One of the benefits of exercise with your dog is that it’s more stimulating, interactive and entertaining. Of course, I am not trying to sell the idea that you should get a dog, but just like gym partners, dogs can be a great motivation to exercise, first out of necessity for their health, so you almost have no choice but to get up and go out for a walk.
In return that forces you to get some form of exercise that otherwise you may not have gotten.
Benefits of Exercise With a Partner
There are plenty of other benefits of having dog, such as making you feel happy and healthy. Dog owners are 54% more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise than non-dog owners.
Research shows that interacting with a pup reduces heart rates and the stress hormone cortisol, and 93% de-stress by walking their dogs.
Why You Should Exercise With Your Dog
If dogs don’t have an outlet to release their energy, they are known to show destructive behaviour like:
There are 3 main things that exercise benefits dogs:
- balancing weight control
- helping timid pets gain confidence
- making them sleepy at night instead of restless
Kind of like kids. Government health agencies are pushing for at least one hour of exercise for children, so think of the same for your pup.
That’s another thing you can add, have your kids get involved in the workouts so you can all enjoy from the benefits of exercise with your dog.
Exercise Ideas You Can Do With Your Dog
It’s proven, then, that exercise is important for both you and your pooch. Here are ideas on how you two can reap the benefits of exercise.
This is an obvious one. It’s also mentally stimulating because the dog has to learn how to keep up with your pace and pay attention when you slow down or speed up.
Start with slower walks to see how much excursion they can handle. Change paces to keep them concentrating (speeding up, slowing back down, speeding up again). It also teaches them not to pull on a leash.
Stand-up Paddle Boarding
This is a great ab workout for you, and although the dog is just sitting on the board, there’s the option of swimming (especially if your board tips over).
Start with calm water so you can get your bearings, and always make sure your dog is wearing a life vest. If your dog loves the water, bring a stick or toy with you so they can play fetch while you float. The same applies to kayaking.
Dogs love this because they get to full on run while you get to build up your quads and hams. Practice with short rides since it can be dangerous for either of you if you fall off the bike. Like jogging, they learn how to keep up with your pace instead of pulling on a leash.
Hiking is a great way for you and your dog to be out in nature. However, there are a few things to plan for:
- Research what trails are comfortable for doggy feet.
- Avoid paths with sharp rocks and stick to soft leaf or needle-covered terrain.
- Pick shady trails that don’t have steep drops.
- Not all trails allow dogs to be off-leash, so be respectful and leash your pet.
- If you’re thirsty, then your dog probably is too, so bring portable, collapsible dog bowls.
Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing
Who says you have to stay inside during winter months (you might need more than a dog to be convinced but I’ll try)? Some breeds love the snow, and they’ll happily walk beside you while you get a full-body workout from snowshoeing or cross country skiing.
Remember to outfit them with booties so that they don’t get ice in between their paws.
The Gist of it
While I am not necessarily suggesting you get a dog to start exercising, I do believe that having a partner, especially one that requires a certain amount of exercise daily to keep a healthy lifestyle, is a huge motivator to get you moving more frequently.
So let this be on your 2018 new you plan. Are you excited to try out these workouts and enjoy the benefits of exercise with your dog? Then let’s get moving!
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