Five Tips to Make Exercise Convenient

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Last week we introduced the “6 C’s” pyramid approach to fitness, a conceptual and hierarchical approach to making fitness a part of your (and your dog’s) lifestyle.  Today, we will provide details on the first of the “C’s”:  Convenience.


Exercise Convenience: A Broad Definition

According to Webster, one definition of convenience is:

“a quality or situation that makes something easy or useful for someone by reducing the amount of work or time required to do something”

While this definition certainly captures the essence of what exercise convenience means it does not fully represent our meaning.  Making exercise convenient doesn’t mean that you are making your exercise session easy.  Rather, it means that you are making it as easy as possible to begin your exercise sessions, with a minimal number of obstacles or other reasons to skip your planned workout. The end result will be more consistent exercise and thus, a healthier body for you and your pet.


Five Tips to Make Exercise Convenient

Here are five tips to help you make it more convenient to exercise, with and without your dog.


  1. Minimize distance traveled. Wherever you exercise, make it close to the home or office so it is harder to skip your workout due to traffic or time constraints.  Obviously, this means that you should prefer a gym (or canine gym) that is closer to your home or office than to one that is further away, thus shortening the total time commitment needed for a given workout.
  2.  Keep it simple. For people who are just beginning (or re-starting) an exercise program, convenience can mean simple. Choose workouts that require minimal equipment or setup so that you can get started today, without requiring a learning curve or equipment instruction.  This is one reason why we love running: all that is needed is a pair of sneakers (if that) and a leash.  We can run virtually anywhere and anytime and warm ups are included (start slow and build speed).
  3.  Choose the right time (with a bias to mornings). Exercise convenience can also relate to the time of day that you and your dog workout. Choose a time that is most convenient for you. Exercising in the morning is a smart strategy for many people because it is completed before any other distractions or excuses (e.g. a long, hard day, or drinks with your colleagues) cause you to cancel your evening workout.  In any case, whichever time slot fits best into your schedule and that allows you to stick with the program, is the most convenient.
  4. Have a backup plan. Sometimes life gets in the way and interferes with exercise plans.  We suggest you have a backup plan, a set of quick, intense, and “convenient” workouts that get you and your dog’s heart rates up in a short period of time.  A five minute warm up and ten minutes of sprints can burn as much or more calories than a forty five minute walk.  Ten or fifteen minutes are all you really need for a decent workout. This is a far better than skipping the workout entirely.
  5. Exercise at a moment’s notice. Be prepared to exercise at any time so that you can take advantage of unexpected shifts in your schedule.  What does it mean to be prepared?  Store workout gear in your car and at your office.  We store sneakers, medicine balls, and leashes in our car and have often pulled into a park and gone for a run or done a quick workout with Jack.   You never know when you might have an unplanned opportunity for a workout.

Use these tips to make exercise more convenient and you will increase the chances of sticking with a fitness program for both you and your dog. If you do so, you will greatly increase the likelihood that you will stick with your program and make exercise an important part of your lifestyle.
SlimDoggy is happy to announce we are joining with our FitDog Friday co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place & To Dog With Love for this year’s K9Kamp.  Held twice a year (January and June), K9Kamp is a blog hop event where you can get fit with your dog! The challenge will be issued on January 24th, so be sure to and stop by to check out the challenge so that you can participate.  K9Kamp lets you work out with your dog at home at your own pace, in your own time. Then, at the end of K9Kamp, check back at the wrap up blog hop and post your results! You can read what everyone else has been up to, too! It’s fun and a good incentive to help you & your pup stay fit & healthy.

FitDog Friday

Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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  1. Some great tips here to keep the fitness commitment fun & easy. Morning exercise is a definite & convenience is the key. Great FitDogging ideas. Happy FF
    Paws and Pedals (Kate & Scooter) recently posted…Walk the Dog – Fatman’s Great Aussie TrekMy Profile

  2. Thanks for your tips, I think we could do something together too instead only to take a walk. That’s good for all specially after the holidays :o)
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog THIS MOMENT…My Profile

  3. This post is perfect for our family! Why is Mom a runner and a walker? You can do it anytime, anywhere. She joined fitness clubs many times in the past but never went because she had to “go there”. Fitness has to be convenient for us and since Mom used to travel all the time running and walking were ideal. We enjoy going to new places for walking or hiking but that is more of a bonus. We know we can just grab a least and run or walk out our door and get a workout. We are also a morning workout family because it gets the body and mind going and there is nothing that will get in the way. Some days it is hard to get up and get going, but you just have to do it. Nice post!
    emma recently posted…The Beauty of Winter | GBGV | {This Moment} See BeautifulMy Profile

    • We are simpatico Emma…we’re the same way – get up, get out and get that work out in before you can think up an excuse not to 😉
      mkob recently posted…Five Tips to Make Exercise ConvenientMy Profile

  4. I agree with you about convenience….thinking about keeping it simple will help with our (Maddie and my) committment….

  5. Those tips are helpful to me, because I’m struggling with keeping up my good habits. Over the holidays they became bad habits!
    Also, so thrilled to have you and To Dog with Love on board for K9Kamp, we’re going to have a great time! I hope everyone joins in the fun!
    Peggy Frezon recently posted…Pet Blogger Challenge- The good, the bad and the bloggyMy Profile

