Are you part of the 50% of people who have a fitness goal as one of their resolutions? Hopefully you’re still going strong, but statistics show that only 9-12% of people who make resolutions follow through with them. If you’ve decided that this is the year you’re going to put your physical health first and get into shape, here are some great ways to involve your pet in your new fitness routine.
Use Your Pet as an Accountability Buddy
Your pet is your partner, fur baby, bestie, confidant… but they can also be your accountability partner for your fitness goals. Start involving them in your new daily routine, even if it’s just an extra walk at the same time each day. Soon, your pet will be reminding you that it’s time for your morning walk and help inspire you to get moving.
Pets love routine. It’s a great way to help keep them calm and comfortable. By sticking to a predictable routine with your pet, they will stay excited and expectant, so when you aren’t inspired to get off that couch and pause your Netflix binge, your pet will be there with those adorable puppy-dog eyes, nagging you to get up and go!
@fluffywicketpuppyWhen it is -30°C outside and you dog still wants to go for a walk. I hate the cold.♬ original sound – Wicket Horrick
Take a Doggy Yoga Class
Don’t limit your fitness goals to just physical improvement, find some Zen with your pup thanks to dog yoga. Stretch your body, mind, and spirit with your furry best friend. Once you start, you’ll love the bonding with your pet, and will look forward to your yoga sessions. Plus, your pup will love the attention and physical exercise, so you may even notice behavioral improvements from your pooch!
Also called doga, this exercise is the perfect indoor option when you can’t make your walk due to weather. Plus, even if you can’t find a doga class near you, there are online tutorials that allow you and your pup to stretch in the privacy of your own living room.
Serve Up Some Fun
Are you into tennis or another sport? Practice your skills by incorporating sports drills into your game of fetch. Just make sure you have a “play” ball that is dedicated to your dog so they don’t get confused with your good balls. You can practice your tennis serves, baseball or softball swings, soccer kicks, or even volleyball serves. Your pup will love the game and you can work on your form at the same time.
Involve Your Pet in Some Ultimate Frisbee
This team sport is great for parties and families, and your flying disc loving pup will be thrilled to hit the park or your backyard for some fun. Learn the rules of the game or make up your own, but the goal is to get outside and play.
If you’re not interested in playing a formal game, or it’s just you and your pup, grab your disc and hit the park or beach. This is the perfect physical activity for you and your return-trained pooch. You’ll be surprised how tired you can get from a day of throwing and running with your dog.
Head to the Beach or Trail
Walking is a low-impact workout, and it’s something you can do easily with your pet. If you want to up your physical effort, try walking on a sandy beach or going for a hike on a trail. The terrain requires more effort, so you’ll get more bang for your workout buck. Plus, the scenery can’t be beat! There’s something about being out with your dog in nature that just makes you want to keep going, so it’s a great way to keep your fitness goals and shake up your usual walk with your dog.
Make a Splash with Your Pup
Not all dogs love water, but if your dog does, take them for a swim. Whether you live near (or own your own) dog-friendly swimming pool or have to head to a nearby lake or beach, swimming is a great way to get in some exercise. Adding the resistance of water is also a great way to increase the effectiveness of your workouts, so grab your pet’s favorite ball and play a game of fetch while you’re at it.
Get Jiggy with Your Pet
Are you looking for an indoor activity that you can do at home with your pup, but also get your groove going? Try teaching your pup to dance! The best part of this workout is that you don’t need any special equipment and you can get a short workout in whenever the mood strikes. Plus, you and your pup now have a great party trick to entertain friends and family. Dancing is not just good for your heart, but 30 minutes of dancing is as good as jogging when it comes to burning calories.
Train Your Dog in Agility
Agility is a dog sport open to all breeds, including mixed breeds, and involves your dog running through obstacle courses. Not only will competing keep you on a training schedule, but your dog will love the time bonding with you, so you’ll have two more reasons to keep up with the activity. While you’re learning, you and your dog will be running through the obstacles over and over, so you’ll get the physical benefits as much as your pup will. Plus, part of the competition is a speed trial, so you’ll be running around as fast as your dog to keep them going.
Agility training doesn’t just benefit you though, your dog will get in great shape too. Dogs benefit from training in general, so you’ll likely also notice your pup is better behaved and listens better in situations outside of the agility trials. Agility training can be a family event, so you’ll bond with friends and family, as well as your dog.
No matter how you decide to get into shape this year, involving your pet is something you won’t regret. Once you’re done with your workouts, you can snuggle up and relax knowing you’ve not only kept your fitness goals, but you’ve also spent quality time with your best friend. Now go grab an extra cookie for you and your pup; you’ve earned it!
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