4 Calorie-Burning Exercises for You and Your Dog

If you hate exercising as much as I do, follow these tips to make it more enjoyable while also spending time with your dog.

By: Konstantin Zamkov
If you hate exercise like I do, consider a routine with your dog so you both get fit and have fun. By: Konstantin Zamkov

Exercise much?

The American Heart Association recommends that the average adult get in 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity a day.

And what about dogs? The ASPCA recommends regularly exercising your dog to ensure better health and, well, to keep him from destroying your possessions out of boredom.

Clearly, exercise is good for you both — so why not combine them? You’ll realize some great benefits: bonding time, healthier living and an intact living room. Exercising with your dog also makes it a bit more palatable for those of us who hate to exercise — like me!

Taking the dog for a walk is probably the first thing that comes to mind. If plain old walking isn’t your thing, though, consider these alternatives.

1. Yoga With Your Dog

Doga is one a newer exercise craze, yet it’s easy to do. If you already do yoga, simply involve your dog. No, really, it’s that easy.

Small dogs can rest on your back while you do poses. Larger dogs can provide stability for when you’re doing standing poses. Just remember that your dog isn’t doing the poses — you are.

Ask your local yoga instructor if she does doga and if not, where you might find a class to attend. Barring that, you can look online to find simple poses to do with your dog.

30 minutes: approximately 150 calories burned.

2. Walking on the Beach

If you’re fortunate enough to live near a beach, head there for your daily walk. Walking in the sand provides resistance that makes your muscles work harder, so you burn more calories.

Dogs love the beach for its new sights, smells and sounds, but many places frown on unleashed dogs. Stay leashed and enjoy the sights while you feel the burn. By the way, a leash will also prevent your dog from rolling in those awful, really smelly things before you can catch him.

30 minutes: approximately 150 calories burned.

3. Fetch, Human!

This is a new twist on an old classic. Instead of sitting and heaving the ball for your dog to chase, why not race him for it? Your dog will catch on quickly, and he’ll love the challenge of the race and the chase.

Try tossing a rope instead of a ball. When one of you gets it, you can play tug-of-war.

Expand on this in your own way. You’ll soon find that you and your dog have spent 1 hour outside just having fun — and you’ll have burned some calories to boot.

30 minutes: approximately 200 calories burned.

This video shows some fun exercises you can do at home with your dog if doga and the beach aren’t for you:

4. Swimming

Swimming is a no-impact calorie burn — and it’s fun for you and your dog. It’s hard to remember that you are actually exercising when you are splashing around and playing with your dog.

Here’s some quick advice, and the ASPCA has a few more tips:

  • Make the first experiences with water pleasant for your dog. Let him wade in slowly while you encourage positively.
  • Watch your dog to ensure he doesn’t swim into currents or riptides.
  • Bring fresh water from home; even ponds and rivers can contain parasites.
  • As with children, never leave dogs around pools unsupervised. Thousands of pets drown every year.
  • Keep your dog away from smelly fish and jellyfish on the sand. Both can contain toxins and bacteria.
  • Stay shallow. If you are over your head in the water and your dog tires, he may try to climb on top of you.

Look for dog-friendly beaches or pools so the two of you can doggy paddle your way to fitness.

30 minutes: approximately 220 calories burned.

FitBark Dog Activity MonitorBest Way to Keep Your Dog Fit and Happy

Looking for a way for you and your dog to get healthy together?

Check out the FitBark 2 (affiliate link), the highest-rated dog health monitor in the market. It’s a small, colorful device that you attach to your dog’s collar.

The FitBark 2 monitors activity levels, quality of sleep, distance traveled, calories burned, and overall health and behavior 24/7. Battery life is an unbelievable 6 months, so you can worry less about recharging and more about bonding with your pup. It fits dogs of any size, and it loves the water as much as your dog does!

Learn why everyone is thrilled about the FitBark 2 here (affiliate link).

FitBark Dog Activity Monitor

Melissa Smith

View posts by Melissa Smith
Melissa Smith, discussions manager for Petful, has been researching and writing about pet behaviors for several years. A longtime pet lover, she lives in Massachusetts with her teenage son, their cat Harrison and the spirit of their German shepherd named Gypsy. Melissa is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in multimedia design and hopes to adopt as many needy animals as she can.

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