4 Ways Your Dog Can Help You Reach Your Fitness Resolutions

For many of us, 2016 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2017! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

You’ve made yourself some serious-AF fitness goals for the new year. Congrats! But now it’s time to come up with an action plan to keep your healthy habits within reach. Of course, getting comfortable with those new-to-you pieces of gym equipment you should be usingand becoming besties with your foam roller will help, but there’s another surprising thing that can be serious workout motivation: your pup. So grab their leash, throw on your favoritecold-weather workout clothes and try these four tips from Anne Jones, personal trainer and certified pet-lover. Let your dog be the motivation and workout buddy you need to hit your goals!

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1. Use them as a step-count assist. We all know how helpful an activity tracker can be to remind us to get up and get moving. Plus, with Fitbit’s sleek new look, it can be a super cute accessory too. Why not let your dog help you to reach your daily step count? Anne advises, “Commit to walking your dog twice a day — once before you leave in the morning and again as soon as you get home from work. During the second walk, keep walking until you reach your step count goal (10k-12k steps) for the day.” Plus, there are even activity trackers specifically for your dog, like StarWalk. Can you say #twinning?

2. Make playtime do double duty. Most puppers love a good trip to the park, so make those play dates put in some work for you too. Anne recommends exercising *during* playtime: “Do a perfect squat or lunge every time you pick up the ball to throw it for your pet. Don’t leave the park until you have done at least 15-30 reps.”

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3. Practice agility training. Everyone loves a good HIIT workout, even your dog (they likely just don’t know it). Anne suggests playing wall ball, the schoolyard game that resembles squash and requires you to throw a tennis ball against a wall. She says, “You will be sprinting; your dog will be sprinting AND you will both be working on your coordination — you really can’t lose.”

4. Get more out of your walks. Hello, obvious statement of the year, but just committing to walking your dog every day is a great way to make simple healthy habits part of your new daily routine. But that leisurely stroll can be turned into a serious workout. Anne explains, “When you are walking your dog, keep your upper arms close to your sides, and switch your ‘leash hand’ frequently to train your core muscles evenly.” You can also incorporate quick pit stops along the route to stop for planks, push-ups and crunches.

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