As the holidays approach, a level of apprehension continually grows in each person’s mind: ‘how can I not gain weight this holiday season?’ people ask. ‘How can I quickly lose weight after the holidays?’ is another question that health-conscientious people have asked themselves each year.
Weight gain is not only a problem for people during the holidays. Dogs get new bones or new tasty treats and biscuits. Sometimes, dogs are even allowed table scraps so they can be a part of the family festivities. Because it is most likely cold outside, there may be a warm fire in the fireplace, or maybe the family has decided to sit down and watch TV for the day, so the family pet joins in the relaxation and leisure of the holidays.
So, what should you do? Enlist your doggie to be your exercise partner! For many people, having an exercise buddy helps them stay on track and get the exercise they know they need. This is a win-win situation. Your dog can get the exercise he wants, and you will have a companion, an accountability partner, and you may even lose a pant size or two!
Dogs are born with an inherent desire to run, play, and get exercise. Though they are often happy to sit on your lap as you relax and watch TV, if it is beautiful outside, they want to be outside as well, romping around in the fresh air and chasing after squirrels.
Before you formulate your workout plan with your dog, be sure you check with your veterinarian first. They will be able to help you decide on a program that fits your dog’s current level of fitness, and you then will be able to formulate a plan that works well for both you and your dog.
So, don’t wait…get started! Begin by taking your dog on two walks a day. Slowly increase the length of walking of time, as well as the pace. This way, you will be able to work up your goal fitness level. Be sure to switch up the routine some days…take your dog to a park (where pets are allowed, of course) and play chase or fetch with a tennis ball or flying Frisbee. This will allow your dog to run around without a leash and they will be able to romp around freely.
Once your dog becomes accustomed to taking daily walks outdoors, they will hold you to your commitment. It is just like mealtime; you dog lets you know when it is time to eat (in this case, when it is time to exercise!). How will you be able to resist those big brown pleading puppy eyes? The whimpering that begs, ‘please walk with me!’ is also hard to ignore. Listen to your dog; you will most likely find that taking a walk two times a day is relaxing and fun. You will get to spend time with your pet, you will probably meet other people in your neighborhood who have pets, so it is a great opportunity to get some fresh air and clear your mind.
After the holidays, choose to lose the few extra pounds you may have gained and formulate and exercise plan for you and your dog. Your pet will hold you to the routine, and you won’t regret it! So, get started, and good luck!