Working Out in the Morning with your Dog

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One of the fitness habits that I have noticed fit people possess is an ability to work out in the morning. Exercising in the morning, especially with your dog, is a great way to build and maintain fitness for several reasons. Some of the best reasons to work out in the morning include:

Jack loves his early morning hikes

Jack loves his early morning hikes

  • Morning workouts mean you can’t skip the workout later because you are too tired or you were too busy.
  • Morning workouts might create a greater fat burning potential. There is research that supports the idea that working out on an empty stomach can help burn more fat. For a good summary of the benefits, read this article on
  • Morning workouts can be invigorating and set the tone for a productive day.
  • Morning workouts usually mean less crowded gyms or trails, as many people might still be in bed while you and your dog are burning some calories.


For many people, the thought of exercising in the morning before breakfast is a daunting challenge. They argue that getting out of bed is hard enough and have no interest in waking any earlier. Try these tips and tricks to make the adjustment to early work outs less stressful and hopefully allow you and your dog to make morning workouts a habit and not an anomaly.


Ease into it. For those people who like to sleep in, working out in the morning might require that they wake up earlier than they currently do. The best way to establish an early riser habit is to ease into it. Start by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier than normal. Your body will hardly notice the difference. After a few days, adjust the alarm another 15 minutes. Continue until you are waking regularly at your new time.


Get up at the alarm. Once the alarm goes off, make sure to get up. Sleeping in anyway obviously defeats the purpose.

Stick to it. Our bodies will get used to a sleep/wake schedule. If we sabotage the schedule, by sleeping late on weekends for example, it just makes it harder to establish the habit. If possible, try and wake at about the same time each day, even on weekends. This simple trick makes it much easier to stick to your wake schedule. If you are just starting to try to wake earlier, get up at the desired time no matter what time you fall asleep.


Adjust bed time. If you are waking much earlier than usual, you will need to make up that sleep time somehow (unless you are one of the rare people who is currently oversleeping). Try to adjust your bed time by the same adjustment that you make in the morning. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier if you are attempting to wake 15 minutes earlier, etc.


Make it easy. If waking early is truly a chore, make it as easy as possible. Lay out your workout clothes the night before and program your coffee maker (if you are a coffee drinker) to brew at your desired time. Both of these allow you to roll out of bed, get changed, and grab a cup of coffee without having to think about it.


Use these tips to get into the habit of waking early enough for a morning workout with your dog. You might find that you actually enjoy working out in the solitude of the morning hours and I bet that you and your dog will improve your fitness consistency over the long haul.


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  1. Dory and I always try and do our walks first thing in the morning…it really sets the tone for the rest of the day!
    Dory’s Backyard recently posted…FFHT – About New Years ResolutionsMy Profile

  2. Hi Y’all!

    When you live where it gets HOT you have to rise early and go out late if you want to enjoy the outdoors.

    Y’all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
    Hawk aka BrownDog recently posted…Flashin’ Back to Parade My Fitness!My Profile

  3. I like that way of exercise and it’s great to be alone on the streets…. but Easy and his dad sadly think otherwise…I never saw such a lazy guy in the morning…. and that although he is a dog of the “sporting” group…. :o)
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog SHOP TILL YA DROP & FFHTMy Profile

  4. We’re almost ready to hit the pavement for our morning workout. We roll out of bed and into our downstairs beds while Mom works for about an hour and then we head out. Morning workouts are the best way to start the day!
    Emma recently posted…Bailie’s Tracking CertificationMy Profile

  5. A dog really can motivate people to exercise. I have customers tell me all the time they want a dog as a walking companion.
    Jim recently posted…Will An Invisible Fence Work For A Husky?My Profile

  6. In the warmer months we love taking early morning walks before the heat sets in and we also enjoy another walk after dinner when the sun is about to set! Great post! p.s. if mom doesn’t get her own workout done in the morning she is very cranky! BOL!
    Miley’s Daily Scoop recently posted…How Dogs Keep Humans Happy and HealthyMy Profile

  7. Mom is such a ‘morning’ person. She’s on her way to yoga right now and it’s still dark outside! I’ll catch a few more zzzzz’s and then we’ll both head out for a walk.
    Sage recently posted…Hiking to Munra and Wahclella Falls-Part 2My Profile

  8. Those are awesome tips for establishing an early morning routine! I get up with my two pups around the same time every morning (weekends & holidays included), and will take them for a walk first thing. It’s a wonderful start to every day and a routine I have very much come to appreciate. I LOVE the positive side effect of burning calories 🙂
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…Top 3 things to keep in mind when choosing a healthy dog dietMy Profile

  9. I have always been a night person, so I much prefer getting out with Barley in the evenings. Our evening walks are a great way to unwind after work and before I have to settle back into grading and we tend to see more bunnies and deer on our evening walks, which makes it even more fun for both of us. Morning walks tend to be a little more stressful for us because they mean we’re out when all of the kids in the neighborhood are waiting for the school bus and that makes Barley nervous. We usually only get out for really early morning walks in the summer when it’s hot enough that we have to do a short morning walk and a short evening walk, but we can certainly use those tips in the summer–although Barley’s always ready to go at any hour of the day 🙂
    Beth recently posted…Am I a Cat?My Profile

  10. I agree with everything you said. But I’ve always preferred to get out with the pups in the afternoon. It breaks up our day and I get to skip out on any feelings of morning dread. That said, there is something really special about getting out there before everyone’s up. You feel like you’re winning the day.

