They’re man’s best friend and we often welcome having them greet us with excited energy when we walk in the door after a long and sometimes challenging day. Very often it can be hard to find the motivation to then pull on the trainers and get in some much-needed movement.
Missing exercise can mean we miss out on so many fantastic physical and mental health benefits associated with moving one’s body. Did you know that by being pet owners, we are 34% less likely to exercise than people without a pet? And even then only a few of us include our pets in our exercise activities. So let’s see if, by outlining some fun and some completely outrageous ways of exercising with our dog we can improve those statistics.
NATURE WALKS / RUNS
Head out into the wilderness with pooch in tow. You’ll have to check your local laws with regards to dogs and leashes, but if your dog is well-trained walking off-leash can make this a lot more fun! Hiking or jogging in nature will lower your stress levels, provide you and pooch a great aerobic workout as well as soaking in the goodness of fresh air and dappled sunlight.
Head to the local park and engage your dog with a fun game of fetch. PRO TIP: Use a Dog Ball Thrower to get maximum time between ball returns. While pooch is fetching the ball you’re doing your workout routine, think lunges, jumping jacks, pushups and situps with some stretching to wind down. You can even get in some sprints between ball returns and throw the ball from a new location each time. How’s that for intense?
If you didn’t like the last suggestion, try letting the dog wear itself out and head to a dog park. Perhaps pooch will find a furry friend to play and socialize with. You might even find a human friend to socialize with. Don’t forget to tell them all about Plant Power Pets!
DOGA (It’s Yoga with Dogs)
Now you can get in your Yoga workout and have fun with your dog at the same time. Although I’m told you’ll need a small and fluffy dog and probably not something like a St Bernard due to risk of injury. Doga can improve your flexibility, enhance your core strength and nurture a feeling of enlightenment. Not to mention bringing a good dose of fun and laughs to your practice. Check out some videos online.
OBSTACLE COURSE TRAINING
Enrol in agility training with your dog. Join a local club where your dog will learn how to run, jump and creep through and around obstacles. This can be a lot of fun and super rewarding if you have the time and stamina to keep up. Watch some videos of dog agility online they’re all quite impressive. Your dog will also benefit from an improved level of discipline and a closer bond.
You read right. Time to turn the tables on who walks who. In this outrageous activity rather than walking the dog, we’ll let the dog walk you wherever they want to go! Think of this activity like following a furry four-legged walking GPS that doesn’t disclose the final destination to you. Instead, you’ll just get a constant stream of “Forward, Left, Right, RUN! Stop, Sniff” You’ll definitely be surprised at how much fun you can have and where that wet nose will lead you.
SKATE BARK FUN
Our final crazy tip, get into some board-based fitness with your pooch. Skating has become a favourite new frontier in the dog community. Just google Skateboarding dogs to see some unbelievable videos. You’ll have a ton of fun and challenging moments finding out whether your furry friend has the courage and the balance required to shine and shred at the local skate-park.
Of course, many of these suggestions are pretty far out, but hey, you love a challenge right? Whatever you and your dog do for fitness, remember to have as much fun as possible and don’t take it too seriously!
Let us know about your own outrageously fun exercise tips in the comments.