dog-friendly-workout-5-Pawsh-MagazineSo the new year is here in case you haven’t heard and with it often comes a determined resolution to ‘get in shape.’ What most of us don’t think about, however, upon declaring our renewed loyalty to fitness is that January is a horribly frigid month to work out. Going for a run or even a long meandering walk becomes infinitely more difficult when -25C comes a calling (yes, for our non-Canadian readers, temperatures do plummet!)

But don’t despair! We have cooked up 3 easy dog-friendly winter workouts that won’t be deterred by bad weather to help you keep your promise to yourself.

We talk a lot about yoga (or doga – yoga for dogs) here on Pawsh, mostly because it is a fantastic way to keep body and mind happy and healthy. All you need for this workout is a yoga mat, a large open space to stretch out in and some soothing zen music.

If you know some yoga moves, work yourself through them. If you don’t, pick up any at-home yoga DVD (I personally love TurboFire; the fitness set has some powerful yoga training sessions in it). Yoga not only helps you to keep limber, but it can build muscle strength too. If you push yourself as well, you will definitely break a glorious sweat!

How your dog can join in: Throw a dog-friendly yoga party with friends. The dogs will love being part of the fun.

It’s easy to fall into a case of the ‘winter blues,’ but an even easier way to avoid them is to dance – regularly! A wonderful form of exercise, dancing release endorphins which has been proven to improve mood and emotional outlook.

Take some time each day to throw on the radio or your favourite playlist and dance around the house without a care in the world. 30 to 45 minutes will do! Or, if you’d like to actually learn a particular form of dance, consider another at-home DVD routine and spend some time each day working on your moves.

How your dog can join in: Ever notice how if you’re moving around the house your dog will follow? The same is often true of dancing! Rather than sit on a couch and watch the world go by, your dog will most likely get up to see what you’re doing and (better yet) join in the bouncing around!

A beautiful photo series of dancers and their dogs

I have something of a love-hate relationship with gyms. Part of me loves the hustle and bustle, the social factor and the ‘you can do it’ atmosphere. But the other part of me hates how hard it is to cancel memberships, the perpetual smell of feet and waiting in line for machines.
dog-friendly-workout-4-Pawsh-MagazineSo this winter, why not run your own gym at home with some clever apps? Here are two that I’m loving right now:

Nike Training Club – easy to use and oh-so effective, you’ll be sore after any of these workouts. Set your goals, set your desired workout times and off you go! You can choose between get lean, get toned, get strong or get focused and workouts can be as brief as 20 minutes, yet very effective!

The app creates a daily program for you to help you reach your fitness goals without having to spend hours every day working out. Whether its your core, legs or cardio you want to focus on, this app covers it all! ANDROID | iPHONE

PumpUp – this nifty app was developed by students in Waterloo and is remarkable. It too allows you to set goals and work towards them in a totally customized manner. Plus it offers a cool social aspect, kind of like a Facebook feed, where you can interact with other users who are also pursuing fitness. The social aspect is awesome as it allows you to motivate each other and get a friendly sense of competition going. ANDROID

How your dog can join in: While Fido won’t be able to lift weights with you, he can be present for your workout and engaged by your activity. Plus, with all the time you’ve saved not trekking out to the gym and back, you can fit in an extra game of in-house fetch or catch to help pupster burn a few extra calories too.

{Huge thanks to my incredible friend and talented artist Tonya Pet Photography for photographing this feisty installment of the “Pet Wellness” column.}

This article was made possible by DogTrot Fitness — Canada’s exclusive distributor of the PetRun line of dog treadmills — the ideal solution if your dog doesn’t love dog parks.
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Adequate exercise is equally important to your dog’s wellness as a healthy diet. Even if you can’t run WITH your dog, we can help you meet his exercise needs, regardless of weather. With running decks scaled to suit any stride, there’s a PetRun treadmill for every size of dog! WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER