If one of your 2018 goals is to get in shape, the great news is you don’t have to do it alone! Your dog loves to exercise too, and can be a great workout buddy and accountability partner.
Here are 5 fun exercises you and your dog can do together to stay fit in 2018:
Whether its an organized 5K or a light jog around the block, make it a routine to get out and moving! Even a brisk walk can be a great break from sitting on our butts (especially if you’re coming out of a regular 8-5 desk job). The best part is that a run or walk only requires a leash and collar to make it happen.
Motivation Tip: If you have a hard time motivating yourself to get out there and train, pick up the leash and watch your dog do his happy dance! How could you skip your fitness for the day when looking into those vibrant, excited eyes?! (You can’t).
Swimming is fabulous exercise for both you and your dog. If straight-up running is hard on your joints, going for a swim can be a great way to get in some cardio without all the harshness on those bones (it’s especially great for working out with a senior pet).
Grab some life jackets and head over to the nearest pond, lake, or beach (make sure its an area that allows dogs and doesn’t pose a danger for being swept away!). If your dog is fearful of or has never been in water, take it slow. Introduce them positively, gently splashing their paws and body.
As they become more confident, let them decide when to jump in! If you’re already in the water, it can be less scary for them to make the leap themselves (just make sure you don’t hinder each others ability to stay afloat!)
Keep in mind them some dogs just don’t like water and will never be on to enjoy a day at the lake—and that’s OK! Don’t force it if your dog’s not into it. There are plenty of other ways to get your heart rate up together.
If running isn’t your thing, and swimming isn’t your dog’s thing, get creative and practice building up strength through agility training. Running an obstacle course with your pup give your dog structure and exercise all in one. Plus, jogging alongside your dog to keep her on course keeps you moving while having something else to focus on.
You’ll have so much fun you won’t even realize it’s exercise.
Of course, a great first step to having your fittest year is to improve your eating habits. It can be a big commitment to change both your own and your dogs meal regimens, but it doesn't have to be difficult! Our recipes are protein-rich and low-carb: healthy fuel for your new active lifestyle.
Yup, that’s right – there’s a yoga for everyone. Doga is a great way for you and your dog to exercise and relax simultaneously. Official doga classes are available locally, but you can also start your own practice with just a yoga mat, a youtube video, and your dog.
Follow the yoga tutorial you chose and let your dog hang out by your mat. The various poses will engage your dogs attention, and you may get a few slobbery kisses if your face ends up near the ground. Focusing on your breathing and enjoying being in the moment are great ways to revitalize your mind and heart while also challenging your body.
Hiking is the perfect way to explore new sights and sounds with your dog. It not only allows you and your dog to get lost in nature, but provides an opportunity for a much-appreciated “smell walk”. Being in unfamiliar territory is stimulating for a dog’s sniffer (and believe it or not, if a dog does not keep his nose working, he actually can lose sensitivity!) Nature hikes can keep that nose active while allowing you both to stretch those legs.
Grab your leash, some water, and your hiking boots and hit the trails! Try to stay present and really take in your surroundings. If your dog wants to stop and sniff something, challenge yourself to slow down too.
Rory is a strong, independent Catahoula Leopard dog who only needs a human to help her turn on the computer. Rory loves a good treat and has become proficient in typing since mastering her basic obedience skills. You can find her hiking trails, dragging her human along by the very tip of the leash.
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