Are you and your canine guilty of overindulging this holiday season? Do you feel like you both packed on a few extra pounds? Why not start out 2021 by getting back in shape along with Fido. Here are a few fun exercises you and your canine can enjoy at home to rid those extra pounds together.
Struggling to zip your jeans? Has your canine lost his waist? As you run your hands along your dog’s rib cage, you should be able to easily feel but not see each rib and your canine should have a tucked up area in front of his hind legs…that’s your dogs’ waist. Remember, being just ten percent overweight reduces your pet’s life span by one-third and predisposes him or her to a variety of disorders ranging from arthritis and diabetes to cancer and heart disease.
The single most common cause of obesity in pets today is well-meaning owners who, in the spirit of giving, indulge their pets with oversized portions and excessive treats. As I’m sure you’re well aware, the pounds pack on quickly. If only they would fall off as quickly as they go on!
There are all kinds of ways pets and their people can get back into shape this new year. Whether you are confined to a high-rise apartment, have a condo in the city or a beach house by the ocean give these exercises a try and before long you and your canine will feel better, look great and enjoy a new pep to your step. Creative exercises, eating right, along with some reiki, canine massage and stretching will benefit you both.
Dr. Carol’s TIP: 1 hour of exercise increases your healthy lifespan by up to 2 years and your canines by 6 months!
Fun Exercises People & their Pets can Enjoy Together at Home
Intervals – Plan a longer stroll in the morning or the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. Walk briskly, jog for 30 seconds, and then return to a brisk walk. Repeat every 2-3 minutes. The intervals will raise both of your heart rates, thus boosting your metabolisms.
Fetch for Abs – Lay down in sit up position, holding your dog’s favorite toy. As you come to the sitting position, pretend to throw the toy. Repeat as many times as your pooch is willing to play along. (This game can also be played with a feather stick for cats).
Squat Jumps – Same idea as the previous exercise, except this time you will get your dog’s attention with the toy as you squat down. Return to standing and have your dog jump to retrieve the toy.
Race to the Finish – Take your dog out to the backyard or a nearby park. As your furry friend takes off to retrieve the ball you’ve just thrown, run with him. Race him to the toy, then tug-o-war for a few seconds before tossing it again. This exercise allows both of you to increase your heart rate with a quick burst of cardio and engage core strength at the same time.
Stair Running – Always a classic. If you don’t have stairs at home, consider bleachers at a nearby school, etc. Keeping your dog leashed by your side, progress up and down the stairs several times. Jog, skip a step, jump to the next step, climb sideways; there are numerous variations that can be done to intensify this work out for yourself while still allowing your dog to engage his hips and strengthen leg and back muscle.