It's that time of year again! Time to dust off the old sneakers and hit the gym again. Oh wait! What about your pup? If you're like most busy working people, you've probably been gone all day from 9 to 5 and your dog has been waiting at home patiently waiting for you to have some fun with him. It's a dog owner's dilemma- hit the gym or walk the dog?
Now you can do both! Instead of going to the gym (cancel that expensive membership now! You probably don't get your money's worth anyway, if you're anything like me) grab two leashes, one for your dog and one for yourself (instant jump rope!) and take your dog out for a workout. It's best to use a leash that snaps around your waist or around a pole while you do sit ups and pushups. That's all you need! Two leashes, your dog, and sneakers.
The best part about working out with your dog is that at least one of you will be having a good time. So even if you don't like working out, your workout partner will and you'll be happy because at least he's having fun. Plus, an added motivation is a more well behaved dog on top of losing all of those ghastly extra holiday pounds. Dogs also make you run faster because there's no holding back for a dog on the run. So many smells! Excitement around every corner! Try to race your dog for 10 minutes and the L-Bs will melt off your body.
A lot of dogs like to run super fast, and then conk out for a break by stretching out on some cool grass in the shade. Before you even think about taking a siesta yourself, get your booty in gear and attach your dog's leash to a tree or pole by your side. Then push yourself
to do some sit ups, push ups, squats, whatever makes your muscles squeal for at least 5 minutes! If your pup is ready to get back at it, attach his leash to your waist, and do some lunges for 5 minutes as your dog sniffs along by your side and checks his neighborhood pee-mail. Lunges are a whole new ball game when your dog is trying to pull you off balance.
Now that your thighs are burning from all of those lunges, now kick it up a few notches by doing some back and forth sprints with your dog. Just give him a heads up before you switch directions really fast to avoid yanking on his leash. I like to say, "This way!" before changing directions with my dog. After 5 minutes of back and forth sprints your dog will be walking on the leash really well by your side because he'll be watching your every move and he'll be thinking that you're really fun and exciting!
After your sprints, go for a brisk walk and find a wall to lean up against to do a chair squat. Ask your dog to do a down stay. Your dog will be happy to stay after so many sprints, which means that it's a perfect time to train your dog to stay for a longer period of time. Try to time the both of you at the same time. Try doing a chair squat for 1 minute while your dog stays for 1 minute.
Next, put that second leash to good use and do 5 minutes of extreme jump roping while your dog is tied next to you on a pole or tree. Your dog will learn to patiently wait for you while being tied up even if something exciting is going on. Then find a bench or low wall that you can use to do some planks and dips for 5 minutes. Then do 5 more minutes of jump roping.
Cool down after your workout by walking your dog back home. Now is the fun "Zen" part! Get your yoga mat out or a blanket and stretch for at least 10 minutes. Your happy, well exercised dog will end up laying by your side as you both relax on the floor and decompress after a long, crazy day at work. You can be happy that you just killed two birds with one stone by exercising yourself and your dog at the same time! And you avoided all of the smelly, sweaty gym rats and awkward mirrors at the gym. Yay! Your dog will reward you with good behavior and a big kiss even if he is just licking the sweat off of your face!