Five ways you and your pet can shed those winter pounds together.
Humans aren’t the only ones who tend to pack on a few extra pounds during the winter months. Our pets are susceptible to some unwanted weight
gain as well. Being just ten percent overweight reduces your pet’s life span by one-third and predisposes him or her to a variety of disorders ranging from arthritis and diabetes to cancer and heart disease. The single most common cause of obesity in pets today is well-meaning owners who, in the spirit of giving, indulge their pets with oversized portions and excessive treats. As I’m sure you’re well aware, those weight ad up quickly. If only it would fall off as quickly as it goes on!
Here are five fun and effective spring training exercises to try with your pet!
5 spring training exercises to help you and your pet lose weight:
Plan a longer stroll in the morning or the evening outside of work hours. Walk briskly, jog for 30 seconds, and then return to a brisk walk. Repeat every 2–3 minutes. The intervals will raise both of your heart rates, thus boosting your metabolisms.
2. Fetch for abs
Lay down in a reclined position holding your dog’s favorite toy. As you come to a sitting position, throw the toy. Hold the sit-up position, keeping your abs engaged, until your pup returns the toy, then recline once again. Repeat as many times as your pooch is willing to play along.
This game can also be played with a feather stick for cats. Hold the feather stick while doing sit-ups, dangling the toy for your cat to bat at every time you come to a sitting position.
3. Squat jumps
The same idea as the previous exercise, except this time you will throw the toy for your dog as you squat down. Return to standing when he returns the toy, and repeat. This will challenge your dog’s recall skills – and your leg muscles!
4. Race to the finish
Take your dog out to the backyard or a nearby park. Throw a rope toy for your furry friend and run with him as he takes off to retrieve it. Race him to the toy, then play tug-o-war for a few seconds before tossing it again. This exercise allows both of you to increase your heart rate with a quick burst of cardio and engage core strength at the same time.
5. Stair running
This one’s a popular classic! If you don’t have stairs at home, consider using the bleachers at a nearby school. Keeping your dog leashed by your side, progress up and down the stairs several times. Jog, skip a step, jump to the next step, climb sideways; there are numerous variations that can be done to intensify this workout for yourself while still allowing your dog to engage his hips and strengthen his leg and back muscles.
When it comes to exercising, it can be difficult to stay motivated during the drab months of winter. But incorporating some spring training into your routine can help you and your dog get in shape before summer rolls around!
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Dr. Carol Osborne
is an author and world-renowned integrative veterinarian of twenty plus years. After graduating from the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine
, Dr. Carol completed a prestigious internship at the Columbus Zoo
. Shortly afterward, she launched a very successful private practice and became founder and director of the non-profit organization, the American Pet Institute
Dr. Carol offers traditional veterinary care for dogs and cats with a softer, natural touch. Her approach highlights the importance of nutrition and utilizing holistic avenues in combination with traditional treatments. Currently, she offers holistic therapies and traditional veterinary medical care for dogs and cats at the Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic
in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
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