Include your dog in your New Year exercise plan

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It’s that time of year again – in magazines and on TV the latest diets and exercise guides fight for space with summer holiday promotions, compounding the slight feelings of guilt from over-indulgence during the holiday season.

If you’re like me, you’ll check out the local gyms online and work out exactly how much of what type of exercise you’ll do on what day. All that planning makes you feel pretty good! And then January 2nd rolls around (pun intended) and you remember how boring you found it on the treadmill or stationery bike, and the classes you quite fancied clash with the school run or work. Basically, life takes over.

But, if you have a dog I’m pretty sure (I certainly hope) you have some time in your schedule for Rover’s daily outings. And he’s the most reliable exercise partner you could wish for – or at least the most unlikely to decide that staying in bed is preferable to going for a walk.

As a fitness buddy he’s unbeatable: never late, doesn’t waste time changing into a different outfit, and always enthusiastic!

Your New Year exercise plan – woof, woof!

There’s so much you and your dog could be doing together, helping both of you lose that extra bit of weight, improve your health and, quite likely, see an added benefit in improved behaviour (the dog’s that is – but maybe yours as well!). Take a look:

  • Walking the dog for an hour – moderate pace = 225 calories
  • Throwing a ball vigorously for an hour = 180 calories
  • Dog grooming (standing up) for 30 minutes = 115 calories

Have you thought about doing a series of fitness exercises in the park with your dog? Well, the UK Kennel Club has! Or scootering, cycling, swimming (ok, maybe hold off on that one until summer) or, of course, lively sessions of doggy dancing? Maybe rounded off with a bit of doga (spell-checker doesn’t approve but you’re right, that is, of course, dogs doing yoga). We’ve fetched some exercise-inspiring clips for you. Or for more health and fitness tips from the experts, visit our friends at Astar Pets.

If you have a dog, and your plans for 2015 include getting fit, losing weight and having fun, your buddy and coach (he accepts no excuses for missing a session) is waiting by the door. And, if you don’t have your own dog, do contact your local dog rescue centre. Many need volunteers to walk the dogs.


Cartoon published by kind permission of Rupert Fawcett – for many more visit ‘Off the Leash’ on Facebook ‘Off the Leash’ books are available in our Amazon shop

 

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