Getting Fit With Your Four-Legged Friend

If you have a crazy work schedule, travel a lot or enjoy experimenting with unstructured fitness plans, then it might be challenging to find a consistent workout partner.

Enter man’s best friend.

Fido and Fifi often make ideal four-legged fitness companions.

Exercising with a dog is the perfect solution for individuals, who long for company while they burn calories, but can’t seem to mesh schedules with a two-legged pal.

That said there are some general tips you should consider before making your little wagster your main workout buddy:

Agility activities: According to experts, medium dogs, especially herding breeds, are good at agility activities. Which is not to say that big or small dogs can’t do agility activities, but the herding breeds (e.g. Border Collies and Australian Shepards), overall, are best at completing exercises, such as hiking and catching Frisbees.

Arms: If you want to sculpt your arms by playing fetch with a dog, then seek out a retrieving breed such as a Labrador or Golden Retriever. Also, you don’t have to limit yourself to playing fetch with a stick. Many dogs enjoy playing fetch with tennis balls, racquetballs, or other small toys.

Swimming: Most dogs love to swim. What’s more, swimming is a non-joint stressing exercise for you and your pooch. If you live in a warm climate, then consider taking your pup to a lake or pond that is dog friendly. Otherwise find a pool, which allows you to take a dip with your dog.

Running: Jogging with your dog is a wonderful form of exercise. However, before bringing Spike along on your next 10-miler, you need to get him acclimated to hard surfaces first. If your dog is used to running on soft grass in the yard, you will need to make the transition slowly. Move from grass to dirt, then to gravel or cement. If you are running in hot weather, be mindful that your dog may suffer from burns to the pads from hot cement or asphalt.

Related Articles:

Exercise With Your Dog

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Why am I so Sore?

Getting Fit in Your Own Backyard

Staying Fit and Healthy

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About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.