking ahead to; it’s the perfect time to kick start some training and in no time you will be harvesting the fruits of your labour, scooping up some well deserved medals and most importantly some memories that will last a lifetime!

    1. Flower like a spring pansy

It’s time for you to come into your own, just like a spring flower. Once you’ve been motivated to get moving and your confidence grows, be prepared to blossom with pride at your progress.

If you’re looking to get more active with your dog in 2018, Dog Jog is a brilliant opportunity to accomplish your personal goals with your four-legged friend by your side as well as meeting like-minded dog owners in your local area. Find your local event at www.dogjog.co.uk.

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Festive Season Running Tips

FESTIVE SEASON RUNNING TIPS

As the calendar fills up with work parties and social gatherings, and the kitchen cupboard fills up with mince pies and yule logs this festive season, you’d be forgiven for over-indulging and missing out on some running! But if you’re feeling extra determined this year, we’ve got some top tips to help you keep fit this Christmas!

Become an early riser

If your calendar is chock-a-block with parties, gatherings and family reunions, why not set an alarm and get your run done nice and early? It’s a great feeling having it under your belt and knowing the rest of the day is yours to relax! Will it be cold? Probably – but winter mornings can also be pretty beautiful things to behold.

Don’t be self-righteous

You might be really enjoying the feeling of keeping fit while family members pour prosecco onto their cornflakes, but don’t go gloating! An endorphin-charged runner sitting on their high-horse is sure to ruffle some turkey feathers.

Get into the spirit

There are plenty of festive fun runs coming up in the next few weeks, so why not get yourself entered into one? Get some friends together, don your Santa hats and reindeer antlers and have a laugh with it!

Don’t expect any PBs

A few cheeky treats are inevitable and Christmas food is certainly more conducive to steady running than a max out effort! So don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just go out and enjoy running for the sake of running!

Most importantly… Merry Christmas and enjoy!

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Jo and Justin Ready to Let Their Rescue Pup Off The Leash

Jo and Justin Ready to Let Their Rescue Pup Off The Leash

Jo Ashbridge is taking part in Dog Jog Victoria Park, alongside her partner Justin and their 11 month old Border terrier, Molly, to raise money for Chilterns Dog Rescue Society.

They were matched with their “little rocket” nine months ago and there have been positive changes for both Molly and her adopted parents ever since.

“Our lives have certainly changed. We need to think about Molly in everything we do. Molly brings great joy into our lives. She has taught us to be patient and kind. We’re fit and healthy too – we’ve never walked so much!” Jo told us.

Jo and Justin are keen runners, having run several marathons and half marathons. They’re trying to keep Molly as active and healthy as possible by taking her with them whenever they can.

“We wanted to rescue a pup that could join us, and potentially encourage us to go a little faster! Molly needs at least one hour of quality exercise every day. As she’s still growing we’re not embarking on any ultramarathons any time soon, but we have set her a 5km Dog Jog challenge around Victoria Park, London on 28th October.”

Having such a positive experience with Chilterns Dog Rescue Society, Jo wanted to give something back to them. She decided to take part in Dog Jog to raise money and awareness for her chosen charity.

“They helped us through the adoption process, providing information and support. We’re certainly a member of their extended family and they’re always keen to hear updates about Molly’s progress.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, we’d recommend considering adoption from a reputable shelter like CDRS”

Chilterns Dog Rescue Society is a rescue centre, based in Chivery, that refuse to have dogs put down. They also provide extensive veterinary care and training for dogs that need it.

Dog Jog Victoria Park takes place on Sunday 28th October at Victoria Park and provides a brilliant opportunity for runners to accomplish their personal goals with their dogs; whether raising money for a worthwhile cause or simply keeping fit.

Dog Jogs are all about a friendly, relaxed and fun atmosphere for everyone involved with no time limits or pressure. Each participant will receive a Doggy Bag jam-packed with goodies for both runner and dog to enjoy once they cross the finish line. There’s no other event like it in the UK.

The events are also a great way for participants to raise money for a charity they really care about, whether it be a dog-related charity or otherwise.

To read more about Jo’s story and donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/eastendmolly-dogjog2018

Or visit https://www.eastendmolly.uk/

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