Though Santa Claus and a turkey are common symbols of the holiday season, these may not be quite the look we are going for! But between the parties, work, parties, family, parties, cocktails, oh, and did I mention parties, we can come up with quite a few excuses to pack on those extra pounds. And, as they saying goes, what is good for the goose is good for the gander, may not be good for our dogs. In the midst of our holiday festivities, we wind up overlooking our best friends.
Ready for some good news? Among a multitude of other healthy effects, exercise actually helps to control food cravings, de-stress the body, and increase calorie-burning. Exercising with our best friend? Even better, as they will never cancel on you!
Choose activities and exercises with your dog that move as many body parts as possible as possible. Think about lunges, squats, jumping jacks, jumps or sprints.
And….Just for you, and just in time for the holidays, here are some four simple exercises from the K9 Fit Club Don’t Sit Get Fit vault!
Pups Pushing Peeps
Jog backwards with your dog facing you.
This is a warm up drill. It will get your dog focused on what you are doing and ready to follow your lead.
Step 1: Start by getting your dog’s attention.
Step 2: Walk forward, keeping your dog in the heel position, with your dog’s ear next to your leg. If your dog wants to pull forward, say, “Heel!” and turn to the right, and continue walking in the new direction.
Step 3: When you reach a designated spot (cone, tree, end of the room), have your dog turn and face you as you say “Come!” and jog backward to starting point. Your dog should follow directly in front of you (facing each other) and shouldn’t pass you. This helps your dog work on staying engaged and keeping eye contact with you.
Step 4: Once at the start point again, repeat.
*Remember, “Heel” is only used when you want your dog to move beside you in heel position, with your dog’s ear next to your leg. Use “Come” in any other position, so your dog knows to follow you instead of standing next to you.
Sit & Stay Side Lunges
Right Side Lunge.
Step 1: Have your dog stand facing you.
Step 2: Keeping your left leg straight, step out to side with the right leg, bending your right knee.
Step 3: Holding the lunge, ask your dog to walk a few steps toward you.
Step 4: Step back to center, legs together.
Step 5: Do the same exercise on the left side.
Step 6: Repeat 10 times on each side.
Remember, your dog should walk side to side as you lunge.
Step 1: Ask your dog to sit or lay down next to you.
Step 2: Move into the push-up position. Make sure you have the leash held in both hands.
Step 3: Perform 10 push-ups, keeping your head up and in line with your spine and your abs pulled tight.
Step 4: Now it’s time for you pup to do push-ups! Ask your dog to move from a sit to a down, 3 to 5 times.
Remember to give lots of praise each time your dog follows your command!
Wagging Wall Sits
Step 1: Ask your dog to sit beside you.
Step 2: Place your back against the wall and slide down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Squeeze your gluts and abs as you press into the wall and hold.
Step 3: Ready to take it up a notch? If you have a large dog and you are ready for a challenge, ask your dog to put their front paws in your lap. This adds a decent amount of weight to your hold so be ready for it. If you have a small dog, hold your dog in your lap for extra resistance.
Keep in mind, during those holiday dinners and parties, stay on your feet helping in the kitchen (without eating as you’re helping), play a game of fetch with your dog, throw around the ball, get up, get out and get moving! Don’t give you and your pooch’s metabolism a chance to slow down. After those big meals and parties, go for a walk with the best friend. Remember, a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing!
As always, prior to beginning any exercise program for you or your dog, check with your doctor and your veterinarian.
As the number one human/canine fitness program in the U.S., here at K9 Fit Club, it is our business to people and their pooches healthy. Being healthy begins with a healthy weight for both of you. K9 Fit Cub believes that that a great fitness program and a smart and healthy weight program can help reduce the risk of future health problems.
Have a Blessed Holiday from your friends at K9 Fit Club.