Healthy Body

A doggone good way to stay fit

Written by Healthy Living

Five ways to exercise with your dog.

Story: Provided by Constant Content

Just like humans, dogs need exercise to keep them healthy. They reap the same benefits, such as a healthier and stronger heart, more energy, and lower risk of certain diseases and depression. Unfortunately, too often dogs don’t get the proper exercise. In fact, up to half the dogs in America are overweight. Finding time to give your pup adequate exercise can be hard when you work full time and have a social life to keep up with. Still, if you have a dog, it’s your responsibility to keep him happy and healthy.

A common way that people find time to give their dog a fun workout is to workout alongside them. Chances are, you make time for fitness every day, or at least once a week. If that’s the case, start exercising with your dog. That way, the two of you can both reap the benefits and spend some quality time together in the process. Here’s a list of five fun ways to exercise with your pup.

Make the jump

If you want to really challenge your pup, create an obstacle course in your backyard. Place small hurdles in the grass for him to jump over and tunnels for him to scurry through. Stay by his side (this will give you a workout too) and encourage him along the way. It’s a great way to get the heart pumping, strengthen your pup’s agility, and improve his coordination. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

Admire nature’s beauty

If you live in an area that’s conducive to hiking, you should find a trail close to your home and explore the area together. Your four-legged friend will love experiencing all the new sights and sounds while spending time by your side. Pick a spot that has a few challenging slopes or walk a flat path at a pace that slightly elevates your heart rate. You don’t want to overdo it, but walking too slowly won’t give you the proper cardio workout you need. If you make hiking a regular part of your routine, make sure you prepare for ticks. Cover your skin, especially your feet and lower legs, and wear insect repellent. Make sure your pup is current on his flea/tick prevention and consider buying him some boots to protect his feet as well.

Explore your city

While you may know your city well, there are likely areas that you haven’t visited before. If you’re feeling adventurous, and it’s safe, explore these spots with your pup. It’ll be fun, taking in new sights and discovering new areas. Who knows, maybe you’ll spot a new coffee shop or yoga studio you want to try out in the future. Again, make sure you keep your pace brisk in order to get a good cardiovascular workout. If you don’t want to explore new areas, take your pup to your favorite spots. If you frequent a pet-friendly coffee shop or breakfast cafe, walk with your pup instead of driving, for your morning cup of java.

Cool off in the summer

Swimming is a great way for the two of you to have fun, cool off, and get a full body workout. Swimming is an exceptional workout choice for dogs with arthritis, but it’s beneficial and enjoyable for most dogs. Some dogs are too afraid to swim, so don’t rush in before testing the waters. For dogs who enjoy splashing around, swimming is one of the most effective forms of exercise. While it targets multiple muscles and burns several calories, it doesn’t feel like working out. Of course, you might feel it in the morning, so take it slow at first. Before you go swimming in a local river or other water source, make sure it’s allowed and that the water is clean and safe.

Break out the skates

If you’re steady on your feet and trust your dog, you can try your hand at roller skating with your pup. It’s important to try this activity for the first time in a controlled and safe environment, since your dog may get too excited and pull you in a direction you don’t want to go. With proper training, however, roller skating together can be a great bonding experience and an excellent way to work out. Your goal is to not let your dog pull you as the two of you move down the street together. Your dog should behave as if he’s on a walk, running beside you without going ahead or in a different direction. Be prepared with treats to reward good behavior and give your pup time to adjust.

Working out with your dog is a great way for the two of you to deepen your bond and get healthy together. Whether you enjoy swimming or hiking towards a picturesque view, the two of you are sure to enjoy your new routine.

About the author

Healthy Living

Healthy Living is unique in a sea of health magazines that only present information on nutrition and exercise. Published by Akers Media Group, Healthy Living goes much farther by focusing on the four pillars of a true wellness — physical, mental, spiritual and financial health.

Healthy Living promotes a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle with easy-to-read features, try-it-at-home exercise programs, and expert advice from financial planners, mental health professionals, and a variety of other leaders in their respective fields.

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