Are you looking for a workout buddy? You do not need to call up all your pals or beg your siblings to exercise with you. Instead, you can bring along your dog. Here are some reasons to work out with your four-legged best friend.
It Keeps You Healthy
Regular workouts can get boring and repetitive. By adding your pup to your fitness routine, you can make exercise more fun. Your dog may even serve as an accountability partner who inspires you to work out. Even when you feel like sitting on the couch and binge-watching your favorite show, a dog forces you to get up and walk around the neighborhood so he can go to the bathroom. This increased activity will improve your health.
Your dog should also make it easier to leave your comfort zone. It is hard to try a new sport or to walk into a new fitness class full of people you do not know. Bringing your dog can break the ice and give you a boost of confidence.
It Benefits Your Dog
Dogs need exercise to keep their minds and bodies sharp. By working out with your pet, you may even prolong your dog’s life.
Of course, while you may enjoy the occasional high volume workout, your pet may not be able to handle the prolonged activity. Start by incorporating your dog into your training gradually to see how well he does. Then slowly ramp up the intensity over time. You should be able to tell how much energy your dog has, and how much exercise he needs.
Even relaxing workouts such as yoga can benefit your dog. Several organizations actually offer dog yoga classes for humans and their pets. You will have to look at your dog for most of the class. Your dog should appreciate this additional eye contact. Your pet may seem calmer by the end of the yoga session, as well.
It Brings You Closer to Your Pet
If you have ever worked out with a friend or relative, you know that running or playing sports with another person can strengthen your bond with that individual. The same is true when you exercise with your dog.
With a busy work schedule and family life, you may sometimes feel as if you are neglecting your four-legged friend. By exercising with your dog, you can renew your relationship with him. In one study, 75 percent of dog owners stated that being active with their pets brought them closer to their pups.
It Adds Variety to Your Workouts
Instead of doing the same basic trail runs and lunges every day, you can switch up things by incorporating your dog into your workout. Try playing ultimate Frisbee or running an obstacle course. You can even work on your tennis serve and have your pup serve as the ball boy.
A dog can also make more generic workouts more fun. Add a twist to push-ups by having your pup sit on your back during each rep. Similarly, you can try holding your dog in your lap while you do a wall sit. If you have a larger dog, you can put his paws on your legs, instead. Either way, you will be upping the difficulty level.
Whatever workout you choose, be sure to keep your pet safe throughout. Pack plenty of water for the both of you, and avoid outdoor exercises when the weather is hot.
If you are lacking the motivation to exercise or simply want to switch up your regular fitness routine, try incorporating your dog into your next workout. Exercising alongside your pet is a fun way to keep yourself and your best friend in shape.