Need an exercise buddy? Make it your dog!

There’s no one better to train, get fit and lose weight with

Blame it on poor diets, lack of exercise, and hectic lifestyles – our waistlines, according to news and health organizations, are ever-expanding and out of control. The sad news is, despite our best low fat efforts, miracle diets and quick fix solutions, our waistlines have only increased over the past 30 years.

And what about our dogs? Dog obesity in the U.S. increased in 2017, affecting 56 per cent of dogs, based on a 2017 study from the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention.

Tricia Montgomery, Founder and CEO of K9 Fit Club, says her overweight Bassett Hound, Louis, and his concerned vet changed both their lives after a routine visit.

“He [the vet] had serious look on his face,” says Montgomery. “He said, ‘Louie has gained weight every time you come in, he now has the onset of diabetes’, then, as professionally as he could, he folded his hands and said: ‘Patricia, you are not getting any thinner.’ I left his office in tears but what he said was true, I was over 265 pounds and that was the catalyst for K9 Fit Club.”

Fast forward to 15 years later and K9 Fit Club is found across the US and has over 24 science-based programs created by vets, fitness and animal behavior experts: NamaSitStay, Wagging Wheel Chair, Bow Wow Bootcamp and Tai Chi Wa Wa, to name a few. But don’t let the whimsical names fool you, both humans and dogs are losing thousands of pounds.

“With tails wagging and smiles, the happiness, therapy and bond is undeniable. You, see like me, I wouldn’t do it for myself, I would for my dog,” says Montgomery.

Try it out for yourself

Fitness and good health for you and your dog can be found in a few simple steps and a few simple movements. Here are Montgomery’s favorite exercises – grab your dog and head to the park!

Barking Lunges

Start with your dog on your left side. Perform a basic walking lunge leading with your right leg stepping forward. As you hold the lunge guide your dog to walk under your front leg leading him to your right side. Press up with your back leg and step through repeating the lunge on your left. Guide your dog under your left leg and to your left side. Guide larger dogs through your legs before you sink into the lunge.

Pup Push Ups

This exercise can be done two ways: individual or simultaneous push-ups. Ask your dog to lie down next to you. Place the leash under both hands with your hands placed slightly wider than your shoulders. Press up into a high plank position, inhaling as your lower into your push up and exhale as you push back up to start. Repeat for 5 reps. When you’re done, stand up and ask your dog to sit, next ask them for a down. Rotate between the sit and down command 5 times for 5 doggy push-ups.

Spot’s Squat & Shake

Start with your dog sitting in front of you. Perform a squat and hold. As you hold, ask your dog for their paw. Hold their paw gently for a few seconds then release as you press back up to standing. Squat again and see if you can get your dog to give you their other paw. Repeat for 10-20 reps.

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