Exercising with your pet

Exercising with your pet

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Do you want to get fit with your pet after a long, lazy winter? Tim Falk finds out how.

Regardless of whether you have two legs or four, it can be pretty easy to stack on a couple of extra kilos over winter. When the weather outside feels colder than a winter’s morning in Antarctica, it can be hard to find the motivation to get up off the lounge and stay active with your pet.

So when winter comes to an end and we start to venture outside a little more, we and our furry friends often tend to be a little out of shape. But the warmer weather offers the perfect incentive to start getting active once again with your pooch by your side, so let’s look at how you can start the journey towards your fitness goals.

The importance of exercise
Along with the right diet, exercise is crucial for preventing obesity in pets. In fact, regular exercise is just as important for our pets, both physically and mentally, as it is for us. “Pets that don’t get adequate exercise also tend to lack mental stimulation. They are physically unhealthy and they are bored,” explains veterinarian Dr Joanna Paul from creatureclinic.com. “They are then likely to develop other unwanted habits tocompensate. Dogs might bark and dig, while cats will be more likely to scratch up the furniture or even urinate outside of the litter tray because exercise and environmental enrichment are vital for mental wellbeing.”

Active activities to help get your pet exercising
Anna from BlockFIT loves incorporating her two doggies into her fitness regime. Check out Anna’s top three tips on how to get active after the lazy winter:

  1. Take your fur baby for a walk or run with you next time you head out the door. “They’ll love the extra exercise and you’ll get a chance to
    add resistance to your exercise as they tug at their lead,” she says. “This is also a great chance to explore your neighbourhood and to connect with your local area and establish links and friendships within the community.”
  2. Integrate your best friend into your fitness routine. “This can be through a game of tug of war, playing fetch or Frisbee throwing. You
    can even try beach sprints or intervals of power walking and running in your next outdoor session together,” Anna says.
  3. “If you want to take it to the next level, try a yoga dogs’ class. This involves performing yoga postures, gentle stretching and meditation with your furry friends,” Anna explains. With a slow and steady approach and a commitment to staying active, you and your pet will be as fit as fiddles and full of energy before you know it.

This article was originally published in PETS Magazine issue 60. For more pawsome advice and care, subscribe to our magazine here

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