This article was originally featured in Austin Fit Magazine, written by Stephanie Thomas.
Why exercise alone when you can work out with your furry best friend? It’s the perfect opportunity to get your workout in while spending time with your pup! Working out with your pet is rewarding, and they will appreciate all the love you show them.
Dogs make wonderful workout partners. Your pet’s positive energy will not only make the experience more fun, but they’ll also hold you accountable by making sure you don’t miss a workout with them. It’s hard to say no when you have a workout buddy like that!
When it comes to exercising with your dog, we’ve got just what you need to work out with your dog regularly. Keeping active with my two cavalier King Charles spaniels, Lady and Bo, is one of my favorite things to do, and my pups are always looking forward to the next adventure!
Here’s how you can incorporate your dog into your workout, whether it’s a walk on the beach or a hike exploring a new trail.
Have you taken your dog to the beach yet? Visit a dog-friendly beach with your pup! Even if they don’t love swimming, they might love walking on a sandy beach with you. Lady and Bo love letting the waves crash into them, and they don’t mind the water as long as their feet can touch the bottom. Discover what your dog enjoys most about adventures at the beach!
Change up the scenery and scents for your dog and check out a new park. Dogs love discovering new smells, so it’s a good idea to mix up walking locations. Depending on the park you choose, you can go for a walk or hike on trails. You’ll both improve your cardiovascular, muscle and joint, and mental health.
When you roll out your yoga mat, your dog will likely want to join you on the mat or at least watch you do yoga! Lady and Bo start their sessions by watching me do yoga, eventually falling asleep (they’re great at savasana). Having a cuddly companion nearby while practicing yoga makes the experience more enjoyable. Your dog might not be able to do the yoga poses with you, but having them nearby is just as beneficial for both of you.
If your dog loves cuddling, they might want to join you in restorative yoga, which is like a moving meditation as you hold poses for a long time. It’s a great opportunity to have your dog lay next to you or on your lap if you are doing a pose like a supported fish pose on a bolster.
Take your leisurely dog walk up a notch! Walk faster to get more cardiovascular exercise in, and your dog will happily adapt to the speed. This is a great way to take a break during the day and enjoy some fresh air with your pup.
Take it a step further and turn your walk into an interval running and walking session if your dog enjoys being active! Adapt the intervals to your dog’s running experience. Run slower if you’re new to running with your dog. To warm up and get your legs moving, walk for the first five to 10 minutes. Then, slowly begin jogging at a pace where you can easily hold a conversation. You can alternate between jogging and walking for one to two minutes for about 20 to 30 minutes or as long as you and your dog feel comfortable.
Our pets need time to recover from exercise and long walks just like we do. In addition to being fun workout partners, they will also love being your rest and recovery partner. Stretch on your yoga mat with your dog nearby or cuddle up on the couch when you need some extra rest.
Watch out for your dog’s safety by doing the following:
Enjoy exercising with your dog — it will strengthen your bond, and you’ll surely brighten their day! You might find that you look forward to exercising, especially if it’s alongside them!
Thank your dog for making fitness fun and for all the other things they do to make you smile.
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