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Ways to get fit with your furry friend

by Stephanie Underhill on Sunday 13 January 2019

Need some inspiration to get fit this year? Look no further than your best fitness friend – your pet! Pets need exercise too, so involving yours in your fitness routine is a perfect opportunity to get both of you in shape.

If you’re not great at sticking to your New Year’s resolutions, there’s really nothing more motivating than a set of puppy-dog eyes pleading for a daily walk. Plus, we’ve heard that pets complain a lot less about working out than actual people, so there’s really no excuse for you not to get active with your furry friend. Even if you don’t have a pet, you can always volunteer at a local animal shelter as they often need people willing to exercise the animals! 

Exercising with a dog, or working out with a cat like this gentleman, can be great fun. Not convinced yet?Here are some ideas for how you can get fit with your pet.  

Hit up the dog beach 

The dog beach is a great place to let your pet off the lead for a good run. Not only is it an ideal environment for dogs to be active, it’s also a chance for them to socialise with other dogs. 

While your pooch is off making friends and getting sandy, you can fit in some solid exercise yourself by walking or running on the beach. For added fitness perks, you can even step it up a notch and do a 20-minute soft sand workout.  

Step it out 

Many dog owners take their pooch for a daily stroll. It’s a great way to keep both of you active, and it’s not that hard to stick to. Try fitting a walk into your morning routine before heading off for work. Even 20 minutes of walking the dog each day can do wonders to your fitness levels. You can even scale up to a  
light jog, or a run once you feel ready. 

Get splashy 

Lots of dogs love the water, and there are plenty of water-based activities you can do together. Swimming at the beach is a great way to burn some energy, and you can involve your pooch by playing fetch while swimming. Some people even invite their dogs onboard when kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, or surfing!  

Have a play! 

Younger dogs, in particular, are full of energy and love to play. All you need for an active afternoon with your furry pal is a tennis ball, frisbee or a rope. Head to a nearby park and get playful by starting a game of fetch, chasing each other, or having a tug-of-war. Playing with your pooch like this is a great way to stay active and bond with your pet, while also getting your heart rate up. 

Get your ‘downward dog’ on  

Why would one of the main yoga poses be called ‘downward dog’ if it wasn’t designed to do with your pup? Yoga is a great fitness activity to build core strength and increase flexibility. It can also be a creative way of exercising with your pet. Just ask this adorable Chihuahua yogi.   

Looking for other fun ways to get active? Check out the range of exciting classes on offer at Virgin Active clubs, or book a tour of your local club. 

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