||Fun Ways To
Include Your Dog In Your Exercise Workout
Photo via Pixabay by EyeImage
Finding fun new ways to workout isn’t always easy, but it’s important to vary your routine so that exercise doesn’t become boring. One of the easiest ways to do this is to include your pet, not only for his companionship, but because dogs can be great motivators when it’s time to workout.
There are tons of fun things you can do with your pet when it’s time to exercise, some of which can be done from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a little imagination and half an hour of your day, and you can get fit with your pup.
Here are a few tips on how to exercise with your dog and change up your routine to keep it from becoming stale.
Set up an obstacle course
Most dogs love to run, but if the weather isn’t cooperating, you can set up an indoor obstacle course that both of you can tackle together. Move back the couch and coffee table and use items from around the house to create a fun activity, such as rolled-up blankets and broomsticks, then go through the course with him. You can find more tips on creating a fun course here.
Head to the dog park
Dog parks are wonderful places to head for an afternoon, and depending on where you live, they might offer different challenges for both you and your pup. When the weather is nice, take an hour to run around the trails, play fetch, or even go for a swim (again, depending on where you live). Many dog parks offer a safe place for pets to run around and be social while the owners get in a little workout time on their own, too (think: push ups, sprints, walking lunges, and more). If you’re unsure of the nearest dog park, do a little research to find it. Rover.com could be a useful tool; they list dog parks by every city. Here’s a quick sampling: Indianapolis, Albuquerque, Knoxville, Madison, Saint Paul, Miami, San Jose, Calgary, Raleigh, and Portland.
Go for a hike
If you enjoy being outdoors and the temperatures aren’t too extreme, take your dog for a hike at a local state park. Hit the trails to test your endurance, then relax with an overnight camp under the stars. Just make sure you have foot protection for your pup and remember to help him stay hydrated. Smaller dogs may need a coat for colder months, and they may need extra guidance on the more difficult trails. If your dog isn’t used to going out without a leash, keep him close with a harness to ensure his safety amongst wild animals.
Join a boot camp
Many cities have boot camps on weekends that are set up for dogs and their owners, meeting at a local park or dog run for a series of cardio exercises and endurance tests. Do some research online to find one near you, or consider starting one with some fellow dog owners. Not only is this great for your physical health, it can help you and your dog stay social, which does wonders for your mental health.
Look to see if there are any dog-friendly fun-runs or marathons happening near you once spring and summer roll around. Often, you can find these events through your local pet stores or shelters because they’re sponsors or because they benefit from the money raised. These are wonderful events and can be done alone or with a group.
Have some fun
Incorporating play into your workout session will keep you motivated and will ensure some bonding time with your dog, so think about what would make him happy. If you live near the beach, head out onto the sand for a game of Frisbee with your pup, or go for a swim if he’s allowed in the water.
Getting your dog involved in your workout is a great way to stay focused without holding onto a stale routine, so think of some other ways you can exercise together and make them a part of your life. With a good plan, you and your dog can keep each other healthy and happy for years to come.