Motivation

Doing it for the right reasons

Relearn to play from your dog

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in Motivation | 0 comments

Relearn to play from your dog

Some of you may wonder how is it posibble to get regular and sustained movement.  The answer is play! But who’s your coach gonna be?  The answer is your dog! Dogs understand that play is fun. They also understand that real play begins in the body and involves movement. We will never get to a healthy weight without understanding that, in many important ways, humans are animals. Our minds might enjoy “playing” computer games. But millions of years of human evolution have created a body that loves to express itself through exuberant movement. Kids know this. Many adults forget. Some adults make the mistake of trying to over-organize play. That’s why fitness programs become dull, repetitive, over-measured, soulless, or bound up by teams and rules. Your dog isn’t buying it. If it’s fun, you’ll do it more. Walking with your dog is fun for both of you, especially if you mix it up and respond to your dog’s naturally playful spirit. The play master: Frank Forencich’s dog Mojo One of Weight Waggers’ favorite writers is Frank Forencich. He has a degree in human biology from Stanford and has taught martial arts and functional movement for 25 years. But he’s not too proud to learn from his dog. Here are a few excerpts from his fascinating and original book Exuberant Animal: The Power of Health, Play and Joyful Movement. Weight Waggers recommends the entire book. Play includes varied movement Forencich urges people to avoid the overly determined approach:  “My dog’s name is Mojo…. His fitness program is truly amateurish…. He violates all the rules. When he exercises, he doesn’t warm up or cool down. He doesn’t check his heart rate and he  never measures his body fat percentage….. He doesn’t keep a spreadsheet and he never bothers   to log his progress. He has no performance objectives…. There’s no sense of discipline to his method. When he goes out on the trail, he sets whatever  pace he wants…. On some days he walks, some days he does wind sprints, some days he goes swimming…. Not only that, Mojo is completely apathetic about competition…. If he gets tired, he rests. If he gets hot, he seeks out shade. If his paw hurts, he slows down. According to everything I read in the fitness and sports medicine press, Mojo out to get in terrrible condition…. But no, it’s not like that at all…. He’s got great muscle tone and a slender waist. He does adhere to one basic rule. That is, he tries to get moderate to vigorous activity on most days of the week. That’s it. Aside from his obvious preoccupation with play and pleasure, this is his only rule for fitness. “(p. 232-233)   Real play begins in the body and involves movement In 2004, Forencich interviewed his dog, Mojo, one of the “preeminent voices in the field of play philosophy” who has won “numerous awards for his work in the field of cross-species play.”  Forencich: So what about humans then? Do they play too? Mojo: Well I assume they do, but it’s really hard to tell sometimes. They aren’t like other animals, that’s for certain. Sometimes aney run and jump like normal critters, but a lot of them just sit there, for hours on end, hardly doing anything at all. I worry about them…. You humans are so dense sometimes. The point is that play begins in the body and that it involves movement…. All other forms come from that. You might say that you’re playing in some other way, but if you’re not moving your body, you’re missing...

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Your dog can rescue you only if you show up

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in Motivation | 0 comments

Your dog can rescue you only if you show up

Don’t rely on other people to build a weight wagging habit. Your dog can only rescue you if you show up and build a habit. You are the pack leader Feeling better and looking good should help motivate you to keep up your commitment, as should the bond you build with your dog. Remember that you are fitness partners but it is you who is (quite literally!) the leader. Your dog will be a faithful and enthusiastic training partner, but he can’t do it without you. Make a simple commitment for both your sakes and start enjoying a healthier lifestyle one step at a me. People start to walk for all sorts of reasons. They know that it’s healthy and they need to stay active. Unfortunately, how hard we work, our effort and energy is measured by our motivation. When we’re doing things for ourselves, to be healthy and fit, we can easily slide. Dogs motivate us to walk But when we’re asked to perform for someone else, when the motivation is external, we rise to the occasion. We even go above and beyond. Studies show that people are much more likely to stick to a walking program with a dog than with a friend or any other human. Volunteers who walked shelter dogs and had to ride a bus to get to the shelter were the most compliant with the walking program. That’s because dogs don’t read text messages or understand excuses. They just miss you when you don’t show up. When you’re deciding to walk your dog, don’t think about it as something you’re only doing for yourself or only for your four-legged friend. The relationship helps the both of you. Benefits for both of you Here’s a startling statistic: More than 50% of dogs are overweight. Like people, they’re overfed and under-exercised. When you take a dog out on a walk, you’re participating in their natural instincts to explore. It stimulates their brains and keeps them happy. Walks keep the dog calm and help them bond with you. Rather than simply letting your furry friend out into the yard, take a stroll together through the neighborhood. You’ll get benefit from the physical activity, true, but you’ll also have the knowledge that you’re doing a good thing for your pet. The happiness of your pet is a great reason to get moving. But remember, when you walk your dog, as much you’re helping them stay active and fit, you’re doing to the same for yourself. The same benefits your dog gets from walk, you get. Regular walks will reduce stress, inflammation, burn calories and lower cholesterol levels. Walking helps maintain weight loss over the long term and reduces the risk of diabetes by a third. All that from walking and spending time outside with a perfect support system. The dog is always going to help you stay fit as long as they get to have some of the...

