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!

My Weight-Loss Journey: It’s All Mom’s Fault

by: Danielle Ternyila

From the moment I started my weightloss journey, my mom couldn’t have played a more vital role; she was my workout and accountability buddy. My biggest fan, cheerleader, constant therapist and the greatest role model a girl could ask for, Mama has been by my side through it all, including countless sweat sessions in the gym.

She herself had started her own journey around the same time I started mine, which was a real wake up call for myself. If mom could lose the weight, what was my excuse? She lost 90 pounds following a weightloss surgery, known as the sleeve, and major changes in her lifestyle. Getting myself to the gym every day was a daunting task, but she was there every step of the way, which was sometimes all the motivation I needed to keep myself on track.

She came to the gym with me every single time I asked. She tried new things with me and showed me new workouts or machines in the gym. Having her by my side, even if just to have someone to laugh with me when I fell off the treadmill or used a machine wrong, made it that much easier for me to go. With your workout buddy by your side, you feel like you can conquer anything, even the terrifying gym filled with fit athletes and big meatheads.

You may not even need an actual “workout” buddy more than you need an accountability buddy. Tell someone your plans, your goals, and your aspirations. Let them keep you in check, ask about your progress, and always be open and honest. The only person you’re hurting by lying is yourself.

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle. I started hitting the gym with Mama in late September of 2016, and I went every single day the rest of that year, all with Mom’s help. When she couldn’t go with me to the gym herself, she still kept me in check. She asked me if I worked out, she gave me suggestions when I was trying to figure out a busy day’s schedule, and I can’t ignore all of the awesome videos and motivational quotes she shared with me. Even on the days I had to bare the gym alone, she was still always there in some way, holding my accountable.

Just a year before we started our health journeys, the 2 of us made it to Disney World together, and we had a hard time sharing photos of those adventures. We were both in such unhealthy places, every picture seemed to highlight our double chins, and so many photographs from this incredible trip were shared only between us.

Now several years and a pandemic later, feeling free of the weight that once held us down, we got to enjoy a trip to Hawaii together. This time, I made sure to splurge on a photographer to capture these memories. I didn’t have to sit and take breaks throughout the day because I was out of breath, I didn’t have to call it early some days because my feet were in so much pain, and we didn’t feel as guilty eating donuts for breakfast this time around either. Being able to share this journey with someone, whether it’s a friend or you own parental unit, makes it that much more enjoyable in the end.

With your best friend by your side, you can conquer the tallest of mountains and all of your dreams. If you need to lose weight or get healthy, don’t try to do it alone. Tell your friends, tell your mom, ask for help, or at the very least tell them to check in with you! It holds you accountable, and having the support of your bestie as you go makes it all that much easier. If you’re as lucky as I am, there will be lots of laughs too. My mom is the best buddy I’ve got, and I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today, mentally and physically, without her support.

Don’t forget to pop in our private Empowerment group on Facebook, where there is a whole group of us ready to cheer you on and support you as you try to take back your health or lose weight.