Living a healthier life is important, and people with pets have an advantage. Pet owners tend to live longer due to the reduction in stress hormone cortisol, according to a study at University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. As the owner of two dogs, I have created Paws-ilates™. It blends spine-strengthening exercises, core toners and some simple lifts with Fido, or in my case, Wrigley, to help you stand taller and spend time with your dog. Here are a few simple exercises I can recommend with dogs 25 pounds or less.
Step 1—The Sit, Lean and Reach
Paws-ilates is a program for people and pets to enjoy. Pilates core moves and gentle pet massage create a special time to reconnect, decompress and do something great for yourself as well as your pet.
Start in a seated position with knees slightly bent. Your pooch sits in front or facing you and, holding onto your pet with both hands, lean back and reach. Simply secure your pet, engage your core and lean back and reach. Keep your spine tall and chest open. Exhale as you lean back, inhale as you sit upright. Perform 10 to 20 alternating repetitions.
Step 2—The Canine Cross
Start in a seated position with knees slightly bent with pet held securely. Rotate to the side (top left) and return to center seated upright (top right). Repeat on the other side.(bottom) Lift the same side leg to challenge your core.
Step 3—Side Bend Power Leash
Stand tall with dog seated at your side. As you hold the leash with one hand and a bent arm, lift your other arm up and over your head. Reach downward toward your pet. Perform 10, then walk dog in a circle to repeat on other side.
All proceeds from my classes will benefit the Chicago Anti Cruelty Society (AntiCruelty.org) It is my hope to bring Paws-ilates to all cities and neighborhoods. If you would like more information on how to start classes in your neighborhood, contact me at AndreaMetcalf.com.
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, March 9, 2014
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