Okay, dog mommas … bikini season is among us. I don’t know about you, but the thought of parading around the beach in my bathing suit is definitely getting me in the mood to workout. If you dread working up a sweat at your local gym and would rather get moving with your dog by your side (I’m raising my hand here) then read on. This list is filled with fun activities that will help you get fit with your dog!
1. Paddle Boarding
At first sight, standup paddle boarding may not seem like a sport that requires all that much effort. But, once you try it, you’ll realize it’s actually a great complete body workout. It targets nearly every muscle in the body, with an emphasis on your core and arms.
Here in Charlotte, NC, there’s a place called the U.S. National White Water Center. They offer paddle boarding and you would be amazed at how many people are accompanied by canine co-pilots!
My advice? Go a few times on your own before bringing your pooch … just to make sure you get the hang of balancing first. Then, once you feel comfortable to bring your dog along for the journey, have your pooch wear a life jacket. And if you let them jump into the water, keep a close eye on your pup at all times.
2. Doga (AKA Dog Yoga)
Yoga is a mind and body practice that offers many health benefits, such as strength, flexibility, and weight loss. But did you know dog yoga is a thing? Yup, it’s called Doga and there may be a studio near you that offers formal classes. In some studios, your dog will actually join in on the poses. Some doggy massage and acupressure may even be involved. In other classes, the dogs just hang around in a calm environment. I must admit, I’ve never taken a formal Doga class before. But, I have been to outdoor yoga classes where your dog can tag along (which is incredibly fun for both you and your pooch)!
3. K9 Fit Club Classes
A gym that’s designed for you and your dog! Check to see if you have a K9 Fit Club franchise near you. Their motto? No one should be forced to choose between working out or staying home to spend time with their dog. The creator enlisted top veterinarians, dog behaviorists, dog trainers, fitness trainers, and medical doctors. Together they created a health, wellness, and fitness program designed for both humans and their pets
If you’re a skilled rollerblader and your dog is well-trained then you may want to give rollerblading a chance. With you on wheels, your dog will need to run faster than usual, meaning he’ll burn off that excess energy! But, unless you have full control over your skates and trust that your dog knows his commands then this may not be a great exercise for you. Also, even if you are a seasoned skater, stick to boardwalks and parks that are free of traffic!
5. Stair Running
Running up and down a big flight of stairs is an amazing lower body workout. Can you say, “Hello, peach booty”?! Stair running is a great way to fire up your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Plus, it’s something your dog can do with you. Just make sure you aren’t pushing your pooch past his limits. Tip: Keep a fresh bowl of water at the bottom of the stairs, so your dog can take a few licks after each set!
Dogs love to hit the hiking trails, smell the different smells, and explore the rural environment. Whenever I hike and take periodic resting breaks, my little ones just look at me with sad eyes because they’re impatient and so badly want to keep exploring. When planning a hike, make sure to look for dog-friendly trails. BringFido is a great website that can help you find dog-friendly hiking trails all over the world.
7. Walking, Jogging, and Running
Last, but certainly not least, take your dog on regular walks, jogs, or runs around your community, in nearby parks, or along the beach. Find out more about running with your dog in this article, written by a dog trainer! Inside, he dishes up 3 tips for running with your canine companion.