Physical exercise and mental stimulation are the keys to good health whether you're human or canine.
Working out on a regular basis will help you lose weight, feel more confident, and build body-sculpting muscle. But sticking to a plan is never easy. When the couch is calling your name after a long day at work, lacing up your running shoes is usually the last thing you want to do. For dog owners, this has double the consequences.
Your lifestyle choices affect your dog as well as yourself. When you choose the TV over a walk, you're forcing your dog to do the same. Together, you slowly slip into a routine that negatively impacts your health. But if you're ready for a change, you have a new option.
"Doggy and me" style gyms are popping up all across the country. These human/dog fitness facilities cater to both human and canine health by giving dog owners the opportunity to get fit and have fun with their dogs.
K9 Fit Club has several locations across the country, and they offer enriching and time-saving workout programs. Founder Tricia Montgomery was inspired by her own weight-loss journey that she says wouldn't have been possible without help from her Basset Hound named Louie. After the pair lost a combined 134 pounds, Tricia enlisted help from dog behaviorists, dog trainers, veterinarians, and fitness trainers to develop a one-of-a-kind workout program.
The different circuits include specially designed moves meant to keep both you and your dog engaged. Wagging Wall Sits are a fan favorite. Tricia explains it as, "you push your hips, back and shoulders into a wall and slowly walk your feet out as your upper body sinks into the floor. Your dog's paws can be placed on your knees for added resistance, while giving your dog a chance to stretch and exercise the muscles in his hind legs."
Tricia told Animal Wellness Magazine:
"Playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which can provide a calming and relaxing feeling in his owner."
By combining the feel-good reactions of playtime with the physical benefits of working out, Tricia has helped countless people and dogs across the country. But she's not the only one that's caught on to this furry fitness trend.
Leash Your Fitness in San Diego, CA invites dogs and their owners to take advantage of the great outdoors. They offer a number of different programs to help people escape the idea that walking and running are the only activities they can do with their dogs. Leash Your Fitness has surfing, kayaking, and yoga along with specialty classes designed for core, cardio, and conditioning.
In Missouri, dog owners attend classes at Fitness with Fido. They combine physical exercise with dog obedience for a bonding experience you can't get anywhere else. Humans perform certain activities and stretches while their dogs practice sitting or laying patiently. They get pats in between sets and a chance to practice their commands.
Join us this Sunday for class at Forest Park at 9am! ? Meet to the right of the boathouse for some #doga and #puplates , save time and pay online ahead of time, link in bio. #yoga #pilates #forestpark #stlouis #stlouisgram #yogawithdogs @yogawithdogs @petraitsbyerika let me know if you're interested
When your dog is your workout partner, you don't have to worry about them bailing on the last minute. They'll push you and encourage you to keep going, because their energy and enthusiasm is contagious. You'll both be getting fit, but you might not even realize it. You'll be too busy having fun with your best friend.
Dog-friendly gyms are relatively new, but they're quickly gaining popularity. It won't be hard to find one near you.
Do these doggie and me fitness classes sound like something you'd want to do? Let us know in the comments.
WATCH NOW: Zuke's Power Bones Are for Active Dogs