Fitness

Get Fit With Your Four-Legged Friend

Easy workouts you can do with your dog.

If you’re a dog owner, you have a built-in workout buddy. Of course, taking the dogs out for daily walks is a great way to stay active, but we wanted to find out what other easy workouts we can do with our four-legged fur babies.

Sadie Cornelius from Caninejournal.com recommends getting active with your dogs, whether that means playing a heart-thumping game of Frisbee or fetch, or taking your pet for a run or hike.

Sophia Borghese, a consultant for All Inclusive Health in New Orleans, also recommends hikes.

“Dogs love nature,” Borghese says. “All you have to do is take them to a major landmark and go for a nice long walk. It’s the easiest way to get your fitness and dog’s entertainment needs met.”

For more information on hiking with your dog, click here.

Borghese also recommends yoga with your pup and a fun exercise called treat lunges:

“Hold a dog treat in your hand and point it at your dog’s face. As you start to do lunges, your dog will bounce up and down till you’re done with your set and can finally feed your pup.”

Caleb Backe of Maple Holistics says swimming is one of the best workouts you can do with your dog.

“Unlike running, which targets only a few muscle groups, swimming is one of the most comprehensive workouts, which works to improve your overall strength and muscle tone,” he says. “As a fundamental aerobic exercise, swimming is a great way to burn calories and even reduce inflammation. Research indicates that swimming offers many of the same benefits as running and yoga. For instance, the deep rhythmic breathing, stretching and cardio workout of swimming combine to effectively lower stress …”

Backe adds, “These countless benefits all apply to your four-legged friend, too. Although not all pups are great swimmers, many dogs love to be in the water. In addition to swimming laps with your dog, you can also play fetch and even race with them.”

Senior editor of K9ofMine Meg Marrs recommends agility courses as a fun and challenging way to work out with your dog.

“Agility is a great canine-friendly sport in which dogs and owners navigate courses together. Obstacles like weave poles and tunnels provide plenty of variation and challenge,” Marrs says. “While your dog will be completing most of the actual physical obstacles, it's the owner's job [to] run alongside the dog and provide signals to indicate what the dog should do next. It's a fast-paced and athletic sport that will work out your dog's body and mind!”

For a comprehensive guide to lots of games you can play with your four-legged buddy, check this out.