Dogercise: the Millennial parent workout solution

As a new millennial parent, also known as a “pawent”, I have had to make some lifestyle adjustments. As gym sessions got swapped for dog walks, I realized I didn’t want to gain a friend and also a couch bod. I recognized the need to raise the fitness bar with my furry friend. So to complement my airport yoga routine, which helps me stretch my way through JFK on work trips, I’ve developed a plan for me and my dog to both keep up with the squirrels: dogercise. With this new approach to workouts, you’ll see you lose none of your fitness and gain all the time you need with your fuzzy companion.

Bench press → Puppy press

Use a 10-15 lb dog for toning. To build muscle mass, choose a 20-50 lb dog. On a flat back with bent knees, position one hand on the ribs and one hand mid-belly. Repeat 3 sets of 15 reps. Stretch in between by fully extending arms while scratching your dog’s back in reward for being a good boy.

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Running → Chasing

In a place where your dog can be off leash, either in a dog park or a living room, chase dog in circles until he or she has been panting for at least 5 minutes. To get your dog highly motivated to maintain the pursuit, bait him or her with a favorite “keep away” object not intended for chewing, such as a shoe or sock. Ensure that the baiting shoe is not one you will miss.

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Mason twists → Mason tugs

Sit on the ground with your back angled at 45 degrees. Get your dog engaged with a tug toy by squeaking or shaking in front of his or her nose. Once dog grips the tug toy, raise legs parallel to the ground, with toes pointed, and pull the tug toy under your legs. Pass the tug toy from one hand to the other, until dog has walked a 180 degree arc under your legs. Repeat the passing for 20 reps. Rest in between sets by snuggling your dog.

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Yes, you truly can have it all. And as they grow from puppy to adult, yoga may be the next frontier, with tandem downward dog. Namastay. Good boy.

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Airport yoga: the basics

Long weekends like President's Day can woo us to long flights to the sunshine. And to be in good form for the flight and your vacay, getting your zen on can get you in the right frame to handle the most primal of human settings: the airport gate waiting area. Below are a few simple moves that can be achieved with your travel essentials, including your phone and your luggage.

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Upward iPhone

While you're crafting your last #hashtag before boarding, make a gentle back arch, chin uplifted at a 30° angle, arms gently curved in half circles, holding your phone screen towards your face.

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Luggage Lunge

Taking a wide stance, bend your right knee, with your right foot pointed outward, and lengthen your left leg, with the left foot pointing forward. Use your roller luggage handle to stabilize.

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Listening Tree Pose

As you desperately crane to listen to sporadic announcements - in case they are for your flight - take a moment to re-center by balancing on one foot, one hand cupped to ear and one hand in prayer position.

 

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Weekend Warrior 1

While waiting to board the plane, take a wider then hip distance stance. Place your hands slightly above your hips, and breath deep.

This may deter antsy travelers vying for overhead space from edging in front of you. Move forward at a regular pace, trusting that line-cutters will experience bad karma from observant flight attendants.

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Snack Stretch

As the stewardess offers you a snack, accept with the outside hand (the one closest to the window), giving you an opportunity to rotate your torso and have a cross-body arm stretch.

So remember before you board, to take each waiting opportunity to get that blood flowing and expand outward before you crunch into an economy seat.