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Five Reasons You Should Exercise With Your Dog
Written by Ashley Wigram
Dogs make for excellent workout partners. Scientific research has shown that dog owners are more active in general than people that don’t own dogs, and furthermore that dog owners are more likely to reach physical activity requirements. Most dogs love to be active, and they therefore contribute toward keeping the whole family active. Even if you already take your dog for regular walks or throw a ball around the backyard, there is no reason that you cannot make the family pet part of your actual workout routine. Dogs love hiking, jogging, running, even cycling! Here are five reasons that you should consider working out with your dog regularly.
Dogs Keep You Motivated
Dogs love walking and running, and there is no reason that the enthusiasm might not be contagious. Many people find it easier to follow a training plan when they have a partner to train with, so why not make your “best friend” your training partner? Dogs love to jog and run, and even if your fitness plan calls for something a little more sedate — such as long brisk walks — your canine friend will still love it. Dogs will encourage you to follow a routine, such as going for a run after work every day, and they will also turn your exercise sessions into a more positive experience.
Working Out With A Dog is Safer
If you run alone, a dog can help you to feel safer, especially if you run or hike on remote trails, or at night. Although running with a dog does not guarantee safety (running at night or on trails always has a small element of danger), it makes it more unlikely that you will be approached or attacked if you are running with a dog, especially a large one.
Dogs Make Exercise Fun
You might not always look like you’re having fun when you’re running, but your dog will. Most dogs love to run and walk, so that means that the both of you will be having fun. In fact, if you are working your way up a difficult hill or going for a personal record, your dog may have more fun than you do. On those days when training seems difficult, your dog can remind you of all the rewarding things that your training has to offer. Your dog’s energy and happiness can be contagious. Also, if you find it hard to get out of your own head while training, your dog can help to remind you that speed and calories aren’t all that matter.
Running is Good for Your Dog, too
Like humans, dogs were “born to run”. Running will help your dog to maintain weight and muscle tone, make for a healthier heart and circulatory system, and help your dog to build and maintain endurance. Also, similar to humans, regular exercise will contribute to good canine mental health. If you deserve to be fit, healthy, and happy, then your “best friend” does too! As your fitness improves, your dog’s will, too — an achievement that will make the both of you happy.
Running Will Make Your Dog Tired!
If you are troubled by your dogs’ destructive tendencies or overabundance of energy, you are certainly not the only one. Many dog owners forget that dogs need a lot of exercise to curb troubling behaviours: chewing, digging, and digging. There is no guarantee that regular exercise will turn your dog into an angel, but a tired, happy, satisfied dog is more likely to be a dog that won’t tear around the house, chew up your favourite pair of running shoes, or dig its way to freedom under the fence!