If you’re looking for someone to be your number-one cheerleader when it comes to being motivated to exercise, look no further than your furry friend! Dogs make the perfect exercise partners – they’re always enthusiastic, up for anything, and genuinely happy to be there with you. PLUS, there’s always time for high fives and cuddles at the end!
Here are four great ways to switch up your exercise routines and get moving with your dog
DITCH YOUR DAILY WALK AND HIKE IT OUT
One simple way to exercise with your dog is by going for daily walks together. However, it’s common for the same daily walk to feel like more of a chore than an opportunity to bond and get moving. If your local area has some great hiking trails, consider ditching the daily walk in favour
of a longer hike a couple of times per week. Your dog will love being able to explore new smells and surroundings, and you’ll appreciate the change of scenery too!
Hiking is also a great way to increase the intensity of your exercise without feeling like you’re pushing yourself too hard. If you start to feel weary, take a few breaks along the way and enjoy the view with your four-legged friend.
Hiking is a great cardio workout for you and your dog and can also help improve your overall fitness levels and muscle tone. So, what are you waiting for? Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails!
Hiker, not so much? That’s okay – there are plenty of other ways to exercise with your dog. Check out the following three ideas:
HAVE FUN IN THE SUN WITH SOME PADDLE BOARDING
Paddle boarding is a great way to exercise while spending quality time with your dog. If you live near a lake or the ocean, take advantage of the beautiful surroundings and go for a paddle!
You can purchase a paddle board that’s big enough for you and your dog, or hire one from your local surf or paddle boarding company.
Paddle boarding is not only an excellent workout for your arms and legs, but it’s also a great way to improve your balance and core strength. And, if you’re paddling with your dog, it’s also a great opportunity to work on your teamwork!
Hint: If you’re new to paddle boarding, take some lessons before hitting the water with your furry friend. Once you’re confident in your abilities, you’ll be able to enjoy this activity together without any worry.
HOLD UP. We’re not done yet! There are still two more great ways to switch up your exercise routine to keep it interesting for everyone involved! Keep reading to find out what they are…
GET MOVING WITH SOME BACKYARD GAMES
Being at home doesn’t mean you can’t exercise with your dog! In fact, plenty of great backyard games will get you both moving and having fun.
One simple yet effective game is frisbee – all you need is a frisbee and an open space in your backyard (or local park). If your dog loves to play fetch, they’ll be sure to love playing frisbee too! Not only will they get some exercise, but they’ll also get to work on their coordination and catch skills.
Another fun game to play is tug-of-war. This game is great for dogs of all sizes and is a great way to bond with your furry friend while also getting in a good workout. Make sure you use a rope appropriate for your dog’s size – you don’t want them to hurt their teeth or jaws.
Hint: Tug-of-war can also be an excellent exercise for dogs that need to lose weight.
If your dog is food motivated (and let’s be honest, what dog isn’t?), then treat-based training is a great way to exercise their brain and body simultaneously.
You can set up an obstacle course in your backyard using things like hula hoops, cones, and tunnels. As your dog navigates the course, it’ll get a great workout while also having fun! And, of course, they’ll be rewarded with treats along the way.
DOGGY YOGA (DOGA)
Yes, that’s right – yoga with your dog! There’s a reason that the two of the most well-known yoga asanas (poses) are named after a dog… so grab your pal and get your downward dog on!
Not only will doing yoga with your dog provide you with some much-needed exercise, but it’s also a great way to bond with your furry friend. Other benefits include:
Reduces stress levels:
Separation anxiety and stress are common among dogs, and yoga can help alleviate these feelings by promoting relaxation.
Helps with behavioral issues:
Doga can help dogs with behavioral issues feel more relaxed and calm and provide them with an outlet for their energy.
Improve flexibility and mobility:
As we age, it’s important to keep our bodies mobile and flexible – and that goes for our dogs too! Yoga can help improve your dog’s flexibility and mobility, as well as your own.
Opportunities for socialisation:
Doga doesn’t have to be kept in the confines of your home… There are plenty of dog-friendly yoga classes and events you can attend with your four-legged friend. This is a great way to socialise with your dog and meet other like-minded people.
So there you have it – four great ways to exercise with your dog. No matter what your fitness level is, there’s an activity that you can do together. So get out there and enjoy some quality time (and exercise) with your furry friend!