Who knows which came first the yoga pose or the woofer's pose that inspired the yoga name? Whichever the case, exercise can be rewarding, but it's even better with a furry pal by your side. Here's an article on the benefits of Hoofin' and Woofin' and if you need the visual proof.....have a look at my Hoofers. They look slim, trim, and their stress levels have lessened since joining the Kane9 pack. Just another added bonus of being a Hoofer. For some Woofers, this exercise regiment is met with wagging tails and big grins. However, we do have some who prefer the comforts of their couch! Let's meet these workout Woofers and find out what gets them howling about their fitness schedules.
Is the Pre-Game Show On?
Cooper with Hoofer Ann (pictured to the right) is all about the pre-game ritual. Don't get me wrong he enjoys his 6 mile run, but it's the anticipation that gets his paws moving! This workout junkie will run in all conditions and his long lean legs are proof that he stays the course!
Here's how the pre-game scenario goes: Hoofer Ann gets her sneakers out and headphones and that symbolizes for Cooper that the workout will soon begin. Just in case Hoofer Ann has a lapse in memory, Cooper will follow her around as a reminder. He understands the importance of stretching and will do a few downward dogs beforehand. Seems like a pro right? Unfortunately, he has been known to run into stop signs due to some squirrel distractions. In the end, Cooper has released all of his pent up energy and Hoofer Ann begins the day knowing she has done her deed as a pet owner. If you see them running in the Nut Swamp area, give a honk! Well, maybe not, we know Cooper is working on his focus!
A Woofer on the Go
Just looking at that smile will tell you how Billy feels about his walks. His owner, Joyce feels equally as excited. As a senior Hoofer (human), these walks have benefitted Joyce's overall health. I don't dare ask her age, but whatever it is I plan to minus 15 years because that's how great she looks! Billy lives in a senior community with paved trails, plush landscape, and plenty of other Woofers to meet. He walks on auto-pilot as he has done these trails a thousand times, but does brake to "mark" his territory. Billy is a daily motivator for Joyce and their time spent together taking in the scents and the scenery further solidifies their bond. They even stop for kisses along the way. So very sweet to witness.
What's on TV?
Then there is the couch potato. In all fairness, Penny is still very young so this is probably something she will grow out of. The exercise benefits and exploring the environment doesn't come naturally to all Woofers; especially Penny. She would prefer chomping on some leaves, playing in the sandbox, and peeling some stick shreds all in the comfort of her fenced in backyard. Can you blame her? The backyard is her safety net and the world beyond that fence can be quite scary! She's slowly getting introduced to this concept called a "walk." As you can see from this picture, we have to up her treat value as this one isn't doing the trick. Cars going by, all the lined up garbage cans, and litter blowing in the breeze rocks her world. In time with more exposure and definitely some yummy treats she will hopefully be on her way to exploring her hood and making lots of new friends; woofer and hoofer alike.
Need some ideas to motivate a puppy to walk on leash? Here's a great article with some pointers.
Clean Cut Fun
Fitness doesn’t have to be about going to the gym or taking a class. Walking or running with your Woofer is a great way to get your steps in while breathing in that fall crisp air! Want to burn some additional calories?! Try some walking lunges or traveling side squats while walking your Woofer. Every time your dog stops on your walk for a sniff, do some jump squats. Before you know it your 30 minute walk can turn into a mini strength workout! So begin to add your favorite body weight exercises into your daily walk and continue to build your bond with your Woofer as you increase your strength! Your Woofer will soon become your biggest advocate towards your fitness goals.
Special thanks to Lori Sawyer, co-founder of Clean Cut Fitness & Nutrition, an on-line lifestyle company that teaches balance with clean foods and exercise for this "Clean Cut Fun" contribution. Sniff out their real life program which will help you “shrink your body & grow your mind.” Visit their website for more information on this successful program. www.cleancutfit.com
In closing, whether you have a woofer who likes to hit the pavement, one that can be ambivalent about the journey, or one that prefers the couch it's never to late to try and get their paws moving. For some the actual walk is the reward, others it's their time spent with you, and others may need the additional motivator (treats). Whatever the case, the end result is the bond cultivated through the process and a healthier Woofer and Hoofer!
Written by: Karen Kane (the original Hoofer)