Here at BarkPost, we know how important it is to keep healthy. But with 9 to 5’s and the business of daily life getting in the way, it can be hard to find the time to put the effort into getting in shape. But leading a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean having to overhaul your daily routine – small, everyday changes can make a huge difference. And your pooch could be the pawfect partner to get in shape with! Your very own tail-wagging cheerleader, there’s no chance of your pup bailing because he’s hungover or too tired to train! So check out these seven simple ways to get fit with your own Mr Muttivator.
1. Switch the yard for a walk around the block.
We all recognise the sound of scratching at the bedroom door in the morning when your pup is ready to be let outside. But instead of sleepily shuffling through the house to the yard as you wait for the kettle to boil, grab the lead and head out for a brisk lap around the block with your pooch instead. Not only will you and your dog get the benefit of the extra exercise, but you’ll come home feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead – no coffee needed!
2. Make sure all snacks are healthy.
With a healthy exercise regime there must also be a healthy diet. Ditch the sugary snacks in both you and your dog’s diets and opt for fresh vegetables and fruit as tasty pick-me-ups throughout the day. A lot of the pre-packaged dog snacks are just as bad for our pups as candy bars are for us. There are some foods that are toxic to your dog, so be sure that you’re familiar with what to avoid before making a change their diet!
3. Amp up your daily walk.
Walking is one of the most common ways that dog owners and their furry friends stay fit. But adding a bit more energy to your walk can boost you and your pet’s exercise intake without taking any extra time out of your day. Try switching your walk to a run when you’re half way home, or turn your stroll in the park into a steady jog. Adding in a game of fetch will get your pooch’s heart pumping as he runs back and forth, and the repeated throwing will give your upper arms a work out, too. Remember, it’s important to build up both of your stamina levels, so start slow and then increase the pace at your own speed.
4. Create an at-home agility course.
Your pooch is sure to love running at platforms, tunnels and weave poles in your back yard. Moving quickly and precisely while leading your hound through the course will prove a good workout for both human and canine. Plus, it’s the perfect way to relive your childhood as you have a go at hopping, skipping and jumping through a playground of obstacles.
5. Get off the sofa and play!
Simply playing with your dog can have big health benefits for you both. Why not take a few minutes away from the TV each evening to roll around and have fun with your pup? Try out a game of tug of war or chase in the yard to get you moving. It’s also a great stress reliever after getting home from a tough day at work.
6. Take up a doggy health class.
Bored of your weekly gym session? Why not shake things up and include your dog in your training session by trying something you can both enjoy. Bringing a whole new meaning to the term Downward-facing Dog, Doga (dog yoga) is great for improving strength and flexibility in both owners and pets. Surprisingly, dogs practice yoga instinctively and can really show you a thing or two when it comes to sun salutations! If that’s not really your thing, you can also check out your local running club as many accept furry members.
7. Go on a group dog walk with pals.
With the weather getting warmer, we can’t wait to spend our weekends chilling out in the sun with friends. But instead of hitting the beach and sunbathing, why not gather a few canine-loving buddies and head out for a walk. You could even treat yourselves to dog-friendly pub stop-off on the way home. Pawfect!