Exercise while you spend time with your pet. / Stockbyte/Getty Images
Don't forget about your cat!
Tone inner thighs with plies, a graceful-like-a-cat move. Stand with heels together, toes turned out. Lower yourself down with your back straight and butt tucked under your back. As you lower down, dangle a toy wand in front of your cat, and when you push back up, raise the wand out of your cat’s reach. Repeat 12 to 15 times for a set; aim for up to three sets.
Let your cat play chase. Lay on your back with your knees bent, arms at your side. Holding a laser pen, a popular cat toy, in one hand, inhale and use your abs to lift your shoulders and back up off the ground. While holding for a count of two, move the laser pen so that the light dances around the room, giving you cat something to chase. Exhale and slowly lower down, keeping your abs tight. Repeat 12 to 15 times for a set; aim for up to three sets.
How’s this for multitasking: Get fit while spending time with your canine.
Add some muscle. Wear a backpack filled with 5-pound weights and you’ll burn more calories, says Kerry Howell, an exercise physiologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Include bursts of intensity. “Every four minutes on your walk, go hard for one minute,” says Michele Olson, professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala.
Let your pup sniff. When your dog noses around a tree, use it to do standing push-ups. Stand 1 to 2 feet away from the tree, hands flat on the trunk, heels up, so you’re on your toes. Bend arms and lean in so your face nearly touches the tree, then push out. Repeat 12 to 15 times for a set; aim to do up to three sets.
Play fetch with Fido. In your yard or the park, throw a ball and race your dog to it, Olson says. He’ll love it, and you’ll get your heart pumping. Do it five to 10 times.