Pets and fitness – some fun ideas

Hello Again, Pet People!

In my last post on  exercising with your pets I spoke about how important it was to help our pets stay (or become) healthy.  It should come as no surprise that exercising with your pet can improve your well-being as well.
Studies have shown that with proper exercise, stress levels decrease, appetite improves and is more readily regulated, and sleep becomes more consistent and restful.

Not bad just for having some fun.
So, today I’d like to offer some references to videos and sites where you can see some great ideas on how to exercise with your pets. By the way, I won’t swipe other people’s hard work which is why I’m redirecting you right to their sites, but don’t forget to come back here too.
 [Please note that I am neither endorsing, nor objecting to, any of the products you might find at these sites; I’m merely suggesting that they have exercise ideas you might consider]

As I see with my own clients, there are athletes and weekend warriors and “just plain folk” in the animal world as well so here’s one for the SERIOUS pet athletes out there – playing flyball which you can check out here: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X64NC0oQdPI

 So you and your best four-legged Bud are more of the casual Frisbee type? Well, for many of you it’s a a natural and has been part of your regular playtime for years. For the rest of you sitting there looking at your pup and remembering the last time you tried this to no avail, I offer this great site where you can learn how to play Frisbee with your dog in a few simple lessons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEbODCH8MJk&feature=related

 Then there’s always the Pet-to-Pet workouts: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuAWEZxvuHI 

I suppose if you’ve always loved treadmills for yourself you could consider this:
 http://www.jogadog.com/index.html 

But personally that makes me kinda sad, so I’d opt for something along these lines for ideas: 
http://www.hillspet.com/weight-management/pet-exercise.html

Just like their people, pets may need to be coaxed to play more energetically, so search for the right environment, the right toy, the right playmates to excite and interest your pet. If your dog is shy or aggressive you might not be too happy going to the local dog park and expecting your pup to have a great time. You might find that a quieter environment with fewer distractions works better. If your pet has lazed around for months or years, getting out for a long hike or run may turn into a very long walk back carrying a recalcitrant/exhausted buddy! 
So plan accordingly and try different things – be your pet’s trainer and coach.

In my next post on exercise and pets we’ll be looking at keeping your pet safe during exercise and play, so please be sure to come back for more.

Have a great day with your pet today and don’t forget a healthy treat…for your pet, that is…Oh, OK, for you too…good person! Yes, you are!

About zolfw

I am an avid trail runner and fitness enthusiast, an accomplished cook, a lover of cinema and literature (although I read everything from graphic novels to professional psychology tomes, neither extreme being literature in the strict sense) . I am a retired Health and Wellness Coach. I am a husband, father, grandfather, and uncle.
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