A four-legged BFF keeps you company, makes you laugh, and can boost your health and happiness—all while helping you get in shape. Here, four ways to make a furry pal your number-one partner in fitness:
STICK TO A ROUTINE
Your dog won’t let you off the hook for a walk if you had a bad day at work or stayed out too late last night with your girlfriends the night before. He just needs to get outside! And that makes him the perfect exercise buddy. Go ahead and give in to those puppy-dog eyes. You’ll be glad you did later.
PUMP UP THE FUN FACTOR
Staring at the gym wall morning after morning as your run on the treadmill towards nowhere = so boring you could practically fall asleep. Sharing your workout with an animal that loves to chase birds and cars, makes funny noises, and constantly approaches strangers = so. much. fun! Mix it up by trying out new trails, bringing a Frisbee or tennis ball to the park, or secretly encouraging your puppy to chase that cute new neighbor, giving you the perfect excuse to introduce yourself.
TAKE IT OUTSIDE
Dogs need fresh air—and so do you! Outdoor exercise stimulates your mind (changing scenery), challenges your body (uneven terrain and hills), and even boosts your mood. Take it to the next level by ditching the sidewalk for the park. Being surrounded by a natural, green setting can improve your mental health.
FUEL UP RIGHT
You and your dog need plenty of quality protein to build strong muscles. Include lean meats like chicken and fish in your diet, and treat yourself to a post-workout snack that’s a combination of carbs and protein (like chocolate milk, or an apple with peanut butter). As for your pooch, a dog food that is meat, veggie and fruit based without corn is the healthiest mean for them. Snacks of carrots and apples are a great way to reward them without adding too many calories.