Let’s face it, when fall hits sometimes fitness can the last thing on your mind. Between comfy (and forgiving) clothes and holidays on the horizon that encourage indulgence, it’s easy to understand why fitness can take a back-burner. Luckily, pets are often our biggest motivator for getting up off the couch, no matter the time of year.
Here are some pet-friendly ideas for keeping fit this fall:
Add Dog Walking to your Routine
Between the popularity of FitBits and Pokemon GO, dog walking is seeing a big boost. If you are partaking in these activities, it’s easy to see how bringing your pet along on an activity can really increase the fun for both of you. Look for other ways to tweak your habits to include a dog walk – from your morning coffee run to a stroll through the Farmers Market. Just make sure there is a safe place to secure your pet in the event you need to take a quick trip into a non-dog-friendly space, or better yet, team up with a buddy!
Leaf Peep with a Pup
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year, and the cool weather and breathtaking foliage combine to be the perfect time to take up hiking. Most conservation areas are pet-friendly and some even offer dedicated off-leash areas. Do a little internet research, pack up a picnic (don’t forget treats and water for your pet) and head out on a fit-friendly day trip.
Go Back to School
Pet training doesn’t have to end at puppy kindergarten! After your pet knows basic obedience, you can take a variety of fun and active classes together. You’ll strengthen your bond, keep active and burn off some excess energy your pet may have from spending more time indoors. Here are just a few fun options:
Agility: Agility involves your dog navigating obstacles, such as jumps, tubes, catwalks, and more. You work as a team guiding your pet through, so it’s a good workout for the handler too! Plus many trainers offer the sport indoors and outdoors so you can continue on after the snow falls.
RallyO: Love the thrill of competition? Rally Obedience involves following a series of instructions printed on cards in a competitive environment, but it can be a lot more fun and loose versus traditional obedience as the handlers are permitted to talk, use hand signals and encourage their pet (no treats in the ring though!)
Canine Freestyle: Dance with your dog! Canine freestyle takes fun tricks and lets you set them to music.
Not sure where to find a training school in your area? Stop by your local Pet Valu – we’re happy to point you in the right direction.
Have an older pet or one who isn’t up for as many walks as you? Many local shelters are looking for volunteers to walk dogs or play a round of fetch. Make a weekly appointment to keep yourself motivated.
And, while it’s more likely to stimulate your mind versus your heart rate, therapy dog work is a great way to get out and give back to your community.