Exercise with your pet

Keep fit with your pets
If you need more exercise, or your pet does, or you simply want to find some quality activities that you can do together, why not keep fit? Have some fun with Dr Jo and her pets and get moving…

Warm up
When you begin to exercise, do so slowly. Do not rush into major cardio or strength training. Take it gradually, working up your duration and intensity of exercise. Sore muscles are normal at first (yes, even pets get them!) but don’t overdo it.

The obvious… walking
Walking a dog is good for us. It improves our cardio-vascular health, decreases stress and we get to talk to others (more so than when walking alone).
Your dog will love variety in their walks. Flat streets, up hills, off-leash parks, beaches (if allowed). Check with your local council where you are allowed to walk your dog and get out and about.
Some dog owners dislike walking their dog due to the dog’s pulling on the lead. Here are some tips to help…

Sit ups
These can be done with either dog or cat.
From lying down with legs bent position, bring your upper body off the floor a little. Throw a treat or toy for your dog and carry on with sit ups until they return. If your cat will fetch, you can do this with your cat.
If your dog or cat enjoys a cuddle, try placing them on your body as you sit up. This will make the exercise harder.

Pussycat squats & lunges
Hold your (co-operative) cat in your arms and bend your knees. The larger the cat, the better the effect. Repeat as many times as cat allows.

The human playbow
Dog use play bows to communicate to one another that the game is on. With their front half of their body lower than their rear, they signal that their intent is play. We can do the same with push ups.
Again you may like to throw a toy for your dog or cat to retrieve. Or just enjoy a few kisses (as they are bound to happen).
And when you are out of breathe and panting, your dog will love it even more!! Try it!

The stretch
Remember to stretch at the end of your session. Your pet may join in!

Take care…
Vet check
If your pet has not exercised much, has any physical condition or ailment or is very young or old, please consult your vet prior to starting any exercise program.
GP check
Likewise with yourself. Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Start with small steps
For beginners, you may like to start from home with a fitness digital download.

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