4 reasons why your dog could be your greatest personal trainer

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Are you keen to increase your fitness but finding it hard to get motivated? Dogs can be great training partners, not only because they are always eager to get out of the house for a walk, but they’ll also keep you company and make exercise feel less like a chore.

Your dog needs exercise too

Not only do we need regular physical exercise to keep our body and mind healthy, but our dogs do too. Getting active outdoors with your dog allows them to experience new sights and sounds but is also a great way for them to socialise with other dogs to build up their confidence. A brisk walk around the block is usually enough to get the job done but there’s plenty more you can do together if you want to up the ante. Walking, running or even joining you alongside a bike ride are great ways for both of you to stretch out your muscles and keep you both in great shape. Plus, a dog that burns loads of energy will be much better behaved inside the home.

Your best motivator

Every dog loves a good walk and likes to stick to a routine. So, when you're toying with the idea of flopping down on the couch at the end of the day, your personal trainer will be there to remind you that there's no couch-time until you've done a lap of the park. Setting up some exercise stations at the park or in your backyard is also a great way for you both to meet your daily exercise quota and exercises like burpees can be a lot more fun when you can incorporate a game of fetch in between. Even though your dog may not come with a whistle and a clipboard, they'll definitely help get you up and out there, even when you'd rather sink into the cushions and have a little nap

Make your workouts more enjoyable

Dogs build a special connection with their owners and love nothing more than being together and having a play. By including your dog in your fitness routine, you can not only build that special bond, but you can also take your workout to a whole new level - especially if your dog likes to run. It’s important to remember though to choose an activity that suits your dog’s age, fitness level and health. Some dogs may be more suited to a leisurely stroll while others may be full of energy and keen to join you on a 5km run. Check out your local dog friendly fun runs such as Parkrun or look into agility training – which can be a great work out for both you and your dog. No matter what kind of dog you have, there are plenty of different dog-friendly exercises that incorporate chasing, running and agility work that are not only fun, but can really help you to push yourself physically.

Workout buddy at home or away

Another big plus for training with your dog is that even on holidays they can be by your side. If you’re planning on heading away for a short trip, bring them along so you can spend some quality time together while out and about. Dogs give you plenty of activity options and are great hiking companions, so next time you’re off on an adventure and still want to enjoy your daily run, bring your best mate along too. Before you head off, have a read through our “Planning an adventure with your dog? 5 key things to prepare and pack” blog for some tips.