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Get Healthy!

Learn more new tips on how to get and stay healthy for better agility handling (and a better life).

Get fit for a better performance on and off the agility course using these tips (and your own common sense):

Not sure you know how much exercise you are getting during agility class, practice, or a trial?  Clip on a pedometer and start tracking.  For less than $20.00 you may be surprised and motivated!
Monique Plinck
Middlefield, Connecticut

Stop watching TV; get up out of the easy chair.  Use the TV for watching agility training and competition DVDs.  Play WII on your TV.  That will give you a lot of exercise.
Linda Knowles
Justin, Texas

Do bicep and triceps curls with your dog will tugging. Note: always have a slight bend to the knees.

Lori Michewicz
Fenton, Michigan

Always do two good things for yourself each day (one of which includes the three miles walked with the dogs).  The rest of the day is devoted to other priorities and others in your life.
Never overdo the naughties to the point where they interfere with your next day (drinking and so on).

Eat as natural as possible.  Just like our dogs' commercial foods, the more items in the ingredients you don't know (or can't pronounce), the less you should be eating (or feeding them).
Walk up hills backwards.  This uses the opposing muscles to the ones we use to walk and it strengthens the knees.
Find a local therapy pool and go swimming with your dog.

Nancy Beams
Lake Tapps, Washington

If you really want to maximize your performance with your dog, committing to getting fit is important. That's more than walking around the block. Join a gym, get a fitness trainer, and work at it.

Need to lose weight? Use the power of the internet. Logging programs such as My Food Diary ( help you log food, keep track of calories consumed and exercise goals accomplished. They also provide a great support group as you work your way to a fitter, healthier you.

Balance. It's essential for grace and recovery in agility and can help prevent injury on uneven ground. Stand on one foot.  Bring the opposite knee up toward the chin, then rotate it out to the side, opening the leg/hip as if trying to touch your knee to the opposite hand. Leaving the knee there, extend the leg and point the toe toward the ground (without actually touching it), finally sweeping the leg back in and starting over. Do not touch the foot to the ground or use a wall for support. Start with 10 reps on each side and work up to one minute on each side.

Hate to run? Feel like you can't run? Try interspersing sprints into your walk. Start with 15 seconds with a rest period in between, and work up from there.

Robin Nuttall
Columbia, Missouri

Check back tomorrow for more fitness tips!

**** is not a substitute for medical care and advice. Please check with your doctor before doing exercises or changing your diet.


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