What better way to get fit and stay trim than with the help and support of your beloved dog. What makes this most appealing is the fact; your dog doesn’t care what you look like and won’t ask how much you weigh?!
Whether you’re looking to lose weight or get fit the answer will always be a healthy balanced diet and exercise. This is true for both humans and especially canines who can easily overeat and become less active through the winter months.
As you begin your fitness regime, keep these tips in mind:
- Start slowly and build up gradually
- Listen to your body and make sure your dog is happy
- Don’t set goals/targets too high
- Take time to warm up and cool down
Walk-Walk and More Walk
The best way to start is by increasing the length of time your daily walk takes, try increasing by an extra 5 minutes a day. Once you’ve increased this to an extra 30 minutes a day then try to change your route to include slight hill work. Walking up hills not only helps you to lose weight it also helps tone and strengthens muscles. Basically, it’s a win-win for you and your dog!
Once you’ve increased your stamina you can then try adding some short sprints into your daily outing. Try sprinting for 20 seconds and build up to an acceptable pace for both you and your dog.
Try to vary what you do to make it more fun for both you and your dog, this way it will help you stay motivated. There are loads of games you can play that will help you both to get fit and stay trim.
Here are our 4 favourite games we play with our dogs.
Playing with a Frisbee, don’t just stand in one spot and let your dog do all the work. Try throwing the Frisbee and then run to a different place so you and your dog are both moving. This game is sure to please your dog unless you have one that won’t fetch. Don’t worry if that’s the case you can always throw the Frisbee and then run to fetch it yourself! Just make sure no one’s watching!!!
Play football, now you don’t need to be a professional footballer to play with your dog. They honestly don’t care if it takes two attempts for you to kick the ball or the fact you accidentally kicked it in the wrong direction. Dogs love to chase and a moving football is a lot of fun, you will also be surprised how much your legs will work (ache) during this activity.
Play tug of war, this has to be a canines favourite game and by playing tug with your dog it will help build strength and stamina for both of you. Just make sure not to be too overzealous that their teeth get hurt or your back gets pulled!
Doga, yes this actually does exist; this is a type of yoga that both you and your dog can do. Don’t be upset if your dog is better than you this is down to the fact dogs naturally have the instinct to stretch. Doga is a great way to exercise especially if your dog is out of shape or overweight. It’s a fun and gentle form of exercise and also a fantastic way to bond with your dog.