Obesity is on the rise – in both humans and dogs. If the thought of a workout doesn’t get you excited, perhaps you’ve been looking at it the wrong way. Tricia Montgomery, founder and president of K9 Fit Club, has some awesome ideas that will get you and your pooch of the couch and moving toward a fit future.
Exercise – you know it’s good for you. You know that it can give you energy, help you maintain a healthy weight, keep your muscles and joints flexible, help you live longer, and above all, make you feel better.
What about your best friend? Have you both succumbed to the lazy days of summer?
If you and your dog are finding a little more “pooch” where it shouldn’t be, not only are you not getting enough exercise, neither are they.
Without someone to lead the way, dogs can’t exercise or walk themselves; neither will they do a Puppy Plank or a Labby Leg Lift in their spare time. Parents have to be the motivator. But how?
The key to a great workout program is you; you have to make it enjoyable, for you both. Think about it – whatever your fitness level, if you are not having fun and enjoying the exercise, neither will your dog. Whether going through the motions, or lack of purpose, you have to have fun. Fun is where good habits begin.
Related: Furry Fitness: Fuzzy Buns Of Steel
Not only can exercise extend your best friend’s life; it may also expend some of their nervous energy and make them a little less likely to chew on the living room drapes. Getting in shape is a win-win for everyone, not just in terms of losing weight, or getting healthy – it is making a commitment to do exercise together
Dogs – They Get Us Moving
Just like their humans, different dogs need different amounts of exercise. Consult your veterinarian and family doctor before beginning any fitness program that is different from daily routine or normal activity to avoid injury. With a proper assessment for you both, you can embark on an exercise program that won’t seem “ruff” at all.
Just remember, like people who aren’t used to exercise, dogs should start off slow. And as we say at K9 Fit Club, a little bit of something is better than a whole bunch of nothing!
Related: Pumping Up With Your Dog At The Gym
Get Muttivated, Get Moving!
Here are just a few ideas to get you and your dog moving in the right direction:
Walking the Dog: Add an additional 15-minute walk in the morning and evening.Jog-Walk-Jog: Place short running distances between landmarks, such as a mailbox, street corner or block. Alternate between a brisk walk and a run, or a walk and a jog. Keep this up for 10-15 minutes, allowing for an increase of distance each week.Play Ball: Use your dog’s favorite toy and have an old-fashioned race. Throw the toy, and then race your dog to see who gets it first. More than likely, you won’t win. Reach down for additional strength training and stability, run back with your dog. Rule of paw: 10-15 minute workoutSpots Side Shuffles: Perform a side shuffle back and forth across the room. Have your dog move with you. Your dog should be in front of you and facing the direction you are moving. Have them turn to face the other direction when you reach the end of the room while you stay in the same position. Repeat 10 time both directionsFido Pushups: Have your dog to sit or lie down next to you while you perform pushups. Remember to keep your abs tight and head straight. Try to do a push up on your toes first then modify on your knees when needed. Do as many as you can to failure.Doggy Push Ups: Have your dog to do 5 doggy pushups. This exercise is performed by having your dog sit and lie down 5 times.Hill/Stair Climbs: Begin with small hills or stairs to build up your momentum and to gain strength. At the top turn around and go back down. A slow purposeful movement for stairs is better than running and skipping stairs to work on strength.High Paw: As you remain in a squat position, reach for one front paw and lift up to full extension. Show the dog with your hand where you want placement. Repeat other side.
Make the time to exercise with your dog. You will not only feel and look better; you will also reduce the risk of heart disease, lower your blood pressure, lessen your risk for allergies, and lower your level of stress. Not to mention adding a few more happy and healthy years to both of your lives!
So get up, get out, get MUTTivated, get moving and make a commitment for you and your best friend.