This article is contributed by guest writer, @Dakota_Murphey.
How to Exercise at Home with Your Pets
With the temperatures dropping, lockdown upon us and an overwhelming sense of uncertainty in the air, it can be all too easy to lose track of your fitness.
However, staying active and eating healthy is more important than ever during these uncertain times, for both you and your pets alike.
So, now we all find ourselves stuck at home a lot more often, how exactly can you ensure you keep on top of your fitness? And, more importantly, how can you do so in such a way that keeps your pets fit as well?
Well, that’s where we can help. In this article, we will discuss six great ways of exercising at home with your pets, while highlighting some important things to consider before you do.
Clear some room
OK, first things first, you won’t be able to exercise effectively if you don’t have enough room available to do so. Therefore, think about the layout of your home, the types of exercises you’re wanting to do and then move your furniture around accordingly.
While it may be tempting to leave everything as it is already, when you’re in the full flow of a HIIT online class or playing hide and seek, it can be all too easy to accidentally knock over a vase, laptop or another breakable item without having enough room available.
Similarly, since your pets will become interested in you while you’re exercising (performing various stretches, for example), it’s important to ensure you don’t knock or hit into them by accident. The last thing you want, after all, is to have to seek pet insurance advice or make a claim for an injury that could easily have been avoided.
Utilize your outside space
Put simply – if you have a yard available on your property, utilize it.
Whether it be through using a paddling pool to encourage them to swim, installing a practice golf net for them to catch foam balls or setting up an agility obstacle course for them to use, there are a number of great ways to keep you and your pets fit while at home.
While the weather may put you off a little over the winter months, even if you only use your yard on the days when the weather is nice, you could notice a substantial difference to not just your pet’s health and fitness, but your own as well.
Play hide & seek
While on the topic of teaching your dog to stay, playing hide and seek together can be a great way to keep both you and them active.
It may not be the most exhausting forms of exercise there is but being mobile and on your feet is a lot better than spending the day lying on the sofa.
Plus, it can be a good way of mentally stimulating your pooch, encouraging them to use their sense of smell to find either you or the variety of treats you’ve hidden around the house.
Use them as weights
Depending on the size and weight of your pets, they could make highly effective weights when used in a similar way to a weighted sandbag or power bag.
Whether it be bicep curls with your dog, push-ups with your cat or tricep dips with your snake, the added weight they can provide will push you that little bit further, helping tone your body from an at-home environment. Who needs the gym?
Utilize the staircase
If you have a dog, the staircase can be their – and your – best friend.
Dogs love to run and play chase, after all, so if you’re unable to run outside with them at the moment – whether it be due to the weather, lockdown or restrictions– the simple act of running up and down the stairs should be enough to get their tails wagging.
You could also think about throwing a ball into the mix as well, dropping it down the stairs for your pooch to fetch and bring back to you.
Alternatively, why not use the time to teach them how to stay; run up the stairs in advance and then call them up when you’re ready for them to come. Who knew the stairs could be so much fun?
Sports like Yoga, Pilates and Zumba have all grown hugely in popularity over the years, largely thanks to how easy they are to do at home in front of the TV. So, why not utilize your pets at the same time?
Yoga is all about perfect poise and balance, after all, engaging your core and breathing in such a way to keep your body in a mindful state. At the same time, pets like cats love to get in an abundance of strange positions, often finding comfort in boxes, on laps or pretty much wherever they see fit.
Therefore, by practicing yoga with your cat, you will be able to not only channel their well-known flexibility skills but you’ll also be able to use their weight to challenge yourself when trying to maintain your balance.
Maintaining your pet’s health is vital at the best of times but, during the pandemic, it’s now more important than ever.
So, while you may not be able to go out and enjoy those long, rural walks like you normally would, as our tips prove, there are still a number of ways you can keep yourself and your pets active at home.
Plus, in doing so, you could even make your time stuck inside even more enjoyable, providing you with fond memories to look back at once the pandemic is over.