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Tips for getting fit with your pet

Getting fit and being healthy doesn’t mean you need to push through loads of planks and push-ups all alone. Your best bud is eager to join in.

Like you, dogs need to exercise daily. While some breeds have special needs to take into account, they still need some form of daily physical activity to tone their muscles, keep their metabolic system functioning properly, and engage their mind.

Whistle helps you set customized daily goals (based on your pet's breed, age, and weight), and sends you updates while you achieve those healthy goals together!

Plyometrics

So maybe your BFF isn't into burpees (we don't blame them). There are tons of other ways to include your dog in high intensity workouts. Any form of short interval exercise that cause the heart rate to skyrocket will work. These activities improve speed and power, in both humans and pups.

Attacking a hill or two, or tossing a ball and fetching it together will get the heart pumping. Turn it into a race and use your BFF as motivation to keep up—we're placing bets your dog wins, though.

Tip: These are big calorie-burners (one of the healthful details Whistle tracks) so be sure to pack a few extra dog treats for your little athlete.

Steady-State Cardio

Exercise where you keep a set pace at a moderate intensity, like a long run or bike ride, is beneficial for endurance training. Your pup certainly doesn’t need to be preparing for a race to be eager for a run. Breeds like Labrador retrievers, hounds, collies, and shepherds need more exercise than most. Buddying up for a cardio run is a great way to reach their Activity Goals together.

Tip: If you're new to running with your dog, BarkPost has some tips on getting started. And Runner’s World has a great roundup of articles on the subject.

Active Recovery & Dynamic Warm-Up

Grab your best bud and go for a leisurely stroll. A walk can raise your heart rate and body temperature in preparation for a more intense workout, or simply use it as a way to be active on a rest day. This type of low-intensity activity helps with blood circulation for you and your best bud. In addition to important health factors, dogs need walks for mental simulation and socialization—they love sniffing and engaging with their outdoor environment!

Tip: Slower activities like walking are perfect for older pets and short-nosed breeds, like Bulldogs. They don’t need a lot of daily exercise—a casual walk around the neighborhood together will do the trick.

Cross-Training

Mixing in different workouts and training methods help to create a well-balanced fitness plan for you and your pet. In addition to shifting activities, try changing the scene. Taking new running paths or introducing new toys and games helps your pet’s mental stimulation.

Tip: Dogs noses are about a million times more sensitive than humans. While you're mixing up your routine, consider hitting a few places your pup can get active while tracking new smells. There’s even smelling activities for your dog to enjoy!

Cool-Down

Gradually bringing your body back to a resting state by lowering your heart rate and calming your nervous system is an important part of a healthy routine. While your workout pal may not break into a downward dog, taking time to rest and calm their system after an active day at the park is beneficial.

Just like humans, a dog produces stress hormones when they get excited. Even fun activities for prolonged periods isn't ideal. So a balance between active and downtime is essential. Indulge with your bud in a few well-earned OM's.

Get Sleep

Getting some Zzz's is important! Your body will produce the hormones needed to repair the muscle tissue. A good night's sleep or a long snuggle with your buddy on the couch will go a long way in helping bodies stay strong. A tired dog is a happy dog!

Check out PETMD’s article for more great tips on getting healthy with your best bud.

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