The pursuit of a more shapely physique and better wellness from within is a billion dollar industry, so it’s no wonder people are willing to try anything that comes along, especially if the input is minimal and the perceived rewards are high. As a result, every few years another new trend on the fitness front arises, and this time around it involves pets.
It doesn't boil down to walking, running or riding a bicycle. And, no, Fido isn’t going to be spotting you as you lift weights. In fact, he’s actually more likely to be riding your back, abs or chest or maybe even tucked in the crook of your arm as you’re doing all the heavy lifting. Either way, working pets into your routine is still the outcome.
According to a recent article entitled Dog Owners: 5 Exercises You Can Do at Home with Your Pets, national wrestling champ and gym owner (Right Path Fitness) Keith McNiven is a fitness buff who extols the virtues of working out with dogs. Out of his five pet routines, one of them is a yoga or “doga” session. Does the dog strike a pose? No, per the article they’re just supposed to wander freely, as you hold your own, or nap near you on your mat.
As a dog owner and yoga practicer, I can honestly say when my Frenchie wandered over and tried to butt in it was neither opportune nor welcome, and he’s the light of my life. The mats are narrow and not all that long, particularly for tall people. Let’s just say the experience can provoke less than Zen-like moments as you grapple for space and try to make sure they’re not catching a foot to the face.
In reality, the animals don’t have a clue as to what’s going on, and anytime you’re on all fours they think it’s playtime.
Rescue Dogs & Muttsercise
Back in July of 2017, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco teamed up with Diakadi Fitness in an effort to promote the adoption of older dogs while offering inspiration for getting fit through an event called Muttsercise. Many of their ideas coincide with McNiven’s in that you’re basically using dogs as weights or counterbalances.
Workouts Involving Pets
The question is do any of these workouts incorporating pets really assist you to achieve the fitness goals you have in mind? Most of the animals depicted in these routines are relatively small. How much resistance is this adding to your workout? The other thing is training them to get in position and then stay there, waiting patiently while you grunt and groan your way through the routine.
Bonding with Pets
Between the claw marks and hindering your performance while holding you up time-wise, it doesn’t seem like an ideal plan. The real benefits you would receive by incorporating your pets into your daily workouts are the bonding experiences. Any opportunity to bond with your pets is always a bonus to your relationship.
As to creating a workout around them, you’ll just have to decide for yourself whether this trend is worth it, if you give it a shot.