Some fitness partners flake out, miss workouts, or make excuses. But here’s a partner that won’t: your dog.?And it’s about time: More than 52 percent of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s 2012 National Pet Obesity Survey. Compare that to the stats for their owners: About one-third of Americans are obese, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control. You can exercise with your dog and kill two bird with one stone.
Here is a circuit you can do with your dog beyond the normal walking and running:
1.?Tell your dog to sit. Then face him with your feet together. Step back with one foot so that your front leg is bent at a 90-degree angle with your knee directly above your ankle. At the bottom of each lunge, ask your dog for his paw to “shake.” Release the dog’s paw as you stand to return to your starting position. Repeat on the other side, and ask your dog for his other paw. Repeat for 20 reps.?NOTE: If your dog doesn’t know how to “shake”–or won’t do it 20 times–pat him on the head instead
2.?Holding the leash so your dog moves with you, perform a side shuffle across the room or workout area. Then, facing the same direction, shuffle back to your starting position. Repeat 10 times.
3.?Ask your dog to sit or lie down next to you while you get into pushup position. Keeping your abs tight, and elbows tucked into your sides, lower your body until it hovers above the ground, then push back up. Do as many as you can, dropping from your toes to your knees if needed. While you recover, have your dog do five Doggy Push Ups: Tell him to sit, then lay down five times.
4.?With your back against a wall, sit so your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. If your dog is small, hold him.
If your dog is large, ask him to put his paws on your lap to increase the challenge. Hold the wall sit for up to one minute
5.?Perform high knees back and forth across the room or outdoor space while your dog walks or jogs next to you. Repeat for one minute.
6.?With your dog laying next to you, get into pushup position on your toes or knees with your elbows under your shoulders. Tighten your core and make sure your butt is aligned with your shoulders so your body forms a straight line. Hold for up to one minute while breathing normally.