8 Ways to Work Out With Your Dog

I would choose an hour with my dog over the gym every day if I could, but on the days I do choose to skip my workouts for my rescue, I still make sure to stay active and get a good workout in. It’s good for me, it’s good for my boy, and it’s great for our family when we are all active and feeling our best.

Clyde sticks his tongue out to working out, loves it anyway.

The first thing we think about doing when we want to “work out” with our furry friends is running or walking. All dogs love a good walk, and it certainly keeps you moving and the blood flowing. However, there are a lot of ways to make your time even more active, or at least make a workout with Fido more fun than counting steps. Here’s a few different ways I’ve learned to workout with my dog and other furry friends!

Remember, every dog is different and if you’re getting your dog involved, make sure it’s safe for them too (so no deadlifting Spots!) at their health level. What I can do today with my 7 year old shepherd mix is a lot different than what I can do with my sister’s 3-year-old shepherd, and both even more different than what our 3-legged senior shepherd Troy can handle.

1. The Stop & Squat

This is the perfect add-in to a walk with your animal friend. Clyde is my 7-year-old shepherd-mix we rescued 2 years ago, and he loves to stop and smell all the smells. One of the simplest ways I’ll burn some extra calories with him is by adding in fun circuits to our daily walks. When he wants to stop for a sniff, I stop too and do squats until he’s done. Sure, my neighbors probably think I’m just a weird girl with a weirder dog, but my booty says otherwise!

2. Take a Hike!

My favorite way to stay active with the dog is to take him on long adventures down local trails, or sometimes we will make a day of it and drive out somewhere with mountains, mud, and solitude! Hiking is one of our favorite activities and ways to workout, and we try to keep it going year round. It’s not something you can do in all types of weather, but it can be breathtaking to adventure through nature in all seasons and take it all in. Plus it keeps you guys moving and working hard!

3. The Scenic Route

Not all my hiking adventures are what you think of when you think about taking a hike. Sometimes I prefer a walk down a local beaten trail with some beautiful views surrounded by nature. Keep up quick strides to bump up the cardio or add in some jogging/running too! I like the use this time for meditation and mindfulness too.

4. Belly Rub Planks

This is a great workout with your dog on a rainy day at home. Does your pet love belly rubs? Have them roll over, then lay down facing their belly. Take a plank position, then raise one arm to pet the pup! Rest back on both arms when you need to, and start up again with your other arm. It’s a really silly but challenging way to work out with your dog and be his/her favorite human.

5. Sit Up and Shake

If your dog has the patience and knows how to shake paws with you, have them sit in front of your feet (or on them would be even better!), and let them give you their paw every time you sit up. Think of it like a high five! Clyde is actually trained to raise his paw to your open hand with the command, “High Five!” but no matter what command you use, it’s sure to be fun, and your dog will feel so lucky to be included!

Got a kisser? Snag a smooch every time you sit up! How sweet.

6. Sprints and Chase

When I say sprints and chase, I am not talking about your regular old running routine; chase them around, hop over the branches and bushes, take sharp turns, stop to watch him pant, then start again! Play with your dog, if you’ve got an active one, just running short sprints around the yard trying to catch him or his favorite toy. My older dog and now angel Callie girl loved this game!

7. Play Ball

Whether your dog is a chaser or catcher, you can burn calories running around and throwing the ball around the backyard or your local park. If you’ve got a fast dog, try to keep up or race them for the ball!

8. Tug Rope

I don’t care if you have a big dog or small dog, but if you’ve got one that isn’t going to let go of the rope, I bet this will be a great workout for you! Troy the Tripod still always wins with just 3 legs and 11 years practice!

However you choose to incorporate your dog into a workout routine, you won’t regret the extra time spent with them and the serotonin boost their energy will bring you! If you can get into a habit of working out with the dog regularly, they could be the most inspiring workout buddy you could have. What would you do if you found out your dog liked working out with you? Unlike that annoying friend you’re always turning down, you’ll never be able to say no to your furry family!

