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Tips for Getting Fit with Your Pet

Exercise wards off disease and keeps you looking and feeling great. But with so many demands on your time, it’s easy to let exercise fall to the bottom of the to-do list. No one loves to get out and move more than your pet, making them the ideal exercise partner.

Australia’s leading experts in the fitness industry are passionate about incorporating your canine and feline friends into your exercise regime. We’ve asked them to share their fun tips for getting fit with your four-legged friend, so you can get on your way to achieving your goals in no time.

Fitness Image
Meet the expert: After a successful career in Olympic-level speed skating, Fitness Image founder Armstrong Lazenby has found his passion in helping clients reach their health and fitness goals.

Fun fit tip: Get some music pumping! When Lazenby works out with his two pugs, he sets up a body weight circuit with 40 second reps and 20 seconds rests. “The dogs love my enthusiasm as well as the music, as they try to join in by playing with me between sets.”

Elle Fit Active 
Meet the expert: What started as stretching for pain relief has grown into Elle Fit Active, an online community where people around the world can access simple, effective and affordable stretching guides. Their ambitious goal is to get everyone (including your furry friend) stretching and reaping the benefits.

Fun fit tip: For bigger pets, like Elle’s Leonberger Klaus, find an animal-friendly space and let them run free, saving you from a dislocated shoulder when attempting a walk on a lead. “If a pet is waiting for you at home all day, it’s especially important to make time for them each day,” Elle stresses.

Leisa Timms
Meet the expert: A holistic health and fitness coach, Leisa Timms specialises in reiki, yoga therapy, health coaching and personal training. Her busy lifestyle includes working as a fitness instructor and further study in naturopathy, nutrition and acupressure.

Fun fit tip: “Lots of yoga names and words are taken from the animal kingdom, especially those close to humans such as cats and dogs”, explains Timms. It’s not a case of you teaching them yoga, but the other way around. Get tips on limbering up for dance or yoga moves from your feline. Having them present during your yoga practice helps you free your mind and body.

Tristan Knell Fitness
Meet the expert: No matter what your exercise goal, Tristan Knell can help you develop a program to reach it. A true proponent of practicing what he preaches, Tristan has undergone a phenomenal physical transformation himself.

Fun fit tip: When you’re playing catch, chase the ball together to work on your cardio and that of your dog. Your dog will probably beat you, but once you catch up perform 10 push-ups, 10 body weight squats, 10 ab crunches, 10 burpees and 10 star jumps. Depending on your fitness level you can choose to then rest or continue. Repeat this four to five times for a very effective workout.

CrossFit Tone
Meet the expert: CrossFit Tone is a place where women can enjoy the benefits of CrossFit training programs. Owner Elle has a passion for helping women get fit and healthy through strength and high-intensity training. When not building strength, Elle loves to play tag with her border collie housemate, Rusty.

Fun fit tip: “A great warm up for your workout is simply playing tag with your dog,” says Elle. She suggests running away from your dog, letting them chase you back and vice versa. You’ll quickly forget it’s a workout, guaranteed to set your heart soaring in no time.

Life Personal Trainers
Meet the expert: Delivering in excess of 500 personal training sessions per week, Life Personal Trainers know health and fitness. The professional environment offers a positive exercise experience with the long term goal of a permanent and positive lifestyle change for their clients.

Fun fit tip: According to Assistant Manager Sean Kinchington, the two greatest benefits of exercising with pets are motivation and variety. He makes sure to get out with his dog every day and mixes it up so neither he nor his dog gets bored. “It’s a good way to guarantee that I will get outside and be active at some point in the week and at the same time build up a good relationship with him,” says Kinchington.

Bee Active Personal Training
Meet the expert: At Bee Active gyms you can expect to find top-of-the-line equipment and the most up-to-date knowledge and techniques to help you achieve your fitness goals. Their realistic approach from experienced trainers has seen them develop 30-45 minute personal training sessions to fit in with your busy life.

Fun fit tip: A pet is an important motivator for children to move more as well. Rather than long distance running, short spurts involved in interval training or walking might be more suitable for children and smaller pups. Interval training is a great fat burner, making it the perfect option for anyone looking to shed a few kilos.

6X Training
Meet the expert: 6X Training recognises that in order to transform bodies and fitness levels forever they need to go beyond training bodies and focus on the mind of clients as well. The owner’s two bulldogs and boxer are frequent visitors at the gym where clients often happily take them for one of their required two walks a day.

Fun fit tip: If you love to run, but your pooch’s legs don’t have the same stamina, the experts at 6X recommend throwing a ball in the direction you’re running to keep them interested in keeping up.

Just like humans, our furry friends come in all different shapes and sizes, so before undertaking any exercise regime consider which exercise suits you and your pet best. But no matter what you choose, whether it’s some gentle yoga poses or a sprint along the beach, with your favourite pet by your side you’re sure to stay motivated to reach your health and fitness goals – and have a lot of fun in the process.