Did you know that, on average, dog owners spend 22 more minutes walking per day than people who don’t own a dog? If you have a dog, these stats probably aren’t a surprise, especially if you also love hiking throughout Colorado with your pup.
Walking, hiking, and running aren’t the only ways to exercise with your dog, though they are some of the most common ways. To maximize fitness with your pooch even more, try these fun dog-friendly workouts.
With some training and patience, it’s completely possible to take your dog out on the SUP so you can both enjoy some core-burning fun on the water. To start, introduce the board to your dog on dry land. Reward him with a treat or other reinforcement when he first sniffs the board, working up to standing and sitting near the top of the SUP. Give treats as your dog progresses, and eventually you’ll be on the water together.
There are tons of places to stand up paddle board on the Western Slope and the rest of Colorado, and here are some of our all-time favorite spots.
Rollerblades and roller skates are just as fun today as they were in the 90s, for you and your dog! Rollerblading is a fun way to enjoy the many paved paths that span our rivers, parks, and other areas.
Again, you’ll want to do some basic training before hitting the sidewalks. It’s not fair to you, your dog, or fellow path users if you can’t control your pup. Your dog should know how to comfortably walk on a loose leash before you head out, and don’t forget to wear the appropriate safety gear.
If you still want to run with your dog, but also want to switch it up, why not try some new types of terrain? Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of the few National Parks that allows dogs, and it’s just begging to be the site of your next epic workout.
Try to keep up with your dog’s four legs as you both run up, down, and around these massive sand dunes. It’ll be a workout that’s far more effective than a standard beach run. It’s also a great way to prepare for the lung-busting 14er season.
If your dog loves an aggressive game of tug, you can use it to strengthen your core and get a nice stretch. It might sound a bit silly, but hear us out: Sit on the floor with your legs in a straddle position or out in front of your body. Hold a rope or tug toy in both hands. As your dog pulls backwards and starts to play, use your core (not your arms) to tug back and remain upright.
Don’t forget to let your dog win some! And as you give them some leeway, use the opportunity to stretch out your hamstrings, lower back, and hips. As you come back up and start tugging again, use your abdominal muscles to sit up straight.