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Staying Motivated: Working Out With Man's Best Friend and More

I live a life dedicated to being healthy and staying fit for myself and my family.

My Jack Russell Westie Mix

My Jack Russell Westie Mix

How to Stay Motivated and Be Consistent

I use my Jack Russell Westie Mix as motivation for all of my runs and workouts. He has a lot of energy and needs exercise after being home all day, so I feel like I have no choice but to exercise with him. Having my Jack Russell Westie Mix with me during my run boosts my morale.

We have a specific route around our neighborhood that can take us 20–25 minutes to complete. My dog pushes me to run fast in the beginning, and I push him to run fast in the end. The best runs are the days he looks up at me and smiles with his tongue out; it makes it worth it.

Other Ways to Stay Motivated and Be Consistent

  1. Bring a friend, significant other, or group with you as your support team.
  2. Have a backup plan if it rains.
  3. Set aside specific times and days of the week to work out that best fit your schedule.
  4. Create an upbeat workout playlist to listen to or find one on a music streaming app.
  5. Switch up your workout routines, so you don't get bored (see Figure 8 video posted at the bottom of this page).
  6. Get the Gym Journal App to track your progress each day of the month.

Overview of Workouts Below

The workouts below are a combination of old workouts that I decided best suited my goals and body type. I consider them my go-to, but I incorporate additional workouts on the days when I'm feeling bored and unmotivated.

Personally, I like to think weight and pounds are meaningless. It's so easy to compare yourself to others and feel bad about yourself! Remember that everyone's body type is different, so set a healthy goal for yourself and not someone else's. Try aiming for working out, at the very least, four times a week. The maximum you should do is six days a week, so you have one day of recovery for your muscles.

Part 1: Run for 25 Minutes

Running is a mental game. You can't bring yourself to get started with it, you hate your life while you are doing it, but you feel amazing afterward. I find the easiest time to go running is right when I get home from work. I don't give myself a chance to think about it because the moment I sit my butt on the couch, it's game over; I won't be going for a run that day.

Part 2: Ab Workout for 10–20 Minutes

When you get back from your run, give yourself a chance to catch your breath. Don't let too much time go by though. The best results come from when you do your ab workout right after your run. This is not supposed to be easy. It will be hard, and you will be hurting. Chances are you may barely make it through some of these workouts below. Just do the best you can to push yourself, and know when you are pushing yourself past your limit. It will get easier over time; I promise!

This is also a great time to incorporate your dog into your workout to stay motivated and have a few laughs. If you do not have a dog, turn on the TV to watch your favorite show or listen to music to hype you up.



1. Crunches (20)

Crunches are a great way to get started.

Side ways sit-ups

Side ways sit-ups

2. Sideways Sit-Ups (20 on Each Side)

My dog will sometimes sit on my feet when I do this. It is so cute, and it honestly makes me forget about the pain some days!



3. Bicycles (20)

Two twists of the shoulders count as one bicycle. If your dog loves playing with feet as much as mine does, they will love to join in on this workout. It will push you harder to move your feet faster, so your dog doesn't play bite you.

Leg raise

Leg raise

4. Leg Raises (10–20)

Complete 20 if you can. I typically can only do 10 or sometimes 15. I will take one of my dog's toys in between my feet while I do this workout. He tries to jump up to take it from me, and when he grabs hold of it, I hold my position. You can really feel it in your abs!

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Russian twist

Russian twist

5. Russian Twists (20)

A twist to each side of your body counts as one. I think this workout is my dog's favorite! I hold his toy in both of my hands while I do the twists. Sometimes if he is already on the side I'm moving towards, I will hold my position on the opposite side until he moves and finish out until I get to 20.



6. Plank

Hold the plank position for one full minute. I hold my dog's toy in my hand while I do this. It makes the time go faster, and it is an extra workout for your arms as they tug at it.

7. Break

Take a breather for a minute or two but no longer.

8. Repeat

Repeat the above ab workouts (1–6) one more time.

9. Rest and Drink Water

Don't forget to stay hydrated. You and your furry friend are done for the day!

My Jack Russell Westie Mix tired from our workout.

My Jack Russell Westie Mix tired from our workout.

Need Some Fun in Your Workout Routines?

Figure 8 Fitness is a great app that is proven to carve out your core and whittle your middle. The best part is the dancing, so working out is actually fun! This app does cost money though requiring payment of around $70 each year.

It is extremely worth it, and it has eliminated the stubborn parts of my stomach by participating in it consistently. Once you get into the routine of the workout schedule you set for yourself, it will be addicting and hard to stop!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jackie Zelko


Audrey Lancho from Spain on June 19, 2019:

But but but.... I hate working out!! Kidding! Great post.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on June 19, 2019:

Why not? Some of our modern day exercises are derived from animals, reptiles, and bird. Thanks.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 19, 2019:

This is a great work out schedule. I just have to be careful with some exercises because of previous back problems. It sounds like a dog is a great exercise companion.

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