It seems like every time we look at the news, there’s another article or feature about how the nation’s obesity levels are on the rise. While we’re not in quite as much trouble as our cousins across the pond we, as a nation, could most definitely be healthier. Statistics show that the number of obese people in the UK has increased by 92% since 1996 and that we are among the heaviest nations in Western Europe. As well as eschewing fatty, salty and sugary processed junk foods, we all need to spend less time seated and more time getting up and active. But if you’d rather do virtually anything than go to the gym this can feel like a real barrier to a healthy lifestyle.
The good news is that your four legged friend can help to make your workouts easier and more fun. If gym workouts are really not your thing, how about working up a sweat while making fond memories with your pal? If you want to keep yourself in shape while avoiding having a corpulent canine, try these fun ways to work out with your dog…
Body weight exercises
Before we were working out with weights, kettlebells, treadmills and rowing machines we were using our own body weight to stay in shape. And the traditional bodyweight exercises that have helped generations stay lean can be made much more fun with your canine companion. With a handful of treats and some positive reinforcement, workouts can become more fun than you ever imagined. Try;
- Russian twists with a treat in your hand. Your dog will bound over you to follow the treat which you can hand to them when the set is done.
- Go-fetch burpees. Throw your dog’s favourite toy as far as you can and try and do as many burpees as possible before they bring it back.
- Squat and throw. Drop as low as you can into a squat while holding a beloved toy in your hands. When reaching the top of your squat, jump in the air and throw the toy. Repeat for 10 reps.
Jogging is a great way to keep your heart healthy while burning the energy that we keep in storage as body fat. Maintain a nice easy pace and you can ensure that your little buddy also gets a great workout with you.
Most dogs love the water. But for health and safety reasons, they’re not allowed in public pools. We know, we know… It’s political correctness gone mad!
Still, if you have a clean body of water nearby that’s safe for swimming, it can be a great way to share a workout together.
Long walks to cool down
Remember that whatever form of exercise you choose, it’s important to cool down as your heart rate returns to normal to reduce the risk of stiff and sore muscles in the morning. A long walk with your dog is a great way to do this.
Enjoy a nutritious post-workout meal together
Of course, your workout is only ever as good as the nutrition you receive immediately after. This goes for both of you. Just as you wouldn’t binge on junk food after a vigorous workout, neither should your dog receive anything but the best. Make sure they enjoy the best wet dog food while you mix up your protein shake and post-workout treats of your own.
Thus, you can improve your fitness while enjoying some quality time with your best friend!