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Dog walking: A life-long fitness partnership

Posted by on Apr 20, 2013 in Motivation | 0 comments

Dog walking: A life-long fitness partnership

Expanding waistlines are a real challenge for our society. Not only can our weight make us feel bad  about ourselves, but it gives rise to a host of other health issues, like heart disease, diabetes and stroke. If the trend of rising obesity continues, it has been estimated that, by the start of the next decade, 75% of adult Americans will be overweight. The good news is that there is a remarkably easy way to lose weight; most of us know it, we just don’t  get around to doing it. There’s no secret to it, it doesn’t cost money and it’s simple: eat healthy food and take some moderate exercise. The trouble is that many of us can’t motivate ourselves to follow this simple advice. Modern life is fast paced and many of us don’t have the energy to prepare good food and get outside for some fresh air. Exhausted at the end of another busy day, we grab some over-processed fast food, and wile away our free time in front of a screen. Some of us have an unwitting partner in crime: our dog. America’s dogs are suffering an obesity epidemic too. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that over 50% of the nation’s dogs are obese. Why? Well, we feed them over-processed cheap kibble, and then, because we are tired, we short-change them on their walks. Many of us have large yards and it’s an easy assumption to make that the dog is managing to get enough exercise out there on its own. Or, feeling guilty, we compensate by over-feeding them. Worse, some dogs find themselves handed over to shelters when their boredom spills out into unwanted behavior. It can happen all too easily but thankfully there is a solution. Weight Waggers are here to get you and your dog off the couch and out the front door together. Dog walking shouldn’t be yet another chore in your jam‐packed life. We are going to show you that it can be an enjoyable, energizing activity that sparks vitality and sets both you and your dog up for life-long health. It will become a habit, but one that you can actually enjoy! You’re never going to find a more motivated and enthusiastic training buddy than your dog. Studies show that people who start walking for health are far more likely to stick to their new activity if they have a dog for a companion,  than those who walk alone, or even those who choose a human buddy. All the two of you have to do is step out together for a walk every day, and soon you will both be reaping the health rewards. It really is that...

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Do it for the dog, do it for you

Posted by on Apr 20, 2013 in Motivation | 0 comments

Do it for the dog, do it for you

People start to walk for all sorts of reasons. They know that it’s healthy and they need to stay active. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we work, our effort and energy are measured by our motivation. When we’re doing things for ourselves, to be healthy and fit, we can easily slide. But when we’re asked to perform for someone else, when the motivation is external, we rise to the occasion. We even go above and beyond. When you’re deciding to walk your dog, don’t think about it as something you’re only doing for yourself or only for your four-legged friend. The relationship helps both of you. Here’s a startling statistic: more than 50% of dogs are overweight. Like people, they’re overfed and under-exercised. When you take a dog out on a walk, you’re participating to the of their natural instincts to explore. It stimulates their brains and keeps them happy. Walks keep the dog calm and help them bond with you as well. Rather than simply letting your furry friend out into the yard, take a stroll together through the neighborhood. You’ll get benefit from the physical activity, true, but you’ll also have the knowledge that you’re doing a good thing for your pet. The happiness of your pet is a great reason to get moving. But remember, when you walk your dog, you’re not only helping THEM stay active and fit, you’re also doing the same for YOURSELF! You get the same benefits your dog gets from walking. Regular walks will reduce stress and inflammation, burn calories and lower cholesterol levels. Walking helps maintain weight loss over the long term and reduces the risk of diabetes by a third. All that just from walking and spending time outside with a perfect support system. The dog is always going to help you stay fit as long as they get to have some of the...

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Motivational dogs

Posted by on Apr 20, 2013 in Motivation | 0 comments

Motivational dogs

It’s easier to start a fitness regime with someone to back you up, someone who will support you and push you to go further. Someone who drags you out even if you don’t feel up to it. In that spirit, a dog is by far the best workout partner you can ever have. People who have dogs are more motivated to walk. Dogs are better partners than other people, because they will always be excited to go out. They’ll push you to it. Unlike other people who might train with you, a dog can’t make excuses and skip a workout. And the dog won’t listen to your excuses either. It will want to go out regardless of how you’re feeling. That’s a level of commitment that’s hard to find anywhere else. Going to the gym can feel like a chore, but when you’re going out with your pup, you find that it doesn’t feel like exercise anymore. Your motivation is right with you, tugging at the leash. It’s been shown that people who walk their dogs, walk more than people who walk for the exercise alone. The end result of this activity is pretty extraordinary. Pet owners who regularly walk their dogs are 42% more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those who don’t. Three 20 minute walks will give you an hour’s worth of activity during the day. Research has found that people who walk their dogs get more exercise than with a gym membership. On average, pet owners exercise their animals two times for about 24 minutes. Each week, they get five hours and 38 minutes of physical activity. People without dogs average only an hour and 20 minutes of exercise per week. That’s a significant difference. Dogs have had human companions for generations. They’ve helped us survive the most difficult times. Now, they can help us by training us too. We can learn from them how to find the energy and the right motivation to get active. They will change our brains and reform our habits. A doggy workout partner will keep you faithful in your routine, so you can both be happy and...

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