Welcome back to week number two of “Cardio Canine,” the exercise and nutrition program created specifically for you and your dog.
It is well-known that owners resemble their dogs, but did you know that you lose and gain weight in the same manner? You both ingest calories from food and convert them into carbohydrates, fat and protein, and these chemical breakdowns keep you fueled. When your bodies consume what they need, the rest is stockpiled for the future. This efficiency leads to the birth of the dreaded fat cell. Weight management is primarily about managing the types of fuel you use and keeping your storage facilities in check.
Exercise, on the other paw, boils down to two metabolic processes: aerobic and anaerobic synthesis. Aerobic conditioning burns calories, while anaerobic conditioning builds muscle. Both are required to successfully manage and lose weight. “Cardio Canine” applies both of these for effective weight loss and management.
To achieve the optimum results from “Cardio Canine” you must integrate proper nutrition with consistent workouts. And forget dieting. I know everyone says that, but I mean it! To be and remain effective, you must eat better, period.
Here are some simple guidelines to help you deliver the best nutrients to your cells by deriving the best fuel from your food:
• Choose your food from: lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products and whole grains.
• Learn to love vegetables and protein! Vegetables are virtually calorie free and packed with vitamins; protein actually utilizes calories for digestion.
• Eat 3 small meals and 2 snacks per day to keep your fat-burning machine busy.
• Eat until your hunger passes, but never stuff yourself.
• Your food should be natural. If it comes in a wrapper or package or filled with chemicals and preservatives, try not to eat it. Food additives interfere with your bodies’ abilities to lose weight because it must first synthesize these foreign agents before it can attack your fat cells. By eating processed food, you actually block your fat-fighting powers.
• Water. Water. Water. As much as 40 ounces per day to deliver food nutrients to all your cells and flush out partially burned fat cells, also called ketones, from your blood. Water is your gasoline, without it, you will just remain stuck in the driveway.
The good news is you do not have to count calories or abstain from chocolate. You must, however, eat in the recommended manner consistently, exercise often and limit your junk food to special occasions.
And now onto your pooch. Gone are the fat-scraps from your dinner plate or the roll under the table. Like you, your dog’s meals should not include junk food. Remember, you both metabolize fat the same way!
The dog-food market is trickier than the human-food market. The ingredients, the processing, the by-products, the additives and preservatives are usually a diabolical mix of poisons, cleverly marketed in a colorful bag. As with your food, it is important to understand and be wary of labels. Please ask your vet’s opinion on which food is appropriate for your breed of dog. And, when you can, cook.
Your dog will have at least 2 meals and 2 snacks per day. Skip the processed biscuits and treat your pup to natural foods. For example, great substitutes include brown rice, chicken, lean cuts of beef, baby carrots, green beans, sliced cucumbers, bananas and even apples. Although it may take some time to retrain your dog’s taste buds, your dog will come around.
Now that you are both eating well you are ready for this week’s workout. Week #2 requires: 2 water bottles, an inflatable dog-bowl, a dog leash of at least 6 feet
and a destination with a park bench.
As always, consult with your doctor and veterinarian before starting a new work-
CARDIO CANINE WORKOUT#2, 30-35 MINUTES
3 sets of:
1 minute brisk walk followed by 1 minute light jog
Followed by: 2 minute recovery walk
3 sets of 10x:
Walking Lunge with Water Bottle Bicep Curl (Right Leg Lead) Walking Lunge with Water Bottle Bicep Curl (Left Leg Lead) 2 minute moderate jog
2 minute recovery walk
2 Sets of 10x -
One-legged Squat (off Bench) (Right Leg Lead) One-legged Squat (Left Leg Lead)
Triceps Dips (off Bench)
2 Sets of 10x -
High Step Ups- (off Bench) (Right Leg Lead) High Step Ups- (Left Leg Lead)
2 minute moderate jog
2 minute brisk walk
1 minute light jog
5 minute recovery/cool down walk
*This weeks workout should be completed a total of 3 times*
The Walking Lunge and Water Bottle Curl – With your arms extended by your sides, each hand holding a water bottle, curl the water bottles up to your chest as you lunge your foot forward. Lower your arms back to your sides as your feet go into the neutral position.
The One-Legged Squat—Standing in front of the bench, place one leg in back of you on the bench so that the toes and front part of the foot balance on the bench edge. Your standing leg should bend (like the walking lunge) in a right angle. Your feet, knees and head face forward. With each repetition you will lower your body straight down like a squat until the knee of your elevated leg is almost touching the ground. Lift yourself up and repeat.
Tricep Dips—Stand in front of the bench and place your hands in back of you, shoulder width apart. Your hands should be facing your back. Extend your legs forward and lower yourself down and up for a single repetition.
High Step-Ups—Stand hip width apart, facing the bench. Lift one foot and place it on the bench. Then push down on that heel and push your body up so that leg becomes straight. Your other heel will dangle off the bench, then lower down and repeat.
Bench Push-Up—Stand in front of the bench and position your hands so that they are shoulder width apart . Hold the outer-edge of the bench. Extend your legs out from under you and lower your chest towards the bench seat. Keep your eyes forward and then push back up.
Finally, track any change in your ‘progress journal’. Monitoring the physical and behavioral changes that are occur as the result of the program will keep you motivated and help make your changes permanent. Please feel free to contact me with questions and/or comments at [email protected] (please write CC in the subject line) and be sure to pick up next week’s paper for workout #3, an exploration into the psychological benefits of “Cardio Canine,” and the top foods your dog should avoid.
Happy Tails !!!
Marisa Bellis is an Animal Humane Officer and behaviorist for the American Humane Association’s Film and Television Unit who has worked locally on productions including “Hachiko” and “27 Dresses.” She is an experienced animal trainer, breeder, and veterinary technician, as well as a certified Yoga instructor who has studied nutrition, aerobic and strength conditioning. “Cardio Canine” (trademark pending) is a fusion of her skills, passions and commitment to human and animal well-being, as she seeks to integrate people and their animals in a creative, affordable and beneficial program.