Your pup is your best pal, right? If you’re like us, we do just about everything together: relaxing in front of the tv, sharing an outdoor table for a bite to eat, taking walks, and of course, driving around town with the windows down. So, if you haven’t already, why not consider exercising with your best pal, too.
Why Exercising with Your Dog is Helpful
Just like you, your dog needs exercise to stay healthy. Exercise helps both you and Fido keep off the pounds (maybe from too many treats) and offset those lounge days in front of the television. This is such a fun idea, that Men’s Health also wrote an article in March of 2020 about how to ‘Get Swole With Your Dog’. For those of us maybe not quite ready to be swole, we suggest a lower-impact approach below.
Walk, Jog, Run Fido, Run
Walking, jogging, or running. One of the easiest exercises to do with your dog involves moving those four little legs of his. Unlike some humans, your dog will most likely volunteer for this exercise routine without hesitation and show up each day with a smile and a wagging tail. Your dog will enjoy being outside experiencing the fresh air and smelling all the new scents. And, you’ll both be getting in those daily steps.
If just the idea of running is new to you both, we suggest starting with regular daily walks. Once a routine is established, pick up the pace a little to a jog. Then, once you’re both comfortable, it’s time to start running.
Unless you’re in a large secluded area, you’ll be required to keep your dog on a leash. Running on a leash is tricky sometimes. Therefore, starting slow with walking and jogging will help you establish a pattern with each other and keep you both from getting tangled up or pulled. If you’d like some suggestions on this, let us know, we’d be happy to help out with a few pointers.
Also, dogs are creatures of habit and can be some of the best kinds of Exercise Coaches. They will know exactly what time their run should be and will not so subtly tell you that it’s time to go!
Downward Dog is a popular yoga position. Seems fitting that you’d be able to include your pup in your yoga routine with that name. Although it may sound a little strange at first, yoga is an excellent way to exercise with your dog. There are yoga classes that are designed specifically to include your four-legged friend. During this type of exercising with your dog, you can help your dog pose and they, in turn, will act as a support in your own yoga poses. Of course, knowing if your dog’s temperament and personality is suited for yoga is a first consideration. With the proper companion, yoga can strengthen the connection to your pet while giving you some time to ‘center’ yourself.
The Great Doggo Outdoors
Do you and your dog have an adventurous spirit?
If you are in the Charleston area like us, the bevy of waterways offer some unique opportunities for outdoor exercising with your dog. Think about renting a kayak or paddleboard. Some dogs love, love, love the water. And we think there’s almost nothing better than a smiling dog.
Rollerblading with your dog can also be a fun, outdoor activity for you both. Having a hard time picturing this? Well, take a look at this pup from the Instagram feed of @rollerbladecharleston . This dog rollerblades better than us, that’s for sure!
And, of course, this exercising with your dog list wouldn’t be complete without mention of the game of fetch. Going to your favorite outdoor space and throwing the ball for a game of fetch can be fun and calorie burning. Extra points to you for running alongside to get your heart rate up.
An Alternative to the (closed) Gym
While writing this, it’s December of 2020, and some of the local gyms are still closed due to the pandemic or have strict new rules and guidelines. If you find that you’re in need of a (temporary) new avenue to stay in shape, exercising with your dog can get you there in fun, exciting ways. Then, once those gyms are fully open again, maybe you’ll start back there and also continue on with your doggo, too.