We couch potato-loving humans watch longingly as our dogs, cats, and other pets seemingly lounge and nap the day away, but that’s hardly the full picture. Animals are incredibly active beasts. Not too unlike children, the more exercise and playtime they get, the more likely they are to behave. And not too unlike their adult human caretakers, the better shape they’re in, too!
Everyone needs a bit more motivation to get up and get moving, so let your pet be your guide. From cats and dogs to even horses, these four-legged friends make it more fun than ever to drop on your own two legs and give 5, or 10, or 20.
The Weirdest Poodle Workout Video Ever
We recently discovered this ultra bizarre Exercising Poodles video and want to make sure we’re not the only ones enjoying this kind of nonsense.
Mariko Takahashi, who is an actress playing an exercise video star, takes us through different exercise routines alongside poodles. . It is quite the sight–slightly disturbing, but hilarious nonetheless. More so when you realize those are humans in dog suits with superimposed poodle heads. (more…)
By Chrissa Hardy
Do you find traditional yoga intimidating? Are the Sanskrit names of poses and the chanting keeping you away from your local studio? Or, maybe the whole “just you and your mat” thing is getting stale. If you’re interested in trying yoga, but want to add a unique twist to your workout, these trendy yoga hybrids might be just the ticket!
Fitness level: Great for beginners as this style involves a lot of massaging and light stretching.
Doga is yoga with your dog. In a Doga class, you move through a series of poses while trying to maintain yogic breath and calming of the mind. You involve your canine companion by positioning him/her in certain “dog versions” of yoga poses while also gently massaging them throughout the class. Your dog will alternate between acting as your partner in certain poses and as a prop in others. For example, in a resting pose, the person reclines, with legs slightly bent over the dog’s torso, bolster-style, to relieve pressure on the spine. (more…)
When it comes to exercise and eating healthy, it isn’t only important for us but also for our pets. A survey done by Association for Pet Obesity found that 53% of our dogs are overweight or obese!
Overweight or obese pets also run the risk of getting diabetes and cancer as well as other conditions. Not to mention that they probably don’t feel as well. What may seem like only a couple of pounds overweight to us is actually a larger percentage for our dogs. For example, a chihuahua that weighs 7 pounds means that it’s 17% overweight. That’s equivalent to a 5 foot 4 inch tall female weighing 167 pounds. A 15 pound dachshund would be 25% overweight and is equal to a 5 foot 4 inch female weighing 181 pounds!
Keeping your pet active is a great way to keep them at a healthy weight. The following slideshow includes four exercises that will get you both on the right path to a healthier future. So instead of parking it in front of the TV, head to your park and have fun!
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From wellness centers to workplace massages, employers are constantly searching for new and effective ways to keep their employees calm, relaxed and healthy. When sick days cut in to the annual budget, and production is low due to stressed out workers, businesses can be greatly affected. In this highly competitive world in which we live, that does not bode well for companies striving to be the best.
According to a recent study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, having a dog in the workplace might be a key ingredient to reducing stress on the job. Researchers found that having a dog (or dogs) at work instilled higher employee satisfaction, kept people calm and less tense, and made a generally positive difference to workers. In addition, the researchers discovered that having a dog at work allowed for more social interaction between employees, therefore increasing communication and collaboration on projects.
February is American Heart Month. There have been many public service announcements, ads, and campaigns to bring awareness about the things you can do to improve your heart health. Eating right and getting exercise top the lists of heart healthy choices however, a new addition to the lists may be to get a pet.
A recent Japanese study found that pet owners with chronic diseases appeared to have healthier hearts than those without pets. These findings were published in the American Journal of Cardiology and specifically noted that pet owners in this study had a higher heart rate variability verses non-pet owners.
Heart rate variability refers to the patient’s heart’s response to change, such as beating faster in stressful situations. Reduced heart rate variability has been linked to a higher heart disease mortality risk. The study specifically monitored 191 people between the ages of 60-80 years old. All were afflicted with conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. They were monitored for a 24 hour period and wore heart monitors for the entire study. About four out of every ten people owned a pet.
The study concluded that for pet owners, nearly 5 percent of their heartbeats differed by 50 milliseconds in length. Only 2.5 percent of the non-pet owners had differing heart rates, meaning that non-pet owner’s heart rates changed less or responded to change less.
By Kelsey Murray
Who ever would have thought that Purina pet food and Jenny Craig would be teaming up to work on a weight loss program?
According to Jenny Craig, now going by “Jenny” only, 66 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, but they are not the only ones with a weight problem. A study in 2010 found that 55 percent of dogs are considered overweight or obese and 54 percent of cats are also considered to be carrying too much weight. In an effort to combat this problem, and get both man and man’s best friend in better shape, the two companies have created a website for their weight loss program Project: Pet Slim Down.
The website will feature several overweight pets as they start and complete their weight loss journeys. You can even submit photos of your own pet, if Fido is a little chunky or if Whiskers needs to trim up a little bit. The website also offers plenty of tips concerning weight loss for pets, such as how much food you should be feeding your pet and how to help Fluffy tone her abs. (Yes, dogs have abs, too!) For inspiration, you and your pet can watch the pet weight loss reality series that is also featured on the website.
According to a new study, dog owners tend to get more exercise than everyone else. If you don’t walk your dog, then you aren’t one of them.
The response of nearly 6,000 participants to the 2005 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey showed that of the 41 percent who were dog owners, 61 percent of them said they walked their dogs at least 10 minutes at a time. Also, 27 percent of those surveyed said they walked their dogs at least 150 minutes a week.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. This is obvious; of course you are getting exercise if you are walking your dog.
However, it’s not just that you are walking your dog. Evidence shows that people move more above and beyond the task of taking their pooch for a walk. (more…)
A study of more than 20,000 animals in 12 different populations has found that over the last 20 years, humans aren’t the only ones packing on the pounds. If it were just pets or city vermin also gaining in girth, this would be a boring story, but it is not. Animals living near humans, lab animals, and animals living in zoos also increased in weight. Animals in zoos and labs are given very specific diets, so what we eat cannot be the only answer. Are animals in zoos exercising less than they did 20 years ago?
There is some evidence that Adenovirus 36 might be linked to human obesity. Could AD36 also affect animals?
I’ve had my dog for almost three years now and while I’ve always been quite active, I can say, without a doubt, she has taken my workouts in a different — and better — direction.
Before I owned a dog, I would get at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week, but it was always formal exercise either teaching a group exercise class or doing a workout DVD. With a dog though, it’s less “working out” and more “play.” Once we got her as a puppy, my husband and I immediately started taking her on regular morning and afternoon walks, in addition to playing fetch or soccer in the backyard and tug-of-water while watching the latest episode of The Biggest Loser on DVR. In essence, she turned my workouts into life, everyday life. (more…)