22People walk many animals, including cats, dogs, goats, lizards, pigs and even chickens. I often see a home-based video workout and the family pet upstaging the presenter in the background or coming up to be a part of the production. Exercising with dogs is this article’s primary focus, but did you know there is goat yoga? A popular trend across the nation, goat yoga is supposed to have originated on a farm in Oregon, where it is estimated that hundreds of people are on the waitlist to participate. People that live in large cities with little contact with nature seek out retreats to spend time in a leisurely and therapeutic fashion on beautiful farms to get away and relax from daily life. A yoga instructor leads the class with an array of goats that not only add to the ambiance but they may also decide to take playful jumps and be a part of the overall goat yoga experience.

The most accessible companions for exercise are dogs. Dogs like to get out and walk, run and play, and what better way to enjoy an activity than with your best friend. Their tails start wagging the moment you get the leash out or put on your shoes! Our connection to pets continues to grow. Let’s face it; they are always glad to see you and listen when you talk to them.

Pets love us unconditionally and have such a positive influence on our lives, and one of the benefits can be physical fitness. People who walk their dogs spend at least 22% of their time walking and jogging with their pets compared to those who do not walk or have a dog.

The daily demands pets require from us include all the planes of motion and movement patterns such as bending, squatting, lifting and turning. Our fur babies need about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily, which is the same as their human counterparts. It has been reported that people with pets heal faster from joint replacements due to pet activity. Exercise for the pet and owner depends on the pet’s age, breed and health conditions as well as your own.

Puppies are way more energetic, and as they grow, short bursts of exercise may be more productive than an activity that requires more time. Creative ways to work out with your pet indoors include running up and down the stairs, playing indoor fetch, hiding and seeking and tug of war. Hide and seek with treats is a game that can be fun and beneficial as you squat down or ease into smaller spaces. Fetch is a game that always appeals to dogs giving you a great arm workout. Outdoor exercises include throwing a frisbee, another excellent arm and shoulder workout. Jogging with your dog is ideal, but remember that starting with long distances may not be beneficial until your fur baby is acclimated to the distance. Take your dog swimming, biking, hiking, camping at a dog park, walking or jogging. Always be cognizant of the safety of your pet with outside activities, and be aware of pet etiquette. For safety reasons, carry a water bottle and a doggy bag for cleanups. Read rules about the beach and regulations for pet parks, and keep your pet on a leash. Avoid exercising with your dog in excessive heat, and know that pavement can burn paws. Exercising with your pet is therapeutic!

Live and love life and enjoy exercising with your pet.

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