Think of the last workout you really enjoyed. Perhaps you were outside on a beautiful day. Maybe you had a particular feeling of accomplishment when you finished. Maybe you shared the workout with a friend.
Whatever your ideal workout, the fact remains: People who enjoy exercise are more likely to stick with it.
If you’re a dog owner, your ideal workout might be built into your relationship with your furry friend. Read on to learn how you can workout with your dog for weight loss and enjoyment.
The Benefits of Working Out with Your Dog
Dogs bring countless benefits from reduced stress to improved overall health. Working out with your dog capitalizes on these benefits.
People are more successful in achieving their fitness goals when they workout with others. Humans are social animals. They thrive and maintain greater positivity in the presence of others, including other social animals, like dogs.
It’s hard not to smile when you look at your dog, and when you’re smiling, it’s easier to keep going during a tough workout.
Working out with others also brings increased accountability.
When it comes to individual exercise, the decision is on you. You can skip the gym or the class.
You don’t have that kind of freedom when it comes to dog ownership, though, and that’s a good thing.
Whether you want to or not, you have to get out of the bed in the morning and take your dog out. You have to take your dog for walks.
If you don’t, even the “laziest” dog’s bladder will remind him, and he’ll remind you.
So on days when you don’t have the motivation, count on your dog because he’s counting on you.
Pro Tip: Reinforce your dog’s role as an accountability partner by training him to wake you up in the morning. Establishing a routine where you put his leash and a toy by your shoes at night and then take him out for a walk first thing in the morning usually does the trick.
How to Workout with Your Dog
Walking is a highly beneficial form of exercise for weight loss. It’s also one that people of various ages and abilities can incorporate into their routines.
When you work out with your dog, however, you’re not limited to “just” walking.
How to Lose Weight Walking Your Dog
If you already enjoy the benefits of walking your dog, consider some ways to up your walking game.
Increase the length of your walk each day, or vary its length to fit your changing schedule.
Play with speed. Interval training, where you vary your pace throughout the workout, can be fun and increase your calorie burn.
Add variety and challenges to your walk by exploring new trails with different terrain.
Also, consider adding weight and strength training to your walk. A fun way to add weight to your walk is to pack a backpack with toys, snacks, and drinks for you and your dog. Carry the backpack on your walk and reward yourself and your pooch with a picnic and playdate (more movement!) when you’re done.
Other Weightloss Workouts to Do With Your Dog
Keep in mind that your dog can enjoy more than “just” walking or even running with you. Dog yoga, or doga, classes are fun and increasingly popular. Many dogs also enjoy swimming, dancing, frisbee, agility training, and even cross-country skiing.
Reward Yourself and Your Pup
Remember, as you stick with any workout program, rewards are important for you and your dog. So snag a new toy for your dog, and while you’re at it, get a small gift for yourself — like these adorable dachshund gifts.
Workout with Your Dog: A Lab-Tested Solution When You’re Feeling a Little Husky
When you workout with your dog, you both benefit. Follow our tips to maximize those benefits.
Then check out our blog for more advice on healthy living.