Pet-xercise: working out with your dog or cat

Who is a bigger couch potato: you, or your pet?

The obesity epidemic among North Americans doesn’t stop at humans — our pets are getting pudgy, too. Fitness companies have even started targeting pets with exercise classes and equipment like mini treadmills. Luckily, getting your pet in shape is simple, fun, and can serve as great motivation to get moving yourself.

Simply walking or playing with your pet can provide a great cardio workout, and gets you moving in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise. Many dog breeds require at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day to stay healthy, which is about the same as pet owners. This shows how simply having a pet companion can keep you fit and motivated.

If you want to get fancy with it, Prevention.com offers 10 ways to exercise with your pet, including “cat ‘light’ abs,” “fetch races” and a “dogstacle course” that are sure to get you both moving and happy. They even include a printable dog workout sheet with recommendations by breed.

Get creative with pet workouts and have fun bonding with your furry companion as well as keeping them — and yourself — healthy.

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