4 Ways to Exercise with Your Dog in the New Year
It’s that time of year where we adopt the “out with the old and in with the new” attitude and embrace some changes to our fresh changes to our lifestyle. This year, why not consider including your dog in your New Year’s Resolutions? After all, they deserve a chance to become the best dog they can be!
Exercising more is a very popular resolution adopted by millions of people every year. Most of us live sedentary lives, spending a lot of our time in front of a computer or watching TV and texting on the couch. As part of the decision to become more active, many people sign up for gym memberships or buy expensive exercise equipment (perhaps they even received it as a Christmas present!)
Instead of plunking down more money for a gym where you can “enjoy” the smells and sounds of other people working out, why not include your pupper in your workouts? Surely breaking a sweat is much more enjoyable when your best friend is involved!
Here are some ideas for ways to include your dog in your daily training routine.
Exercise 1: Go Jogging with Your Dog
Going out for a jog around the neighborhood? Take your dog with you! Most puppers love exploring the streets, enjoying new sights, smelling fire hydrants, and barking at skateboarders! Even short-legged dogs can join in the fun, though you might need to slow down the pace a bit.
For an additional change of pace, why not let your dog choose the route? When you get to an intersection, follow your dog and see where they turn. Who knows, maybe your doggy will discover an excellent new course!
If you and your dog are new to jogging, it’s a good idea to start slow and build up the pace as you go. Start with 5 minutes a day for a few days in a row, and add more time as you start to build up your confidence and endurance. You two will be up to 20-30 minutes a day before you know it!
Exercise 2: Hike a New Trail with Your Fuzzy Friend
Ahhh, communing with nature! Not only is it great exercise, but it’s also a great way to clear your mind from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Your best friend will enjoy exploring the wilderness as well. There are tons of interesting natural smells to sniff, and four legs makes it very easy to clamor over rocks and rough terrain. You may find it difficult to keep up with your pup due to their natural agility!
Go beyond the trails close to home and discover some new ones! Your state or city’s parks department website should have information on which parks in your area are dog friendly. Pick a weekend each month to go exploring and try out a park you’ve never visited before. Who knows what you could find?
Hiking is a great group activity as well! Invite a few friends and their dogs (if they have them!) to join in the fun. It will give everyone a chance to bond while getting your movement in.
Exercise 3: Do Yoga with Your Dog
Yoga is an increasing popular form of exercise and a mind-body practice as well. Many experienced yoga devotees are starting to include their dog in their daily practice and have found it to be a great way to connect and bond with their loving best friend.
Some yoga studios offer an official Doga class. Do a search to see if there are any studios in your area that offer classes for humans and puppers!
You can also practice Doga at home. There are many books and online videos that will help guide your exercise. Your dog may enjoy the feeling of stretching as much as you do. It’s important to take things at your dog’s pace though. Some pups have no interest in Doga, so it’s a good idea not to force your dog to do anything they aren’t interested in.
For tips on how to do yoga with your dog, check out this video:
Exercise 4: Play Frisbee with Your Dog
The final exercise in this article is a classic. Many dogs love nothing more than chasing a flying disc around the park. There are many sizes of dog discs available, so be sure to pick one that matches the size of your pup or they may be frustrated if it’s too difficult to catch.
Your dog isn’t the only one who will get exercise when playing in the park! If the frisbee lands in the grass, make a game out of seeing who will be the first one to get to it. You’ll be breaking a sweat and having lots of fun at the same time.
Even if your dog doesn’t currently enjoy playing frisbee, you can teach them to enjoy it! Check out this article for some tips.
Got any other ideas on how to exercise with your best friend? Leave a comment below!