8 Exercises that you can do with your dog!
Did you make a resolution to get more exercise?
How’s that working out for you?
I hope it’s gone better for you than it has for me so far. Just two weeks into the New Year, and I’m already fighting the temptation to curl up on the couch with my dogs.
But then I wondered if instead of looking at them as enablers of being a couch potato, maybe I should see them as exercise partners!
Every dog loves to play, and being active is as good for them as it is for us. So why not take them along for the fitness ride?
So today, we’re looking at eight ways you can exercise with your dog.
Having a Dog as a Running Mate
The most obvious way to exercise with your dog is to go for a walk. But amp up that calorie burn and your heart rate by turning into a run! Just be sure that Fido can keep up with you easily and isn’t having trouble breathing.
If you’re lucky enough to be in warm weather, take along a water bottle and collapsible bowl so that he can have a cool down when you do.
And one note if your dog is very young… you shouldn’t run with a young dog until his skeleton is mature. Running too young can damage the bones as they grow and cause other damage. Check with your vet to know when this happens for your breed.
People and Dog Yoga
Google “dog yoga” and you’ll find a surprising number of listings for the topic. Apparently, dogs love to do downward facing dog with their guardians!
The flexibility and muscle strength that comes from a committed yoga routine is just as good for your dog as it is for you. And they’ll see the exercise as more time spent with you – so it’s a double win for them! There are plenty of YouTube videos on how to do yoga with your dog — or doga as it’s being called. And here’s 11 Border Collies doing yoga.
So, do a search, watch a few vids, and get to stretching with your furry buddy!
Swimming Laps with Your Dog to Stay in Shape
If you have a pool (and it’s warm enough), you can swim laps with your dog. They’ll love splashing around with you.
Plus, swimming is a great cardio workout that builds incredible stamina and muscle tone. If you have an older dog, or if you are an older human, swimming is easier on the aging joints and still provides an incredible workout.
If you don’t have a pool, there are still options. Plenty of public pools are becoming canine-friendly, and canine rehab centers are popping up in new neighborhoods all the time. These are great resources for a splash.
Workout with Agility Training for You and Your Dog
Agility training is often viewed as being a great exercise for a dog. But handlers get a real workout, too.
If you’ve ever watched an agility race, you’ll see that the handler is running, bending, clapping, and jumping nearly as much as the dog! Plus, the training is great for building a better relationship with your dog while they’re having a blast.
This goes for body tricks like Frisbee and freestyle training, too.
Bicycle Riding with Your Dog
This one is a lot like running for your dog. But if you love to bike, there’s no reason why you can’t take your dog along for some air and exercise.
Larger dogs can trot alongside a bike easily at a moderate pace. Just keep the leash loose and be aware of when your dog starts to look like they need to stop. They could be tired, or they may have found a great place to sniff and do some business.
Be sure that you’ve checked with your vet to see if your dog is old enough for running to be safe.
Skating with Your Dog for Exercise
Roller-blading and roller skating are incredibly beneficial to your heart health. They’re also good for your balance and coordination.
And, they’re also another great way to take your dog for a run.
If you’re a novice skater, wait until you’re more confident before taking your dog along, though. If you’re not confident, your dog isn’t confident. And you don’t want an anxious dog to start running and pulling you off the path while you’re still learning to skate.
Interval Training with Your Dog
A lot of fitness experts are talking up interval training as a great way to get the maximum benefit out of your fitness routine.
Your dog will also love the changing movements as you transition from squats to lunges and use petting them or training as their reward for participating. Do a lunge and ask for her paw, switch legs and ask for the other. Do high knees around the house and dangle your dog’s favorite toy to keep her dancing along with you.
You can even use your stretching routine to change positions as you two play tug of war with a rope. The options are endless.
Playing Sports with Your Dog
Most any dog loves some version of fetch. Well, you can take fetch to a different field by playing soccer with your dog.
Dribbling the ball back and forth as your dog chases you increases your dexterity, and they think it’s a fantastic game! Just don’t kick the ball too hard to score a goal, or you could risk kicking your dog and ruin the experience for you both.
Football is another great one because they’ll love to tackle you as you run for the posts!
Frankly, if there’s a way to exercise, there’s a way for your dog to work out with you.
Just use a bit of imagination and some training, and you’ll both be on the road to having a fantastic time. And you’ll be fitter, too!