In order to find and keep the motivation to exercise more, eat better and lose weight, some people turn to a workout partner for help. Knowing that another person will keep them company during workouts and hold them accountable can be really useful. On the flip side, in order to exercise with another person usually involves a number of texts and emails to set up your workout schedule. Not only is this time consuming, but if your schedules don’t match up, it can be more frustrating than successful.
If you are fortunate enough to share your life and home with a dog, you have a built-in workout partner just waiting to get out and exercise with you. Check out the following tips on how you and your dog can lose weight and get healthy together.
Think beyond the walk around the block
While most dogs adore going for walks with you — and walking is a terrific way to get out and get active — you can also try other workouts with your pooch. If you enjoy running and your dog is young and fit enough for a good cardio workout, alter your walks with jogs. If you’re both new to running, make sure you build up to it so you don’t over do it or overexercise your pup. It’s also important to maintain safety, so make sure you keep your dog on a leash. If your pup is prone to pulling, consider a comfortable harness that will prevent him from getting too far ahead of you. You can also try cycling with him by your side; this is especially great for extremely active dogs who need a lot of exercise to stay calm. To keep both hands on the handlebars and not the leash, you can buy the Walky Dog Exerciser; it attaches to your bike easily and keeps your dog running safely next to you. As Barkpost notes, since most dogs love swimming, you can also exercise in the backyard pool together — swim laps or work with a paddle board while your pooch dog paddles around or fetches floating balls. Just make sure yours knows how to swim and is able to get out of the pool on his own.
Keep tabs on your workouts
To keep track of your combined exercises, you can treat yourself and your furry friend to a fitness wearable. Monitor your pup’s level of exercise with the FitBark, and arm yourself with the Apple Watch Sport. With the smartwatch, you can run an app called Workout, which lets you choose your favorite workouts, get reminders about your milestones as you exercise and see a detailed summary of what you did.
Be inspired to eat better
Your four-legged friend can also help inspire you to eat more healthily. For example, most dogs love veggies like green beans, carrots and pumpkin puree. As you shop for these healthy treats, throw some extra carrots and beans in the cart for you and stock up on other fruits and veggies that you like. Also, instead of buying your pup store-bought treats that often contain artificial colors and unhealthy oils, consider making him a batch of homemade treats. There are plenty of dog treat recipes available online, so find one that sounds good to you. While you are at it, search for healthy forms of your favorite treats, too.