Best Workout Buddy Ever: Exercising with Your Dog

By: Kristin Pulling

We know that dogs are great for our mental health – often helping to decrease stress levels. Besides helping to keep us happy, research has proven that dogs can also benefit our physical health! Michigan State University researchers discovered that dog owners are 34% more likely to get in the recommended amount of exercise than non-dog owners.

Incorporating your dog in your exercise routine can be a great way to get past that mental roadblock of working out. Chances are, your dog is always excited to go on a walk – let his energy motivate you! Here are some fun ways to exercise and bond with your pooch:

Interval Walks:

Prevention[1] suggests adding intervals for a great way to get the most out of walks. Repeat this circuit 5 times:

  • 1 minute: walk
  • 20 seconds: jog
  • 1 minute: walk
  • 20 seconds: side shuffle
  • 1 minute: walk
  • 20 seconds: run backward

Keep away:

If you have a fenced in yard, dribble a soccer ball. Your pup will get a physical and mental workout while trying to get the ball.

Agility Training:

Try teaching your dog an obstacle course. You will have to run alongside him to teach him the routine, making it a great workout for you both!


Yoga with your dog. Yes, it really does exist. The SPCA of Tampa Bay offers Doga classes, which they describe as “Yoga for best friends. Classes allow you to “explore the joy of yoga with your dog. Meditate, massage and stretch your relationship to a new level of bonding.”



When working up a sweat with your pup, be sure to bring plenty of water for both of you!