Whipping winds, snow covered grass, and below freezing temps give us a handful of excuses to neglect our on-going efforts to make a lifestyle change and get into shape. Let’s face it, if we can’t get our butts into gear and get fit, what chance do our dogs have of avoiding those winter pounds?
The feeble attempts people make consist of gimmick diets that just leave you hungry and out of shape, overpriced home workout equipment, and inconsistent work out partners that are just as unmotivated to make a lifestyle change as you. So often, we overlook the one of the greatest workout tools we have; our canine companions.
Think of your dog as a slightly more able bodied friend that only wants to do whatever his hero (you) is doing. Therefore, if our winter routine is leaving work and going straight to freezer for a frozen pizza and then straight to the couch for The Bachelor or Sport Center updates, chances are your dog has a similar routine of unhealthy dog treats followed by some quality lounge time watching you veg out.
More than likely your dog doesn’t prefer this routine but has just become acclimated to a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, allow your dog’s boredom to contribute to the guilt factors that motivate you to stay active.
I’ve noticed that my dog thrives on routine. Because he is accustomed to an owner that can’t sit still, he has lived a highly active lifestyle for most of his life. When I come home after a long day and just want to sit around and stay out of the cold, he is quick to get my attention with those eager eyes and remind me that there isn’t time for laziness in our schedule. You can transform your dog into a great workout partner that holds you accountable as well if you turn healthy activities into a routine habit.
Get your dog involved in owner/ pet activities that offer health benefits for both of you. You can tailor the intensity of the activity according to both your exercise needs. A study from the University of Missouri revealed that people who walk their dogs for 20 minutes five times a week over the course of a year averagely lost 14 pounds. Imagine what that number could be if you substituted just two of those walks with a light jog!
Consult both your physician and your dog’s vet to further discuss what kind of fitness would be suitable for you and your workout partner. Check your local community web page to see what active dog events are offered near you. Browse our selection of cool dog fitness gear for an extra boost to get your dog out of the house.
Photo Courtesy of Firegrind