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Getting fit can be a daunting task. But it's often easier to do when you have a workout buddy, like your pup! It can also be easier when you mix it up and try new activities, beyond running or another routine. Here are 10 fun ways to get fit with your pup, especially when the weather is nice:
Paddle boarding may not seem like a great workout at first thought, but it actually targets almost every muscle in the body, with an emphasis on the core and arms. It's also something your dog can join in on, as long as he or she enjoys the water (and can balance on the board!). Just make sure to be safe around water.
Pro Tip: Pick a calm day to take your pup out paddle boarding. Also, it's always a good idea to have your dog wears a lifejacket or vest during water activities.
Along the same lines, kayaking provides another water adventure that your pup can join in on. Not only will you get a good arm and torso workout, but your pup has a place to sit. So if he or she has trouble balancing on a paddle board, this may be the alternative for you. Again, just be safe around the water and bring a lifejacket for your pup.
Dog yoga, also known as Doga, is a more relaxed and calm way to workout with your pup. Some classes provide a way for your dog to actually join in on the workout, while others are simply a place for your pup to relax. Either way, you will feel all kinds of physical and mental health benefits from the yoga.
One of the most common activities when the weather is nice is hiking. It's a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax surrounded by nature. Plus, your dog will love being outdoors and find all kinds of enrichment and excitement from all the new sights and smells.
Pro Tip: Bring water bottles along to help keep your dog hydrated and avoid overheating, dehydration or heatstroke.
If your dog has a lot of energy and loves to run, then cycling or rollerblading may be for you two. Dogs have to run to keep up with your bicycle or rollerblading, which helps them exert more energy and tire them out. But if your dog is tough to control or not the most obedient, this may not be the activity for you.
Yes, there are actual fitness classes for you and your dog. They are usually referred to as K9 Fit Club Classes and were designed with the help of vets, dog trainers and behaviorists, fitness trainers and doctors. They aren't available everywhere but if they are near you, these classes provide an intense workout for both you and your canine companion. So they're best for active, in-shape and energetic dogs.
Agility training typically involves an obstacle course that your dog completes. Although this activity is targeted for your dog, don't worry, you'll also be able to get in a good workout. This is because the owner has to run the obstacle course as well. However, if your dog isn't well-trained, this may not be for you two.
We know that running up and down stairs is a stellar workout for humans (especially for those quads and glutes). But it's also a great workout for your dog! It's a more intense workout that will really tire him or her out, so it's best for dogs who are in-shape, energetic and active. Just make sure not to push your dog too much, no matter his or her conditioning.
Pro Tip: Bring a water bowl or bottle to give your dog some sips after each time you complete a set running up and down the stairs.
Why not turn the games you play with your dog into more active ones? That way you can get a workout too! For example, you can play "active fetch," which involves you running around and relocating after you throw the ball or doing some workouts while your dog is retrieving it (like lunges, squats, etc.). Or you can play chase, which is already a pretty active game that some dogs absolutely love.
This may be surprising, but some dogs love soccer! Herding breeds in particular (such as Border Collies and Australian Shepherds) love it. Soccer is also a great workout for you. And it's pretty easy to play with your pup. For instance, you can kick the ball to your dog, dribble around him or her and play keep-away, or kick the ball away and race each other to get it.