What’s Your Fitness Style?

by: Danielle Ternyila

There is no right or wrong workout style, as long as you find the right one for you. Fitness is an essential part to a healthy and happier lifestyle, but there is no need to compare yourself to others or hold yourself to standards set by watching others’ successes on social media. There isn’t just one way to do things; in fact, there are endless options today, so to narrow down your options, let’s find which of the 4 fitness styles are for you.

There are 4 simple ways we all get started for any workout routine, but of course how we exercise and go from there can vary so much between CrossFit, lifting, running, yoga, and everything else! If you’re trying to answer what is the perfect workout for you, this is a simple first step that will get you much closer to enjoying your workouts and living your best. You never have to be the best – just yours.

I didn’t know where to start 70 lbs ago when i finally forced myself into my local gym and signed up for my first membership. I sulked along the treadmills and bikes for a few weeks because that’s all I knew how to do. There was a voice in my head telling me if I tried anything else, I would look silly or do it wrong, so I’m here to tell you not to let that or anyone get in your head. Your fitness journey is yours, and it’s never going to look the same as someone else’s.

1. Gym Membership

An open gym near home is a great place to achieve all your weight loss and health goals. Things to consider in choosing the right gym membership for you: their hours and when you will work out most, the distance and your commute, and the overall gym setup. I’ve tried many to find my “happy place” in a gym, and for me, it was important to find one open late on weekends, open early on week days, and plenty of room and machines for me to try new things and not feel cramped. In a gym, you have so many options every workout could be different, or you can stick with a favorite of your own: treadmill and bikes and cardio, or weights, stretching, and yoga balls. There’s something for everybody here, and it is also a great place to start a fitness journey with the chance to try so many different things.

Going to the gym can be scary the first time, but you shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed to be a newbie, and here’s why.

2. Class Community

With a class, there is a community that comes with it, which is something that really draws some in. Working out in groups isn’t for every body, but it has a lot of perks and benefits you might not even be thinking about, especially if you are already thinking of skipping ahead to #3! When you work out in a group, like a yoga class or CrossFit, you have a coach, guidance, and support all around you. Every one is there for the same reason as you, and instead of looking at them like a crowd, see them as your teammates keeping you going when you just want to quit.

It’s like working out with a buddy; you will always keep going when you have someone else to push through with you, or perhaps just motivate you to keep up!

3. At Home or Virtual

The 2020 pandemic certainly showed the world that almost all things can be done virtually, but fitness videos are nothing new. Getting in shape from the comfort of your home has been around since the beginning, assuming even cave men probably tumbled around some big rocks to get stronger. Luckily since then TV was born, the internet came around, and working out at home became more than just owning your own gym equipment. Home exercise can be done with a space saving treadmill in the living room or now we have endless videos with coaches of all different styles to keep us active and on track.

There are countless apps available now, or the old-fashioned YouTube where you can find a coach for nearly any kind of workout at home. If you like a funny coach, you can find one. If you want someone to yell at you through a TV to not give up, you can find one. If you need equipment-free workouts or exercises you can do with a bad shoulder, you can believe you are not alone, even while working out in the living room!

4. On the Ground

On the ground, turf, on the go, out and about! There’s no shame in enjoying nature and getting your sweat on with some sunny vitamin D raining down on you too. This is for runners and walkers, but it doesn’t have to stop there. I incorporate strength training into my daily walks with my dog, using my body weight alone to challenge my body in. Squat, lunges, or even tricep dips or push-ups on a bench along our way. Others may also enjoy outdoor yoga, Pilates, or other outdoor activities, like even horse shoes and volley-ball too!

There are obviously countless ways to get active and sweat, so if you’re new to working out, start trying new things. I had never step foot in a real gym before 2017, but I was on a mission to lose 70 lbs, so that determination drove me all over the “fitness map”. The gym, workout classes, 1:1 coaching, CrossFit, Barre, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, virtual videos, and even home equipment have all played huge roles in my weight loss journey and finding the activity I truly am passionate about to keep me active and healthy every day.