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Get Fit with Fido

Dogs make great accountability partners

Motivation and accountability are two keys to success when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. While some people seem to be inherently motivated to work out, they are the exception. Having someone to work out with can not only make it more enjoyable, it can also provide much needed accountability. It’s much harder to stay on the couch binge-watching Netflix when you know someone is waiting for you – counting on you – to show up.

The best workout partner is one that is always ready to go; one that doesn’t need any motivation or encouragement because they are always excited to get going. Who does that best describe? Your canine companion, of course! Making fitness part of your daily routine is easy when you have a dog because they need walking every day, but it doesn’t end there; you can enjoy a wide-variety of activities with your fur buddy, including hiking, biking, skijoring, which is cross-country skiing with your dog, and then, as the weather warms up, you can try canicross, cross-country running with dogs. Canicross is basically the summer version of skijoring. They say variety is the spice of life, and when you switch up the type of exercise you do, it helps keep motivation levels high.

If you have a dog that loves to run and pull, I highly recommend looking into getting a speciality pulling harness to try skijoring or canicross. It will take your outdoor adventures to the next level, allowing you to switch up your daily walks or runs. These activities use a special harness for you, and one for your dog, that keeps you attached and allows your dog to essentially pull you along for the ride. It’s a win-win as you get assistance hiking, running or skiing, and your dog gets the added exercise of pulling you.    

If you have a smaller canine companion who can’t keep up to your level of exercise, invest in a pet carrier backpack and you won’t ever have to end your outings early. You’ll get the added exercise benefit of carrying a few extra pounds, and Bella will be there for your picnic at the end of the hike.

No matter what size your fur baby is, by including them in your outdoor exercise plans you are more likely to stick with them. It’s pretty amazing to see their little puppy dog eyes light up, and their tails wag as soon as you grab their leash. The excitement created makes getting out the door that much easier. And the hardest part of any workout is that first step out the door.

Kathryn Anderson is a health enthusiast, fitness instructor, avid traveller and animal lover who loves inspiring others to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Find her online at http://coffeeandmascara.org.