We all know what to do to lose weight. Eat healthy + exercise = weight loss.** If only it were that simple.** For many of us planning healthy meals and fitting exercise into our already packed day of full time jobs, chauffeuring kids to after school programs, running errands is near impossible.
Add to that taking care of the family pet and we just might need a calgon moment (take me away!). But we are women and women these days are masters at multi-tasking!
If you are looking for the secret to weight loss, well then look no further than Fido. The answer to your never ending quest of fitness can be your family pet. How?
Well Here are **10 Ways Your Pooch Can Help You Win the Battle of the Bulge:
1. Order down
Have you ever noticed how much your dog eats at one sitting? A 20-25 lb dog should be fed no more than 1 – 1 ½ cups of kibble twice per day. While eating only twice per day is not recommended for adult human beings, take note that normal serving sizes are far less than what we currently consider lunch. In other words, that family size plate at your local restaurant should be cut in half before you even dig in.
2. Run, Forest, Run
Instead of simply letting your dog out in your yard, take him for a walk when he paws your back door. Not only do dogs of all shapes and sizes need exercise, but walking is one of the best cardio vascular exercises to get your body moving. You can set a program up so you can begin walking and when you are up to it, start to incorporate a slow jog into your routine with intervals. Jogging or a brisk walk can not only tone your body and help you lose weight but it’s a great way to reduce anxiety, increase blood circulation and speed up the digestive system.
Whether Fido is a Chihuahua or a German Shepherd, they not only love playtime, they need it. Getting your dog outside in your yard or in an enclosed area of a public park and teaching him to play Frisbee can benefit both of you. You will get some quality time with your pup and raise your heart rate by throwing the Frisbee pout far and chasing after it with your pooch. Add to that the repeat motion of throwing and you’ll have yourself a little upper body workout as well!
4. Play Fetch
If Frisbee isn’t for you, then get a ball and play fetch. Most dogs, regardless of their breeds, will be inclined to run when you throw something. If your dog is a bit gun-shy of a flying disc, a ball might be far less intimidating for him.
Extra Tip on dog training: If you incorporate a little bit of dog training basics with your play, training becomes fun and you end with a well behave well trained dog as well.
5. For God’s Skate
Whether you’re the old fashioned four wheel kind or the modern age inline kind, if you have a pair of skates, get Fido’s leash and go for a skate. Even if he pulls you along, get down in a squat to allow those leg muscles to balance you and work on maintaining control of the dog through the leash. You will still be getting quite the workout, I promise!
Yep, I said soccer. Find an open space either in your yard or in a fenced in area of a public park. Using a Kong toy, a rubber toy that has food or a treat hidden in the middle and that bounces in unpredictable directions, you can get in the mix with Fido and get a nice match in. Not only is this sports time for Fido, its exercise for both of you!
Not all dogs can swim but for those who can, swimming is a wonderful, exercise for both of you. Swimming is awesome for dogs and people with arthritis or joint issues. If you cannot do anything else go for a swim. Low impact exercise, regular swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardio vascular fitness.
For greater result, if you massage your dog after exercising, it will help his joints and articulations stay healthy and active. Giving a massage provide some stress relief, help calm down and stay quiet. Often we indulge in food a a cope out from our busy everyday life.
8. Drink It down
Your dog is a very good indicator of hydration. Chances her he’ll start panting and you’ll reach for that trusty water bottle to give him some liquid love. But if you are exercising with him, you need to keep just as hydrated. Make sure you are drinking the recommended 8 eight ounce glasses daily. Add a little extra for the times you sweat more or are in the heat for extended periods of time.
9. Do Nothing - Create Some Quiet Time
Dogs know how to do that. But most of us have to keep busy all the time. We can learn that lesson from our dog. Stay quiet, enjoy the moment, get some sleep and relax.
10. Relax and Get Some Pampering
Stress can take a toll on the immune and nervous system. Stress also makes us tired and often this is when we overeat. Learning to relax and treating ourselves to massage, facial, spas or anything that makes us feel good will help bring the body and mind in balance. For most of us it is really hard. But gently petting your dog while both sitting down together is a great way to get started.
If you have a hard time to relax, learn how to massage your dog and enjoy this quite moment together. It will help you calm down and may be your next step will take you to a spa.
As dog owners, we’re always very tapped into our pups needs sometimes at the expense of our own. But if we take a small amount of time to incorporate some of the things we do for our dogs into our own lives, we might see the benefit of weight loss. And who knows, we might even have less Calgon Take me Away moments as well!
Catherine Potin is passionate about dogs and gain a lot of dog wisdom and experience from her 4 legged friend Timba and all the dogs in her life. She offers free dog training tips and resources from various experts so you too can understand and train your pooch better. If you are looking for dog training online resources, clicker training for dogs, tips to train your dog at home or wellness information, check out Happydogconnections.com