Opting for exercise alongside your favorite canine companion can prove to be more beneficial than working out alone in many different ways. Bringing your dog along for an outdoor run or walk can help you to feel happier, relieve more stress, soak up some vitamin D, improve your dog’s health and get you out of the confines of a typical gym.

Think outside the box in terms of starting this new habit. Even taking your dog to the dog park can be a good place to start if you are currently living a sedentary lifestyle. Gauge your current fitness level and ability of your dog, and then start at a place that feels safe and comfortable. If walking with your dog feels easy enough, you can segue straight into running for a few miles. Finding an empty park field and doing sprints is a great way to get a lot of exercise completed in a short amount a time.

Besides, what dog doesn’t like racing? You will give your pup a whole new level of excitement if you race him from one end of a field to the other. He/she will be so transfixed on the adrenaline and excitement, with no time to even understand that you’ve intended it to be intentional exercise.

Benefits For Your Dog

Just like proper nutrition and regular exercise are beneficial to your own personal wellness and longevity, these focuses are crucial for your dog as well. Often times, pet owners are diligent about their own fitness but they neglect the activity level of their dog and the quality of the food they feed them. As humans, would not eat the same scoop of food every single day and expect to reach optimum health. Think of your dog in those same terms.

Taking your dog out for a walk or run around the neighborhood or at the park is a great way to soak in some sunshine and accrue some miles for both of you. If you are more serious about your training time, you could opt to run with the pup at home, and then come back and grab him/her to join you for a walk afterwards. This way, your training hasn’t been interupted and your dog has still been able to get some exercise and spend time outside bonding with you.

If you have a young puppy or a dog that’s notorious for having pent up energy, involving your dog in your fitness routine is the perfect solution. Breaking a sweat with your pooch is the ideal way to expend some of their energy. Also, it can be as convenient as stepping out your front door step and going for a few trips around the block. You can scale or adjust the length & difficulty of your trek based on your fitness level and the capacity of your pup.

Benefits For You

Sharing some workout time with your dog can encourage you to take some slower recovery days away from your regular high intensity training. If fitness isn’t already a regular part of your lifestyle, taking your dog out for a spin can help get you active. Exercising alongside your dog also reminds you to loosen up and not take fitness so seriously. Dogs have a way of reminding us that life is meant to be explored with a fun and curious mindset. Aim to just go out and have fun moving with your dog. You’ll get your heart rate up and burn some calories in the process, but it will be nice to not focus on mundane exertion for a change.

If implementing this habit every day seems unattainable or like a daunting task, shoot for 2-3 days a week a work up from there. You may be surprised to find out that your dog gets excited the next time you grab his/her leash before their walk. Seeing this excitement out of them can actually motivate you and keep you accountable with staying committed.

Conclusion

If you have a favorite workout routine in a conventional gym or environment that is not conducive to bringing your pooch along, it’s nothing to fret about. Aim to take a few workouts a week outdoors with your furry friend. That change in itself will make a huge difference over time for the both health of your dog and your own personal health & happiness.

You may find that you enjoy this new routine so much that you trade your old, boring exercise habits for it. Breaking a sweat with your pooch can also be viewed as a seasonal habit. When the winter months come, it’s understandable to stay inside and warm up. However, jump at the chance to utilize the beautiful weather and sunshine with your furry companion during the rest of the year.


About the Author: Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.