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Why Dogs Make Great Workout Buddies!

The holidays are a distant memory full of parties, friends and feasting. Mingled with the fond memories is the reality of a kitchen full of temptation and a few extra pounds around the middle. Shake off the winter doldrums with the four legged companion holding a leash between their teeth. Dogs are amazing motivators when it comes to sweating and exercise.

Judgment Free

Dogs don’t care about the onion/garlic combo reeking from an owner’s pores or the Mexican fiesta aftermath with each squat thrust done. They could care less if their buddy wears baggy sweats and a stained t-shirt or day-glo spandex and a rhinestone encrusted crop top that has seen thinner days. They are there to spur their workout partner into action and give plenty of kisses for a job well done.

shutterstock_154776587Boundless Energy

Most dogs need daily exercise in the form of long walks, runs, hikes, or bicycle rides. When an owner is done in, the dog will keep pushing, wanting to go that extra mile… It might be to find that pesky squirrel, but the point is that she will keep going; her owner has no choice but to follow her lead. It was the human’s idea to start this adventure in the first place, right?

Up For Anything

A dog is willing to do almost anything her owner asks. A brisk walk around the park drops 250 calories an hour, playing fetch for an hour will cost 155 calories. Grooming a dog burns 230 calories an hour. Live with a water dog? Fifteen minutes of swimming loses 100 calories. Kayaking and canoeing are calorie burners. The dog may swim next to the kayak or sit on the bow, offering direction. There are hundreds of ways to exercise with the dog.


Ask any dog professional, they’ll tell you that dogs thrive on routine. A set schedule they can count on. By establishing a workout routine, the dog will never let an owner forget it’s time to get up and get moving. Keep in mind when beginning any exercise program; dogs don’t understand the concept of weekends. If it is customary to sleep in on the weekend, don’t schedule time with the dog at 5 a.m. during the work week.


Look into taking an exercise class together. Some dog training facilities offer “doggy and me” training classes. Or get the dog involved in a sport. Someone has to train the pup. Not only will the training be a good way to get moving with the dog, the bond between owner and pooch will strengthen. Owners often find new ways to admire and appreciate their dogs when doing something together.

Is this too much information, too fast? Grab the leash, hook up the dog and go for a walk. The movement of walking, the inhaling of fresh air often clears a person’s head. When a person’s head is clear, it is easier to make decisions and plans. Plans for exercising regularly; all a person needs is a willing partner who’s ready and available for anything.





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Written by Renee Moen
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