Need a workout partner but can’t find a friend willing to commit? I’ve got some fantastic news. Dogs can be some of the best workout partners and they don’t ever flake on you! Unfortunately, most dogs don’t get nearly enough exercise and are considered overweight or obese. Dogs have been shown to increase the frequency, quality, and experience of an exercise session. The classic walk/run session never fails to get you both moving. But if you are looking for a few more ideas on how to get you and your pooch moving, then look no further.
1. Doga: This trendy form of yoga done with your dog can keep you both active and centered. You can use smaller dogs for added weight in your stretches or stretch out with your bigger dogs. While not necessarily supported by rigid yogis, a good doga session can add some extra serenity to your day because having your furry pet with you adds to your relaxation. (photo credit here)
2. Canicross/Skijor: Canicross is cross country running with your dog attached by a harness and tether. Hitting the trails with Fido pushes both of you physically and gives you some extra protection if you are used to running alone. Skijor is cross country skiing with your pooch tethered to you if you both prefer winter sports. Running or skiing with your dog attached takes some practice for both of you, so make sure you test run a few times at a much slower pace to avoid injury. (photo credit here)
3. Agility course: These training courses are especially good for your beloved canine, but they can also be a great cardio session for you as well. The time spent on an agility course will strengthen your bond with your pet and instill greater obedience in them. Add in some strength exercises at each agility station for an extra boost to your workout. (photo credit here)
4. Fetch/chase: We can learn from our pets innate habits and play these simple, yet very physical activities with them. Instead of simply throwing the ball for them, fetch the ball with them. Join in on the game of chase that your dogs regularly play and rough house with them. These activities are what your dog already knows and loves, so there is no learning curve you have to conquer. (photo credit here)
Swimming/Biking: You can incorporate your dog into your existing cardio with a little bit of practice. These activities are easily accessible and push your pooch as hard as they push you. Not all dogs are swimmers, so you need to make sure they don’t need a doggie life vest before you get too daring. Biking with your dog takes obedience, so sign up for an extra obedience session if necessary and take it slow at first. (photo credit here)