by Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie, Certified Physical Trainer, Certified Corporate Wellness Coach, WickedFiTT
Exercise helps us all stay fit and active — and also yields a multitude of health benefits for our dogs, too!
Exercising with your dog helps them maintain a healthy weight, keeps their joints and muscles strong and improves their cardiovascular system. Giving our dogs an opportunity to exercise with us can increase bonding time and help to improve quality of life.
Did you know studies have shown, having a dog was very good fitness motivation for a lot of pet parents?
If you are starting out, a good rule of thumb for beginning an exercise program with your dog is to start with 30 minutes of physical activity, three times a week. Dogs, just like us, love routine.
Try establishing a set time and place that will help your dog look forward to their exercise time. Start slow if your dog is not accustomed to being physically active
Depending on your (and your pups) fitness level, here are some fun ways to work on some exercise/bonding time.
Take your dog for a walk. The second mine notices me grabbing his harness he loses his mind. WALK !!!!!!!! Many dog owners use the need to walk their dog as the motivation to exercise. A daily walk will keep you and your dog happy and healthy — it’s win-win!
Play fetch — with a twist. Maybe you chase your pup while he fetches the ball and get some sprints in yourself.
You know the time you spend waiting for your dog to return the ball? That’s the perfect time to squeeze in a quick exercise sets. Burpees, jacks, squat jumps, lunges, whatever you feel comfortable with.
Tug it out. Our dog’s favorite, hands down, is tug of war, with anything he can pull. He won’t give up.
If you are feeling strong and up for a challenge, then a game of tug-of-war will get the heart pumping.
Remember, you and your dog should be happily tired, not exhausted, when you are done exercising for the day.
While your dog may not realize it, he’s the perfect fitness partner. And he’s ready to join you on your fitness journey
And as always, check with your veterinarian.