  6. Great reminders! We’re right there with Emma too. We prefer walking, hiking or things we can do right from home rather than going to the fitness club… though I have one close by that is calling my name!
    Your pals,
    Diane and Rocco
    Diane recently posted…Barn Hunt Part II: Finding the Rat!My Profile

  7. Great advice!
    I’ll never be a morning person, though, so I don’t even bother to make early morning goals, since sleeping in is a way bigger temptation that late-day excuses like tired, busy, traffic, plans, etc. I take the dogs for a ≈5km walk every day and that’s been know to happen at 11pm (even on a work night!). Definitely a night owl.
    Granted, that’s probably not the optimal time for the body to exercise, but it’s better than nothing!
    Jen K recently posted…Pet Blogger Challenge 2014My Profile

  8. Great post – convenience is so crucial. There’s already all the internal resistance so all these points are really great!

    Did I miss the entire Mutt-a-Thon? My life was totally upside down without a computer! ;0(
    BoingyDog recently posted…Challenge Yourself, Challenge Your DogMy Profile

    • Mutt-a-Thon was part of the PetsMove Expo January 1-4th…sorry you missed it. We will do it again. No computer = AAGGHHH!
      mkob recently posted…Five Tips to Make Exercise ConvenientMy Profile

  9. wow, I really gotta thank you for this post! I have been really wanting to take up jogging with my huskies…we walk….and walk…and walk….and i let them run around the dog park often, but I dont feel it does enough, for me as well as them.
    BUT I never started sprinting or jogging because I sort of figured you would have to be sprinting for 45 mins or so…..but if just 10 or 15 mins is the equivalent to a 45 min walk, then im down for that! LOL for sure! Thanks so much for your tips!
    ((husky hugz))
    “love is being owned by a husky”
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Pet Blogger Challenge 2014My Profile

  10. This is great advice. I prefer to exercise in the morning also, so there are no distractions later as you said. It is more difficult in the winter because the mornings are colder, but I still try to do it late morning on the days I can. That’s my one problem with winter though….having to put on all those layers of clothing, boots, hats, gloves, etc., snowshoes if needed….is far from convenient! At least we only have the one season to have to deal with that.
    Jan K recently posted…This ‘N That Thursday – Worry WartMy Profile

    • I forget about the hassle of bundling up. I have to do a little here, but certainly not as much as in the cold climes.
      mkob recently posted…Five Tips to Make Exercise ConvenientMy Profile

  11. I used to tell personal training clients to have their workout clothes laid out, their water bottle filled and toothpaste on their toothbrush! But one of the reasons I don’t work at a gym anymore is because although I love to lift weights and work out, I hated going to the gym. I am a big fan of keeping it convenient and simple- walking, jogging, yoga, mat Pilates (which is, of course my very biased favorite!) and light weight bearing exercises at home. Speaking of weight bearing, I have been carrying an eleven pound dachshund around the house for the last three days to try to keep him out of trouble while he heals from surgery- that’s been great exercise!
    Bethany recently posted…You Can’t Keep A Fit Dog DownMy Profile

    • Too funny. Lucky you don’t have a Newfie!

      I love Pilates and have been practicing it for 5 + years. I have learned to really push the envelope and make it into a serious strength workout. I mix some Pilates moves in with my sprinting drills which is quite a challenge.
      steve recently posted…Five Tips to Make Exercise ConvenientMy Profile

  12. Great tips and so true. I used to think really do I want to take then thru the pasture for a walk it’s the same o same o and not really fun. But now as convenience it has been working out great. The snow is deep so the dogs really have to work hard to run so I think that is helping their workout (I know it helps mine). So all I need is step out my door and exercise.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Nothing But NormanMy Profile

  13. We love our hikes but they do take a lot of preparation and some time to get there. Walking in our neighborhood is nice because we can be out the door in a little over 10 minutes. Even then, convenience is a factor though. If I have to search around the house for everything we need I can start to lose steam. It’s important for me to keep all of the walking “equipment” in one place close to the door.
    Jessica recently posted…2014 Pet Blogger ChallengeMy Profile

    • I keep all their leashes and my coats/hats right by the back door and leashes in the car too. Plus the two of them have internal alarms that ding every morning to get me out the door.
      mkob recently posted…Black & White Sunday 1-12-14My Profile

  14. Those are excellent and motivational tips.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Canine Health Screening–Following Up On HipsMy Profile

  15. You have no idea how timely this is. I used to work out at home, but now with the puppies, my routine is completely thrown off and it’s hard to find the time to work out for an extended period of time. So I’m going to join a gym, but should I join near home or near work. This helped me realize that if I join near home, I can go there directly after work during the week PLUS I can go on the weekends.

    If I join in Seattle, I’ll have too many reasons NOT to go; busy day, lunch date, working late, leaving early, etc.
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…5 Raw Dog Food Mistakes Dog Owners MakeMy Profile

    • Reasons NOT to go are just so easy to make. We’ve had a pretty decent gym in our home for 20+ years just so we can’t dream up those excuses.
      mkob recently posted…Wordless Wednesday 1-15-14My Profile

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