One thing you’re probably hearing is complaints from friends, family, or coworkers about packing on some extra pounds over the holidays. Every other week there’s been a holiday party, office bash, or family gathering. Everywhere you look, something delicious is getting placed in front of you.
That’s why year after year, many people make the same New Year’s resolution: “I’m finally going to get fit!”
First of all, if this is you, good for you! Making a promise to yourself is the first step toward success.
Now you’re going to need a good plan and some support and, wouldn’t you know it, your special pup is going to come through in spades on this one!
Your pup offers you all sorts of opportunities for getting out and getting fit. Plus, they make great cheerleaders helping to keep you motivated through it all.
Need some ideas on what you can do together?
Here are 5 ways to get fit this year with your dog.
1. Take a long walk.
We here at Metro Mutts love filling in when you’re stuck at work, away for the day, or otherwise unavailable to take your precious pooch on a walk. If you’re looking to get fit with your furry best friend this year, however, you’re going to want to pick up that leash every now and again.
Most pups love taking long walks. Not only do they get some much-needed exercise and an outlet for all that pent-up pup energy, but they also get to explore all the sights, sounds, and, most importantly, smells of the neighborhood.
Plus, they get some quality time with their favorite person in the world– you!
Adding just thirty minutes of walking could burn as many as 150 calories. It also helps strengthen your bones and muscles to help support other fitness efforts like lifting weights or playing sports.
2. Take a hike!
A brisk walk through the neighborhood is great but if you’re looking to ramp up the incline and scope out some picturesque spots for some photo ops with your special canine companion, taking a hike is an excellent choice too.
Your dog will love to check out the scenery, especially if the trail is lush with flora and fauna, and while walking at a moderate pace on flat ground will burn around 300 calories per hour, a brisk hike can burn 400 calories or more.
You’re bound to shed unwanted weight by heading out on regular hikes, all while bonding with your special canine companion and reconnecting with nature too. Hiking makes a great workout, but don’t forget to stop and admire the view too!
3. Try trail running.
Trail running is a great way to up the ante as you start making headway on your fitness goals. Before going on a trail run with your dog, we recommend the following:
- Scope it out: Whether you want to walk the trail with your puppy pal first or try running it solo, it’s a great idea to get the lay of the land before you try tackling it full speed.
- Practice running: Trail running throws technical terrain your way, including uneven ground, rocks, roots, and more. Finding out Fido is a bona fide leash puller while trail running is a bad way to find that out! Practice on flat ground before going trail running.
- Visit the vet: You know how they always tell you to check with your doctor before starting an exercise regimen? The same is true for your dog! Check with your vet before you hit the trail to make sure it’s safe for them.
Once you check off these items, you should be good to go! Trail running torches up to 450 calories per hour, so hitting the trail regularly will help you get in great shape before long!
4. Go for a swim.
Swimming is one of the best things you can do for your fitness. It’s low impact, so it’ll feel great on achy joints if you’ve been plodding the pavement walking or jogging on sidewalks, and it burns a heck of a lot of calories. Just treading water for an hour burns around 200 calories, while an hour of actual swimming shaves off more than 500 calories!
Chances are your puppy pal won’t want to swim laps in the lap lane. Try finding a creek, lake, or dog-friendly beach instead. Together, you’ll be able to run, splash, swim, and play.
Of course, not all dogs love water. Some might give you a dirty look and politely decline the pool party invitation, and that’s your cue to be respectful of their preference. For those who do love taking a dip, it’s loads of fun and a great fitness-focused activity for both you and your canine companion.
5. Build an obstacle course.
Remember all those cool things you did as a kid in the school playground? We thought we were just playing, but it turns out that running, jumping, climbing, and crawling are all great ways to exercise.
Why not sprinkle a little bit of that old schoolyard fun into your fitness routine with your dog?
Put together an obstacle course in your backyard or at a nearby public park and move through the stations together. Your course might include:
- Weave poles
- Balance beams
- Tunnels to crawl through
- Short walls to climb over
The only limit to what your obstacle course includes is your own imagination. You may model your course after actual agility courses if you’re in need of inspiration, but it will be mostly geared toward your pup in that case.
For the best results, we recommend including stations and obstacles that provide a challenge for both of you. What better way to get fit while also having fun?
Let’s get it, furry fitness fam!
The big key to really getting fit with your furry best friend this year is consistency. Make a commitment to yourself, and to your best puppy pal, to do one or more of the activities above each week, weekend, or as your schedule allows.
Even if you’re stuck at work all day long, get up extra early and hit the pavement for a fitness-focused walk with your dog. They certainly won’t mind being up early to spend extra quality time!
And don’t forget to reserve a walk with Metro Mutts while you’re stuck at work!
Contact us anytime for more information.