Be happier, live longer, and spend more time outdoors. Those are goals we can all aspire to, so why not get started today? Here are 5 activities you can do with your dog that can transform you–body, mind, and soul, from Rover.com.
There’s no better way to kick-start your running habit than to bring your dog along. Whether you’re a former track star or you avoid sprints at all costs, forming the habit with your pup in tow has endless upsides.
First and foremost, your dog will get excited about your daily run, and cement it into your routine. It’s much easier to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep when big, puppy-dog eyes aren’t staring you in the face! Most dogs will benefit immensely from the exercise of a daily run, and they’ll keep you motivated, too.
Leisurely, rambling walks are rewarding for both you and your pet, and dog owners are more likely to go further afield to find the most beautiful, enchanting hikes around. You’ll get to become one with nature, and in some places, you can even let your dog off-leash to roam freely.
Making a habit of weekend hikes will gradually build up your strength and endurance, and the joys of exploration will bolster your day-to-day mood. Before you know it, you’ll be looking for more challenging terrain and clambering up rocks, as your pup’s adventurous spirit rubs off on you.
Whether it’s frisbee, tug-of-war, or a good ol’ chase around the dog park, active play with your pet will have you bursting with newfound energy. Dogs love it when we fully engage with them on their wavelengths, and they rarely get tired of playtime. Set aside half an hour at the dog park on your afternoon walk, or put your morning coffee to good use with a backyard romp. You’ll capture the youthful thrill of play that’s hard to recreate without a four-legged friend.
Some dogs don’t enjoy swimming or don’t know how, but most take to the water as if they’re amphibious. Look for beaches or pools that allow dogs to swim, and make your plan. Swimming is a low-impact sport that can still get your heart rate up, and it’s an excellent complement to any training regimen. While your dog may not swim tidy laps at your side, their energy and enthusiasm will keep you going on tough days. Bring a couple of floaty toys to toss to keep them engaged.
Most of us reach a point where we stop “playing rough,” and those pig piles we fondly remember from childhood become a thing of the past. But dogs love to wrestle; hands-off playtime is hardly as satisfying. Taking appropriate precautions, enjoy a rough-and-tumble time with your pup for fantastic all-over workout. Don’t be afraid to get messy! Afterward, calm them down with treats and cuddles, and enjoy a quiet evening. You’ve earned it!
Bonus: 3-Ingredient Banana-Pumpkin Cookies
These delicious and healthy treats are great for people and pups, and they’re great to enjoy on your hike or after a workout. You’ll need 1 ripe banana, ¼ cup pumpkin purée, and ½ cup coconut flour. Mix the ingredients together, and flatten the dough. Use a fun cookie cutter to cut shapes, then place them on a baking pan. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
Don’t have a dog of your own? Borrow one by becoming a pet-sitter with Rover.com. You’re sure to get in shape once and for all!