We’ve written blogs about exercising your pet; how to keep them healthy while jogging around St. Petersburg, or cool gadgets that allow you to bike safely with your dog, but how many of us find that we can’t exercise on our own without a little, er, help, from our furry friends? My friend laughs that as soon as she rolls her yoga mat out her cat runs over to stretch on it. I myself can’t lie down to do crunches without Chloe, my little Chihuahua, lying on top of me- but resistance training is good, right?! Whether you’re planking with a cat on your back or doing the downward facing dog pose with your own dog right beside you, our pets love to be with us, no matter what. When we get down on their level they think we are there to play. So I thought, how could I actually exercise WITH my pet and engage her instead of her turning into simply a spectator? A quick search of the internet turned up these fun ideas:
1. Fetching Abs
Get your pet’s favorite fetch toy and lie down in sit-up position. Toss the toy as you do a sit-up, and (hopefully) retrieve it at the top of the next sit up. Chloe isn’t so good with the whole bringing-a-toy-back-after-you-toss-it thing, so I’ve modified it- this would work great with my friend’s cat too! I grab kibble, (the little sample bags I get at the dog food store work great for this as it’s not a flavor Chloe is used to, so she’s excited, and it’s small enough her to eat and be ready for the next one) and toss a piece as I come up. She runs after it and is back for the next sit up.
2. Squat Tug of War
With a rope toy, or your pet’s other favorite tug toy, stand with legs shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat position and offer your pet the toy, when he grabs on, rise into starting position, tugging gently up on the toy. Repeat.
3. Walking Lunges
If you have a smaller pet (not recommended with a Great Dane!), then equipped with treats or a favorite toy take a step out and lower into a lunge. Entice your pet to walk under the bridge you’ve created. When he’s cleared, lunge with next leg, weaving your pet in and out of your legs.
These are just some fun, creative ways to work out and play with your pet at the same time. As always, check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise, take care when playing with pets that they or you do not get tripped up or injured. Exercises are just a suggestion and should be researched for proper form, technique, etc. and should be performed at your own risk. I think that about covers all the disclaimers that come with any exercise plan. Do you have a favorite way to work out with your pet? Let us know!