  11. I must admit, I’m not much of a morning person and each morning I sit down and try and do my blog posts and when I am doing it the dogs (exp gambler) is getting into trouble and trying everything to get me up and out to exercise them and I ignore them and the next day say I am going to get them out for a walk so I can sit down at the computer in peace and I don’t do it. Good advice to get me going.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Woods Walk~FitDog FridayMy Profile

  12. We like our morning workouts too! It’s much too easy for the day to get away from you if you wait until later. Something else always comes up that gets in the way of working out if you wait!
    Diane recently posted…#SuperDogSunday Training Tips and WinnersMy Profile

  13. I have my most energy and motivation in the morning, and if I don’t work out then, I probably won’t at all. Morning is the most beautiful time of day outdoors…it’s so peaceful and quiet, and the air seems extra fresh. It’s my favorite time of day, though sometimes I don’t get up and going as early as I’d like, especially in the winter. The dogs all love the morning too, no matter what time of year it is!
    I allow myself about an extra half hour of sleep on the weekends. That way I feel like I got something special, but it’s not a huge change to my schedule.
    Jan K recently posted…FitDog Friday – New Toy FunMy Profile

  14. I walk Ace first thing in the morning because otherwise I just seem to put it off and then I don’t do it! I know, so sad for Ace! It is a relaxing start to my day when I take him for a walk, and I appreciate that quality time we have together. I do also kind of like that there are fewer people around. It’s peaceful.
    Lindsay recently posted…Rat terrier bites man to protect girl from potential abductionMy Profile

  15. It takes me a bit of time to wake up in the mornings so morning walks seems a bit hazardous for me. There have been a few times when I’ve almost used Mr. N’s toothpaste in the mornings!

  16. I didn’t used to be a morning person, but I discovered that a morning work out caused my metabolism to shift into high gear for the rest of the day.
    jan recently posted…Are these the world’s dumbest criminals?My Profile

  17. I am NOT a morning person. However, Cookie needs her morning exercise so I get to get some too. Little girly is making sure I don’t lactose in exercise.
    Jana Rade recently posted…Veterinary Highlights: New Way To Diagnose Kidney Disease EarlyMy Profile

  18. Mom used to try and take me for runs in the morning, but I am a dog who enjoys routine. I get up, take care of business, eat, then go back to bed until my sleepy eyes go away!
    MyDogLikes recently posted…Puller Training Device and Dog ToyMy Profile

  19. Excellent tips. I have not used an alarm clock for years. I guess the dogs are our clock. 🙂
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Across The Frozen PondMy Profile

  20. UGH! I would love to take your advice here BUT I am definitely NOT a morning person lol!
    I don’t think there is any chance I would be able to exercise in the morning haha!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Siberian Husky Facts From Around The GlobeMy Profile

  21. I couldn’t agree more – except that I have to have a light breakfast first! There was a time when I thought that I could make afternoon my workout time. My workout got canceled by work stuff (or being too tired) way too many times! I also think it makes it easier for dogs to relax during the day when they may be at home alone if they’ve had a good morning workout.
    KB recently posted…Black Dog SundayMy Profile

  22. Since I always talk about my morning walks with Harley, you must have written this post with me in mind 🙂 LOL I love my morning walks with Harley and working out with him when we;re out there together makes so much sense. I have increased what we do a bit, and of course I will do more as the weather warms up, but it’s so nice to read something here that I am already doing! #yeahhhhh

  23. I’ve never been a morning person so a morning routine is super hard but all this makes total sense. I’ve always enjoyed evening walks in the summer, right before the sun goes down.
    Jen recently posted…The Sherman BowlMy Profile

  24. I love working out in the morning, I find I have more energy and feel refreshed and ready to start my day.

    Many years ago I would get up at 5:30 and take my bike and go riding, or do 1/2 an hour on the treadmill, it always made feel like I had already accomplished something in my day.

    • I agree…and you kind of forget you did it and then when you remember, it’s like, Yeah…I did good already!
      mkob recently posted…Maggie CREATES a HomeMy Profile

  25. I love the idea of a morning walk with Sydney. Not only does it cross one task off the long list of things to do, it’s a great way for both of us to start our days 🙂
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…Serendipitous Saturday | You Wanted 2 Puppies Right?My Profile

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