As an effort to reduce the obesity rates of both pets and people though out the United States, Mars Petcare has announced a new national fitness program. This program, “The Power of Pets,” seeks to get people moving with their pets. The program will debut in October 2010 at YMCAs in five cities, including Brooklyn, N.Y.; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Nashville; and Portland, Ore. However, you don’t have to be part of this program to start exercising with your pet. Here are some tips to get you and your pet moving:
Have A Consistent Routine
Plan on setting aside a certain amount of time everyday to get you and your pet going. Dogs are particularly creatures of habit, so if your exercise partner is going to be a pooch, your dog will be eagerly anticipate this special time. For example, if you plan on running with your dog, plan on doing it on a regular basis. Your dog will probably even get your attention when the times come, eager for this fun experience. Knowing that you are doing this not only for yourself, but for the benefit of your pet, will help keep you motivated even during days you don’t feel like moving.
Pick an Activity that suits both of You
If you are really out of shape, you don’t want to be wanting to run marathons to start off with. The same is true of your pet. Maybe you need to get moving in a slower pace way. If that is true, maybe consider an activity like Doga, in which you and your dog spend time working on flexibility and becoming centered. Or maybe you and your dog just want to spend an intense thirty-minutes rough housing, or playing catch in the back yard. The main goal when exercising with your pet is finding an activity that is fun, so you won’t have much trouble sticking with it. As you become more active, you might add more exercise options to your routine, but for now, stick with something that works for both you and your pet.
Keep you and your dog cool
Don’t overheat you and your dog during the exercise process. Have cool and clean water available at all times. Make sure you both take breaks and if your dog seems overheated, take a break. You can use your dog’s thirstiness as a cue for your own needs–often as humans we are may become unaware of how dehydrated we actually are, so your dog can be a great barometer. This also means having a clear cool down period, in which you and your dog transition to a resting heart rate in a gradual manner.