Sure, dogs have been known to partake in the occasional asana (doga, anyone?), but parenting a dog can truly upgrade even the healthiest person’s fitness level.
Once you commit, you’re essentially signing up for daily walks (more than one, of course) and arm workouts (seriously, fetch is demanding).
And with all that exercise, you tend to want to impart your other wellness habits onto them, too—whether that means grooming their coat consistently or giving them de-stressing baths. Hey, they’re basically your child, after all.
Another critical element? What food they eat. ORGANIX®, the leader in organic pet food, features organic free-range chicken or turkey, real salmon, or lamb for a wholesome option that will fuel them run after run.
Though doing activities with your pup isn’t exactly a HIIT boot-camp workout, it certainly has its rewards. From seeing your dog smile to having a designated running buddy, being fit and healthy with animals just makes you feel warm and, well, fuzzy.
Here, four W+G staffers share how they stay fit and healthy with their pet (in the most fun ways possible).
Lisa Elaine Held, Fitness Editor
Florence may be the most energetic dog of all time and needs a lot of exercise, so I take her on runs with me in Astoria pretty often. She’s much faster than me but doesn’t have a ton of endurance. We also go on many, many long walks around the neighborhood, which breaks up my day and gives me time to think on my feet. (I get all of my best ideas while walking her!) We share lots of other healthy habits, too. She does her yoga stretches multiple times a day (upward to downward dog, naturally), and her favorite foods are avocado and kale (she eats the leaves whole, stems and all, because she knows wasting food is bad for the environment, obviously).
Erin Magner, LA Editor
A celebrity trainer once told me that getting 10,000 steps a day is more important than any workout you can do—and I never got anywhere close to that until I rescued Jake. He’s a super-energetic guy who needs a lot of exercise, so I try to go for at least one brisk, 45-minute walk with him each afternoon. Sometimes we venture out to the Santa Monica mountains for a hike, but usually, we just tool around our neighborhood. Now, I not only reach my step goal on the regular, but I’ve confirmed that sunshine, fresh air, and big pit-bull smiles are truly the world’s best form of stress relief.
Rachel Lapidos, Assistant Editor
Before I was a dog owner, I used to look at people that had their pups as running partners with serious envy. Thankfully, when I started dating my boyfriend, we got a dog—and then another. (We’re dog freaks.) I started taking them for runs in Central Park as soon as they were old enough. Seeing how excited they are when we run motivates me to take them as often as I can, even though Penny (the cocker spaniel) can be temperamental and slow me down sometimes. It’s rewarding knowing I’m doing something good not only for my own health but for theirs as well—and they always shower me with kisses afterwards, so I know I’m not just imagining that they enjoy it.
Margurite Berard, Account Executive
I take Boozer outside whenever and wherever. We chose not to get an electric fence in order to keep us—and him—active on a daily basis. Boozer and I go on runs together on local trails at Rockefeller State Park, where we sprint past the cows (since he is afraid!), or by our local pond multiple times a day. He is the fittest dog I know!