Get Fit with Fido

dog with sneakers

Have a dog? A great way to exercise is right at your fingertips (or lying at your feet)!  Break out the leash and go for a walk.  Dogs certainly motivate you to get outdoors and walk. Depending on the size of the dog and where you are walking can determine how productive the walk is.  Once your dog has done “all their business” so to speak; start walking at a more productive pace for both of you.  Your dog needs the exercise as much as you do.

What is a productive pace?  A productive pace is moving fast enough that having a conversation may be challenging.  Your goal for this part of the walk is cardiovascular exercise.  It is time to give your lungs and heart a workout.   Give yourself and your dog at least 10 minutes at this productive pace each walk and you and your dog will start to have more energy.  Gradually add 10 minute increments and work up to 30 minutes of productive walking during your dog walks.

If you are walking on the road in the summer, make sure the road isn’t too hot for your dog’s paws.  The pads on their feet can get burned.  In the same respect, in the winter if the ground has hard snow and ice, the dogs pads can get cut.  The roads are sometimes treated with chemicals and can cause chemical burns on your dog’s paws.  There are protective balms or paw booties you can use to protect your dog’s paws in the winter.

Be aware of the surfaces you are walking on to insure you and your dog’s safety.  Unstable surfaces are the reason for many falls.

The nice thing about having to walk your dog is you have to do it several times a day.  The more walking, the more fit you and your dog will become.

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, speaker and writer who specializes in helping people lose hundreds of pounds. Learn more at

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