You know that look — the one your dog flashes when all he can think about is fetch.
But getting outside for exercise in the winter months can be tough, especially with mountains of snow falling from the sky and temperatures reaching face-freezing lows.
If you’re like us, you’re itching to burn some calories too, so we asked celebrity fitness trainer Gunnar Peterson — who is also the proud owner of four dogs — for five creative ways to stay fit with your pup during the dog days of winter.
So, get off the couch, grab your leash and get ready to make quality time with your pup count.
1. If weather allows, try a walk-run next time you go for a walk. “Walk for a minute then run for 30 seconds,” Peterson says. “Continue that work/rest ratio for the duration. Your dog will love it and you’ll both get more out of the time outdoors.”
2. Make fetch happen, indoors or out. “When he fetches, you fetch. When you play fetch with Fido, the minute you throw the ball, run after it with him! You benefit hugely from this and he will love the teammate!” Peterson suggests.
3. Incorporate your pup into your crunches. “Hold a chew toy (knotted ropes are great here) in your hands and start your crunches while your man’s best friend has one end of the toy in his mouth,” he says. “The varied resistance due to his pulling causes the abs to work and adapt to the ever changing weight and the multi-directional pulling creates a terrific functional training environment for your core.”
4. Make ‘Single Leg Sunday’ a part of your Funday. “Stand on one leg and begin the playful games with your pup,” Peterson says. “After a minute (or 30 seconds, if that’s more like it for you …) switch legs and continue. Take a 30 second break. Repeat. Repeat until you’re bored with the game or until you can’t stand (it?) any more.”
5. Get pumped for a ‘Push-up Chase Ladder.’ Start by dropping down and doing 10 push-ups in front of your dog. “Stand, now start playing with him and winding him up,” he explains. “After 10 seconds or so, drop down and do 9 push-ups. Stand, repeat the dog harassment. Now drop down and do 8 push-ups. Stand, begin the horseplay (dog play?!). Drop down and do 8 push-ups and continue … Go all the way down to 1 (it will be a humbling one at that) or stop when you can’t stop laughing at how wired this gets your dog!”