We know you want to get in shape before pool season rolls around, but it can be tough to get motivated. This is doubly true if you don’t have a workout buddy to help keep you accountable. Luckily, you’ve got a workout buddy who will never cancel on you and will always be happy to get to it: your dog! Here are a few ways you can get you and your dog in shape this spring.
Jogging and Hiking
We’ll start basic - both jogging and hiking with your dog are great ways to get the both of you into better shape. Start small, and make sure you’ve packed some water and a little pick me up. For jogging, you’ll either want to make sure that your dog has some basic leash training or you’ll want to find an off-leash area. Most dogs will want to keep close to you, even if they are off the leash - especially once you’ve practiced a bit, they’ll generally keep close by. If you want to go hiking, you may want to invest in some gear for your dog - give them a few things to carry (their water and waste bags, for example) and go exploring together. Start slow so you know what you (and your dog) can handle before trying anything too crazy, but your dog will love exploring all the new sights, sounds, and smells just as much as you do.
This one’s a fun one. It works just like regular fetch, but you’ll need to train your dog a bit with this special game. Basically, instead of throwing the ball and waiting for your dog to bring it back to you, you’ll throw it and race them out to it. You won’t beat them, but getting some sprints in will help you get in better shape, and your dog will probably have more fun with the game as well. Make sure to praise them when they (inevitably) beat you to the object of your chase - we promise you’ll both have a blast with this one.
You don’t have to contort your dog (or yourself) into crazy poses to enjoy the benefits of yoga. Yoga helps to build concentration, relieve stress, and increase your flexibility. It’s also a great time for you to connect with your best friend. As you move between poses, talk to your dog and encourage them to come check out what you are doing. As they build up trust and understanding of what you are doing, they will be more comfortable exploring around you as you hold the different poses.
Sign up for a class
There are plenty of opportunities for you and your dog to sign up for a workout class you can both enjoy and will help increase your bond. Common dog workout classes could include agility training or swimming, but there are probably several opportunities out there that you may not be aware of. Check with a local animal shelter or pet store to see what types of classes are available, and consider which ones will also be a workout for you - remember, you’ll be running all over that agility course too!
You dog isn’t going to complain when it’s time to hit the gym, which is what makes them such a good partner for your workouts. Keep a cleaner like Bio-nihilator on hand when you are done training together; you’ll need a shower after your workout, but you never know when you’ll need to clean up after your canine companion.