Workout With Your Dog!
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
March 18, 2015
Looking for great ways to exercise with your dog?
Exercising with your dog can unleash great health benefits for both of you!
Dogs are the perfect workout partner: they won’t flake out on a scheduled workout, they don’t make excuses, and they are always happy to see you and excited to play with you! Working out with your dog doesn’t just benefit your health, though. It can intensify your bond with your dog due to the endorphins your body releases while exercising.
A few important things before you get started.
- Be sure your dog has a clean bill of health and the okay to exercise by their vet before you begin any kind of strenuous exercise with them.
- Consider your dog’s breed when choosing your workout. A dachshund or pug will not make for a good marathon partner, so be sure to choose something that they will enjoy that is also safe for them like a fetch interval game or doga (yoga with your dog).
- Consider environmental factors. During the hot summer months, try to stick to an early morning or evening workout to keep your dog cooler and avoid burnt paws on the hot concrete. Similarly, during winter, try to do something indoors or have your dog wear a sweater if going outside and keep close to home incase it gets too cold.
- Keep your pet hydrated. It is important to bring water for your dog if you are going for a long walk or run. Try bringing a bottle with a built in bowl like this one!
- Be sure to check your dog out at the end of any workout. Once you return home, be sure to check your dog for any scrapes on their paws and any signs of exhaustion. Be sure to supply plenty of water and some food as well. If your dog likes wet food, this may be a good time to give them wet instead of dry because of the extra water content in wet food.
Similar to regular fetch with your dog, but when you play fetch races, you are chasing the ball as well. This exercise is pretty simple. Throw the ball and as your dog races off to get the ball, sprint in that direction as well. After 10 throws, take a quick 30-second break, and repeat as long as you and your dog like!
Fetch intervals can create a great foundation for a HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training workout for you. The idea is simple and gives you the option to mix things up a bit. Simply throw the ball for your dog and while they are retrieving the ball, do your designated exercise. Choose from sit-ups, pushups, dips, burpees, jumping jacks, or more. Do each exercise for 5 throws then move on to the next move.
Dog + Yoga = Doga? It sounds silly at first. How does a dog learn how to do yoga? Well that was exactly what Team SML wanted to know at first as well. If you like yoga and you have a dog, you just might want to give doga a try. It is a great tool to bond with your dog and help your dog relax, all while giving you a workout as well. Classes for Doga are popping up all over the country and there are plenty of free videos available online!
Running with your dog can be a great workout, but try to mix it up some. Try running in intervals; 3 minutes of walking, 2 minutes of a steady jog, 1 minute of sprinting/fast running, and repeat. Start out slow if your dog is not used to running so much and build up to 5 cycles. Be sure to follow your dog’s lead if they seem overtired and give them a chance to take a breather. If you don’t need a break when they do, take that opportunity to do some squats while they rest.
Is there something we missed? What is your favorite exercise to do with your dog? Share with us in a comment below!