Fitness Tips I Learned from my Dogs: Have Fun

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K9Kampbadge_150The fitness industry is huge. As reported on, MarketData Enterprises estimates that Americans spend over $60 billion each year trying to lose weight and stay in shape. It seems that people are constantly looking for help when it comes to getting or staying fit. Many of us will consult with experts or hire personal trainers to help us get more consistent with our training or to help us break through plateaus.


Even though I know a lot about fitness from my many years of training, researching, and experimenting, I am always ready and willing to learn new techniques and approaches that can help me stay fit. Recently, I realized that I can actually learn many valuable fitness tips and lessons simply by observing my dogs.   Every dog that I have had during my adult life has been a workout partner and each of them has, perhaps unwittingly, provided me with fitness advice via their actions.


Well, it is about time that I start to take advantage of this doggy wisdom! Starting today, I am beginning a short series that will highlight some of the fantastic fitness tips that I have learned from my dogs over the years. These tips can help both humans and canines improve their overall fitness and very likely make it easier to stick with a regular fitness program. Who would have thought that your dog can also be your own personal trainer?


Fitness Tips I Learned from my Dogs: #1  Have Fun

The first tip that I have learned from my dogs is that one of the easiest ways to be consistent with your workouts is to make sure that you are having fun while exercising. For exercise-a-holics like me, this is often not an issue. But many people dread their workouts and think of them as if they are a chore, which increases the chances of skipping a workout or simply going through the motions.


Yet,  my dogs have always been “ready and raring to go” when it comes to doing physical activities with their humans and they inevitably seem to have lots of fun while doing it! Our Sweet Sally Brown was a great example of this. She turned virtually every workout into a game, whether it meant incorporating chase, hide and seek, or “I am going to run away and find dead animal carcasses to eat”, she always had fun while we were exercising together.
Here are some tips to help make your workouts more fun:

  1. Workout with your dog. Doh! This goes without saying, but any workout is more fun when you do it with your dog.
  2. Use intermittent games to reduce the monotony. This was Sally’s specialty. Make it yours when exercising with your dog or by yourself. Introduce little games into the mix and you will find that the time will just fly by.
  3.  Workout with friends. This was another strategy of Sally’s. She absolutely loved running with her friends and seemed to tolerate our longer runs more easily when she was running with her “pack”. Try the same thing for yourself by joining a running group or a bootcamp. The camaraderie will help you push through the workout and the interactions with your friends during the workout can help dull the ‘pain’.


Of course, having fun is a part of our theme for K9Kamp Backyard Fitness Games. In fact, it is really the entire point of K9Kamp: workout with your dog in any way you can think of, given your physical or space limitations. And have lots of fun while keeping yourself and your pets in shape.



Don’t forget to sign up for our great prize package for this year’s K9 Kampers. For a chance to win, just sign up using the giveaway tool:



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FitDog Friday Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life.   Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below - lots of fun fitness tips and advice!  


  1. Happy Fourth of July! Bailie and Mom are going running, and later this morning we will practice our nose work, then relax for the rest of the day except for our normal walks. Great tips, fun is the key, no fun, no go!
    Emma recently posted…Furry Fourth of July Wishes!My Profile

  2. Having fun is definitely #. Dogs always want to please and are always happy to do something with you. They don’t care at all that it is exercise, they think of it as attention and spending time with someone and playing. Have a great 4th.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…FitDog Friday on 4th Of JulyMy Profile

  3. This is so true! I\\\’ve always been much more of a bookworm than an athlete, so working out was never fun for me (at least not once I outgrew my Barbie workout VHS!), but Barley has definitely shown me that being active can be fun.Happy 4th of July!

  4. I enjoy long walks with my dog on the rail trail. I volunteer at an animal shelter, so I walk as many as 6 dogs on a day and each one is treated as if they are my own special dog. One even comes home with me for socialization visits.

  5. YES! Amen! And Yahoo!

    I used to feel really bad that I couldn’t force myself to use a stationary bike in the house years ago. It was so tedious. I still don’t understand how people can pedal for an hour at a gym watching television.

    Now I bike every day and it’s so much more fun to see other people, feel the breeze, and enjoy the changing scenery. And with potholes and traffic, it’s much more challenging.

    I think dogs play the way children do. When they want to run, they run. When they want to jump, they jump. When do grown ups get so boring about moving our bodies?
    Pamela recently posted…Honey Declares Her IndependenceMy Profile

  6. Happy 4th of July!
    This is such a great message. Working out should be fun, for both of you. Plus you are more likely to stick with it that way.

  7. We can learn so much from our dogs! Have a wonderful Fourth of July!
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…ILeesh ReviewMy Profile

  8. Hi Y’all!

    Have a great holiday weekend and stay safe and cool!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
    Hawk aka BrownDog recently posted…Happy Birthday U.S.A.My Profile

  9. Great tips!!!!! It is my dogs who inspire me to get out and be active, so I agree!
    And, well, lets face it…with 3 huskies, you have no choice but to be active!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Get inside my brain on the Pet Parade!My Profile

  10. At the club where I work out, I almost never see a smile. So sad.

    Have a happy and dog-friendly 4th from the Poodle (and dog) blog
    jan recently posted…How it began…My Profile

  11. Just seeing the dogs’ joy and excitement when I get out a leash, harness, or ball, tells me how much they enjoy exercising….and that makes it fun for me too, and is also the motivation I sometimes need.
    Jan K recently posted…Summer Pet Safety & Happy 4th of JulyMy Profile

  12. My two favorite tips are having fun and workout with friends. Without those two exercise becomes work instead of play. Have a safe and happy 4th.
    Mark at DBDT recently posted…Hiking with Ava at Sterling ForestMy Profile

  13. Its true. The dogs always seem to love any activity! Happy 4th!
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Backyard Fun On The 4thMy Profile

  14. #2 and #3 work wonders for humans. Well, they work wonders for keeping me going back to the gym (now that my new gym just opened… yeah. Feeling the pain of 6 month absence but sure reminded that #2 and #3 are key!)

    Now if only my gym was dog-friendly, and my dogs wouldn’t be terrified of my lack of coordination in Zumba and U-Jam and Step, I could incorporate #1 too!

    But for serious, they are all so true. It’s partly why I miss my old neighborhood because it’s hard to get all three where we live – it’s very limiting where we are without driving, bound between two freeways in a very urban spot with no yard and no off-leash spots, but we do our best with urban games and maybe we’ll meet some new dog friends one day.
    Jen recently posted…Surf’s up! Our Active Dog Instagram faves for Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  15. I couldn’t agree more. #1 is do something you love to do and have fun!!!!!

    Happy 4th to you!
    KB recently posted…Happy Independence DayMy Profile

  16. One of the reasons the fitness industry is so huge is probably because it does cover such a wide range of options.

    The great thing is that you don’t just have to run the same route everyday or use weights to build muscle.Doing something different can be a great way to see some amazing results and keep yourself motivated at the same time.

    Although there’s no shortage of ‘dog on a treadmill’ videos online, I certainly take your point about the importance of enjoying fitness 🙂
    Jess recently posted…FreeMotion 620 BE Power CageMy Profile

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