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Easy Indoor Exercises For You And Your Dog

Easy Indoor Exercises For You And Your Dog

By Mary-Jane Gallagher

Winter may still be a few months away, but there is already a distinct nip in the air to remind us that cold (and possibly wet) weather is on its way. While the typical South African winter is not nearly as inclement as winters elsewhere in the world, there will undoubtedly be days where venturing outdoors with your beloved pooch will simply not be possible. Even if you’re living in a region such as KZN where it appears to be summer all-year-long, there will be days that you simply aren’t up for exercising outdoors Although spending a day at home snuggling on the couch or tending to your chores can be appealing, being forced to remain indoors can have a negative impact on both you and your canine companion’s fitness regime and overall health. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to keep fit and healthy even when you’re confined to your house.

Climb stairs together

Being sedentary for prolonged periods of time, whether due to your job or the weather, can lead to a number of health concerns for humans, which can be equally as hazardous to a dog. One of the simplest ways to keep fit and healthy indoors is to climb stairs. Whether you have a full flight of stairs in your home or merely a couple of steps, climbing up and down them with your dog can benefit you both significantly. Climbing stairs not only increases your heart rate and burns calories, but it also builds and tones muscle. By spending as little as ten minutes a day climbing stairs alongside your dog, it’s possible to prevent health complications like deep vein thrombosis caused by diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. While most dogs will both benefit from and enjoy climbing stairs, it’s important to note that it may not be the best form of exercise for older dogs and those battling with arthritis.

Set up an obstacle course

Setting up and doing an indoor obstacle course can be as entertaining for you as it is or your dog. Depending on the amount of space you have available, you can include a range of challenges, ranging from climbing over or crawling under tables and chairs, circling a pillar or couch, and jumping over cushions and into hula-hoops. The course can be as long or as short as you want it to be, and can even become a more permanent structure if you are fortunate enough to have an unused room or garage at your disposal. Having an indoor obstacle course will also enable you to train with your dog after dark or before the sun rises in the morning.

Dance up a storm

Did you know that many dogs enjoy dancing just as much, if not more than their human counterparts? While Musical Canine Freestyle may be a professional sport in some countries, you don’t need to be a good dancer to engage in an invigorating dance session with your canine companion. Although dancing to your favourite tunes may be a lot easier if your dog knows some basic commands, sometimes merely clicking your fingers and showing your enthusiasm is enough to get your pooch bobbing and jumping to the music. Apart from conditioning your heart and lungs and improving your agility and flexibility, dancing with your dog is also bound to strengthen your bond, as it is such a pleasurable activity to do together.

Having a dog to exercise with is a huge blessing. It is an even greater blessing if you can keep active in the comfort of your own home when circumstances do not allow you to venture outdoors.