It can be a challenge during the winter months to make sure you and your pet(s) are getting enough physical and mental exercise. If you and your pet are looking for a little motivation to get off the couch, we've got 6 moves for a fast and fun workout.
So, grab your exercise mat, your pet's favourite treats or toy to get them motivated, and let’s get started!
1. Pass the Squeak... and Squat
Standing with your pet out in front of you, and your feet shoulder width apart, and hold your pet's favourite squeaky toy out in front to get their attention. Squat down and pass the toy underneath yourself from your front hand to your back and stand back up. Allow your pet to follow the toy and move in and around your legs. Repeat 10-15 times.
2. 'Rescue Me' Reverse Lunges
Stand with your pet in front of you with your feet together, and holding your pet's favourite toy or treats in your hand. Step back with one foot and lower down into a lunge, allowing your arm holding the toy/treats to touch the floor in front of you so you can reward your pet for a count of five. Step back up into your standing position and repeat with the other leg. Do 5-10 reps per leg.
3. 'Jump for Joy' Jacks (Cats may want to skip this one…)
Squat all the way down to the ground, with your legs and feet together, and balancing on your toes. Ensure that your pet is out and in front of you, and you’re holding a tempting toy/treat in both hands. Then jump straight up and land with your legs and feet spread apart, while your arms shoot up in a ‘V’ formation, following the same outward direction as your feet. This exercise is a great way for your dog to work on a ‘sit and wait’ command or practicing a ‘jump’ on command. Repeat this 10 times and don’t forget to reward your pooch once done.
Note: Make sure there is enough space between you and your pet for safety.
4. Roll & Reward
Lay on your front with your elbows bent holding your pet's toy in front of you to get their attention. Roll over on your right side and then onto your stomach. Extend your legs off the ground, tighten your core and lift your chest and arms for a count of five (think "Superman"). Then roll back over from your left side to your back and bend and lift your knees/feet to do a reverse ab crunch. Reward your pet at the same time by extending your arms over your head and rewarding your pet! Repeat 5-10 times.
This is a great exercise to work on a roll-over!
5. Purrfect Pushups
In a modified pushup position, hold the toy/treats in one raised hand to get your pet's attention. Slowly lower yourself down into a push-up, bringing your pet in close for a treat reward or tug on the toy. Push back up and repeat 5 times. Switch your reward arm and do 5 more!
6. Tricks and Twists
Give your abs a workout with this fun take on Russian twists! In a seated position with your knees bent (feet can be flat on the floor or raised for more of a challenge). Start with your pet on one side, holding a toy/treats with both hands while twisting your torso from side-to-side. Encourage your pet to pounce over your mid-section while you twist back and forth. Reward your pet each time! Repeat 5-10 more times.
If you're willing to put in a little effort, consistency, and encouragement, your pet may just be your greatest workout partner ever. Start slow, have fun and don’t forget to reward yourself and your pet!