The new year has begun and so have resolutions to get healthy and be more active. Today we are going to share 10 exercises you can do with your pet to keep you on track to meet your goals! Focusing on improving your health is a wonderful goal and if you have a special pet in your life you want them to be happy and healthy too.
Take Your Pet on a Walk or Trail Run The most common and easiest way to get active with your pet is to start with taking a nice walk together. Bring a leash and lace up your tennis shoes. For those just starting out don't worry about your pace. Just start. Every single step is leading you in the right direction. Your pet will love getting of the house with you to explore. Once you have a regular walking routine, you can increase the calorie burn by alternating with trail runs. This exercise is simple but effective. Doctors recommend walking at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes to maintain cardiovascular health. Plus, your pet will enjoy the benefits of the exercise as well.
Try Yoga With Your Pet A fun alternative to traditional exercise with your pet is yoga. Dogs, cats, and even goats are commonly used in yoga routines! Yoga is an excellent way to calm stress while burning calories. There are plenty of free yoga workouts on YouTube and routine print outs on Pinterest. A simple search on either site will give you tons of results to try out. As with any new routine, start with the basics and build up to more complex moves as you are comfortable. You could also search to see if there are group classes available in your area if you would like to share your experience with others and give your pet some play time with new pals.
Play Fetch Together Everyone knows playing fetch is a favorite activity for dogs of all kinds. Throw almost anything from a simple stick, a ball, or even a favorite toy and have your dog go retrieve it. This is a great bonding exercise as well.
Go for a Swim If you have a pool or access to one, going for a swim especially as things heat up in the summer can be a great way to cool off and get moving at the same time. Some pets are turned off by water but others love it. If you find that your pet enjoys the water, swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise that can also help with flexibility and is very low impact for joints so it can be enjoyed at any age.
Throw a Frisbee in the Park or Your Back Yard Throwing a frisbee is another take on traditional fetch. If you have a back yard that is large enough it can be integrated into a regular routine easily. If you don't have a large space or if you just want a change of scenery and a nice reason to get out of the house - the park is an excellent choice for throwing a frisbee together.
Try an Obstacle Course Dogs, cats, and even horses can be trained to complete obstacle courses. This could be a really fun and engaging activity for you both. As the trainer you can encourage them with treats and positive reinforcements. By going through the obstacles first and having them follow you to show them the way. There is even an opportunity for competitions in some areas if you feel up to a real challenge and want to show off your pets skills.
Go Kayaking & Bring Your Pet Along for the Ride If you have a kayak or are near a rental location this is a great option for some fun active time outdoors. Kayaking is a great exercise for you and a fun experience for pet to join in on. They can rest comfortably in the other seat while you steer and take in the new sights and fresh air. This is also a great option if you love the water and your pet doesn't like swimming. Paddle boarding is another alternative to consider for those who want more of a challenge that engages the lower body as well.
Go Rollerblading For a Fun Spin on Your Walking Time Rollerblading is a great alternative to a traditional walk. It is more challenging and requires more stabilizing which engages your core muscles more. At a reasonable pace you can easily bring your dog along with a leash. Just be careful to make sure they are keeping pace with you and that you don't get too far ahead and end up pulling on them rather than guiding them along with you.
Climb Stairs Together Climbing stairs is an easy indoor or outdoor activity that you can use to add more activity in your day. Stair climbing is another great cardio option and is something that doesn't require any special equipment to do. Climbing engages your lower body muscles and can help burn calories and even lower cholesterol levels if you add it to your routine often.
Go for a Bike Ride Similar to the rollerblading idea, this is another way to get out and enjoy the outdoors if you want to change up your walking or running routine. Riding a bike has many benefits. It can increase cardiovascular health, improve muscle strength and flexibility, decrease stress and even help improve posture and coordination with regular use.
Do you have any special activities you do with your pet for exercise? If so, tell us about how you work out with your pet in the comments! We'd love to hear about it!