5 Great Ways to Exercise with Your Dog

by on December 11th, 2010
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So you promised yourself you’d get in shape this year? Then it’s time to get started. Just grab your in-house exercise buddy and make it happen. Check out five great ways to get in shape by exercising with your dog.

• Dog-A-Thon

What’s a “dog-a-thon?” It’s a walk-a-thon with your faithful dog by your side. Make your early morning and nightly dog walking a heart healthy experience for both of you. Treat it like an interval session.

Start each walk with a slow stroll while you give your pup a chance to sniff and relieve himself. Then continue on with a “good boy” reward in the form of a quick sprint. Finally, slow it down again as you walk to a nearby landmark; then turn around repeat the intervals all the way home. It’s a great way to schedule two quick cardio sessions every day.

• Tug Your Tummy Tight

Here’s a good abdominal workout. Grab a strong tug toy and spend a little one-on-one time with your pooch playing tug-of-war. Start with the tug toy and your dog stretched out in front of you and tug him side to side, then closer and closer – using your stomach muscles to reel him for a quick hug. Repeat 5 or 6 times to get a handle on your “love handles.”

• Cut and Run Sprints

Every dog loves a good chase, so why not use that to your advantage? Take your buddy to a yard with a good amount of wide open space. Call him to chase you as you sprint about 10 to 15 feet. Then turn quickly to cut and run the other way and have him continue the chase. Set yourself up for a session of 5 or 6 back-and-forth sprints – take a 60-second break – then repeat one more session to complete your workout.

• Stretch and Throw

This is a great warm-up or cool-down exercise – or both. A simple game of fetch with a tennis ball allows you to extend and stretch your arm muscles if you concentrate as you throw. You can even add a forward stretches down to the floor while your dog runs to retrieve the ball.

Exercising and getting fit with your dog doesn’t have to be complicated. Just get out and get moving. Establish a routine and stick with it. Your dog will love the quality time you spend together and you’ll reap the benefits of better health and lower stress with each session you complete.

Enjoy more pet articles from Terry Mulligan:

Save Money by Grooming Your Dog at Home
Are Table Scraps Really Bad for Your Dog?
Tips and Facts on Caring for Finches

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