Now that all of the cheese and mince pies have been consumed, your first new year's resolution might be to work off the carbs and chocolate with a brand new exercise regime. You don't need to sign up to an expensive gym membership in order to get into shape and your most valuable exercise tool is probably curled up at the end of your bed right now. There are so many dog and owner workouts to try in order to get fitter and healthier; browse this foolproof guide to see which activities are perfect for you and your furry friend.
1. WalkingThis might seem like an obvious exercise, but long walks out in the open are the best way to build your fitness, particularly if you're not used to exercising. Dogs need daily walks in order to get out of the house and stay lean, so take this as an opportunity to push your own physical limits and raise your blood pressure. Change up your walking routes to more hilly terrain, sure to tone your calf muscles; make sure to have your pedometer on you during your trip to measure how many steps you take. Make Sundays your longer hiking days and take your canine friend on car rides to get to some scenic countryside routes, giving your dog new scents to explore while you absorb the picturesque views. Walking doesn't have to be a mundane task and can be a great first step to your exercise-fuelled new year.
2. CompetitionsFor dog owners who want to try something different, why not enter your animal into a competition? Agility trials and obedience training can teach your dog many new tricks and even have the ability to transform the most unruly pooches into obedient lap dogs. You will be surprised at just how fit you can get while training up your dog for a competition, especially if you have to keep up with them on an obstacle course. There are sure to be many competitions in your local area but if you lack a competitive streak, training and trials are still a fun way to get some exercise with man's best friend.
3. Doggy team sportsTeam sports aren't reserved solely for humans: dogs can enjoy them too. Flyball is an adrenaline-pumping sport, sure to be more entertaining than the World Cup final. Teams of dogs race over hurdles in order to return a tennis ball back to their owners. Getting your dog trained enough for the big event is easier said than done and might involve a lot of chasing and jumping after abandoned tennis balls. This sport is guaranteed to get your muscles moving; you might even wake up with aching limbs the next day.
4. RunningJogging with your dog can be easy with some practice. Curious dogs prone to sniffing and wandering can make running difficult and unproductive, but with the right leash and running equipment, you and your four-legged friend will be well trained for your first 10k race in no time. You can even hire a personal trainer who can incorporate your dog into your running exercises.
5. Dog yogaBoth you and your dog can embrace your inner zen with this quirky exercise idea. Yoga is designed to improve strength and flexibility; why not achieve this with your furry friend at your side? Try to master some of the doggy yoga poses in your own home, or even attend a yoga class intended for you to build a stronger bond with your pooch while you get fitter. With so many different exercises to choose from, there's no reason why you and your dog can't get fit together in 2019.
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