Are you trying to get in shape and have a dog as a pet? If yes, this article is for you! I have five easy exercises you can do with your dog. Having a dog as a pet can do more than just entertain you and the family. A dog can also help you reach some of your fitness goals.
Forget using a plain ole human as a workout buddy, have your dog take their place. They earned the nickname “Man’s Best Friend ” for a reason. Best friends keep you motivated, accountable, are loyal to you, and more. So, let us take a look at five easy exercises you can do with your dog starting today.
I hope you noticed I said “power walk” and not just take a stroll like you are shopping at the mall. The goal here is to walk at a higher intensity than you would usually. Depending on the type, breed and/or size of your dog, you may have to adjust your stride length, speed, or duration of the walk. Check out “Yourdogadvisor.com” which has a great article on different types of dogs that can give you a sense of what your dog is capable of. Going on a nice power walk with your dog for about 20-30 minutes is definitely an easy exercise to do with them. Also, this exercise is easy on the knees for both of you.
Ah, yes, one of my favorites, sprints. I love doing sprints because it takes up less of my time, allowing me to still reap the cardiovascular health benefits that doing time-consuming lower intensity exercises do. To do this exercise with your dog, turn it into a game a fetch. Take a ball and throw it as far as you want to sprint and chase after your dog as they run for it. Afterward, take a short break and repeat several times or do it for time. These sprints will rev up that metabolism for a temporary amount of time. Now, when doing this exercise, do this in a field and not on a hard surface such as concrete or pavement. Remember, you to be able to be physically active for a lifetime and pain-free.
If you do not mind sharing the water with your loveable fur ball, take a dip in the water. Dogs love to swim. A word of caution with this one, be mindful of where you decide to go swimming. If out in the ocean, sea, or river; be mindful of the current and other possible dangers. Always ensure you and your dog’s safety first before doing any activity.
Perhaps you do not know how to swim, you can still get in the water to exercise. You can do sprints in shallow water instead with your dog. While at it, check out how your dog swims and practice swimming the way they do. That is actually how I learned to swim initially before taking a drown poofing class.
You may be saying to yourself that “isn’t hiking the same as walking?” The answer to that is hiking involves walking but has different demands. The big difference between the two is that hiking requires more output on you and the dogs end depending on the terrain. Hiking more often than not has way more obstacles compared to when you are just taking a casual walk somewhere. These variants will require different stride lengths, speeds, and force output in muscles.
Usually, when hiking, it is done in the mountains, forest, hilly area, or reserved parks in a natural setting. In those different settings, the climate will be different from what you and your dog are used to as well. All in all, it is a different stimulus. A bonus of doing this type of exercise with your dog is they could be a form of protection since you are out in the wild with wild animals.
Finally here’s a classic exercise you can do with your dog, jogging. A dog can make a good jogging partner. Their energy and joy to get out, will get you motivated if not already. You can set the pace and take breaks whenever they have to use the restroom.
When first starting out, be sure to ease yourself and your dog into it. Be sure to do your homework before taking your dog on jogs to find out what type of physical activity your dog was bred for. Not all dogs are built for running long distances, some are better adapted to certain weather conditions and temperatures, and so on. Once you figure that out, you’ll be on your way.
There are a few things you have to keep in mind when exercising with your dog, especially in public.
- Know your local/state laws for having a leash for your dog. Some places require leashes and others do not.
- Clean up after your lovable companion. Keep some doggy bags packed.
- Know when your dog needs a break. Keep some water and a few treats on hand. Be sure to give them at least 1-2 days off during the week.
- Have the correct running gear for yourself and your dog.
- Make sure your dog is well trained; enough that they understand and obey your commands consistently. You always want to be considerate of those and their pets around you by having control over yours to prevent any unnecessary tension. Need help training your dog, check out “Brain Training For Dogs“.
There you have it, folks, five easy exercises you can do with your dog. This will help to improve and/or maintain both of your health. Be sure to check out my healthy lifestyle shop and resources to further aid you in your journey for a healthy you.
Be Healthy, Be Balanced, Be You