Special Segment: Begging for a new workout

December 13, 2012 (CHICAG0)

Going to the gym can bring healthy rewards, but not everyone is this motivated to pump iron.

What if you could pump your pooch instead?

That's the idea here at the K9 Fit Club.

It's a facility designed to help man and beast get off the couch and get in shape together.

Dogs can pick up the same unhealthy habits as their owners.

Creator Tricia Montgomery says the concept came from her own success, when she lost weight along with her dog years ago.

"You look at yourself in the mirror and you realize what you are doing is a direct reflection of your dog," she said.

Her club in downtown Hinsdale offers a variety of classes, complete with certified trainers for dogs and humans.

There are workouts designed for those big and small, to cleanse the mind and pump the heart, all with a very positive approach.

"It's a lot different than walking your dog because we do a lot of integrated exercises," Montgomery said. "We do not only do cardio we do strength training also do bonding we do meditation."

Cindy Rodkin and Khaki have been working out at the club since August when it opened.

Rodkin has lost 10 pounds.

"Some people think I'm crazy, but the dog lovers know what it is all about and really understand why I'm coming to this," she said.

Ginger and Robert Thompson come in twice a week, mostly to have fun, but Ginger is seeing some benefits to her figure.

"Maybe a couple pounds. but she has toned up," Thompson said.

Research shows dog owners who at least walk their dogs are 34 percent more likely to meet federal recommendations on daily exercise.

This club hopes to entice those who are less motivated or want exercise with variety.

Having Fido on hand can even help distract those humans who otherwise might call it quits.

"When someone starts struggling with their exercise they can focus on their dog and stop thinking about the exercise," said trainer Lance Houia.

The humans tend to do a lot more of the sweating, but obedience is also a big part of the program.

"This is what it's all about. You have to give back to yourself and at the same time you are giving to the one animal that loves you unconditionally no matter what," said Houia.

The K9 Fit Club is planning to open more centers in Chicago and the suburbs.

While this offers a unique approach to get fit with your dog, you can make a healthy difference by simply increasing daily walks and cutting back on treats.

That goes for both of you.

For more information:
33 S. Garfield
Hinsdale, Il. 60521

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