Fido is your best friend, fellow adventurer, and snuggle buddy. Why not add personal trainer to his resume and exercise with your dog? He’ll never cancel plans, make excuses, or pass judgment. Whether you want to feel the burn or squash your inner couch potato, your pet is the key to your success. Here’s how your hound can help you shed those pounds and have fun at the same time.

Before beginning any exercise regime, it’s important to consider your dog’s health, breed, temperament, and training level. Always mind your dog’s comfort and safety. Should he become an unwilling participant for any reason, it’s time to stop and reassess.

Fuel Your Body.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to slack on one of the most important self-care aspects- your diet. Making healthier food choices will allow you to feel better overall and give you more energy to tackle your workouts. Trying new foods with your dog can be really fun! Have you seen those viral videos of dogs trying broccoli and cauliflower? Be sure to do your research on what foods are safe if you choose to experiment together.

Upgrade Your Walk.

If your walks are becoming part of the daily grind, take a new route! The pace will naturally increase (as will your heart rate) when your dog takes in the new scents and sights. For an added challenge, sprinkle in intervals of walking and jogging between blocks or navigate some hilly terrain. This activity will tire your dog’s brain and body so you can do your post-workout stretches in peace.

Try Doga.

You guessed it, dog yoga. It’s less about the crazy poses and more about the bonding experience. It incorporates gentle stretching and massage techniques, and can be a great option for older, stressed, or anxious pets. Joining a class is a fun way to socialize with other pet lovers. If home workouts are more your speed, check out these tips to incorporate your dog into your yoga routine: https://www.chewy.com/petcentral/doga-benefits-yoga-dog/

Explore Your Competitive Edge.

For the more high energy duos, agility may provide the thrills you seek. Emphasis is placed on communication between handler and dog as they race around a course navigating tunnels, poles, and hurdles. It’s a killer cardiovascular workout and an adrenaline rush to participate in this fur-flying, crowd-cheering sport!

Embrace Variety.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends an average of 30 minutes of exercise daily. The good news is that the benefits of exercise are cumulative and activities can be customized to fit your needs. Is it too cold for a 30 minute walk? Try splitting it into two 15 minute walks. Did you overdo

your workout the day before? Do some yoga to relax your muscles. No matter what you choose, your best friend will be there to cheer you on and your bond will be stronger because of it.

How do you incorporate your dog into your healthy lifestyle? Share it with us in the comments!