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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer who created the well-known detective Sherlock Homes, once wrote that “A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family or a sad dog in a happy one?” The truth remains that dogs are reflective of their home lives—and especially their people—as their owner’s guidance is everything they need in order to live a happy, healthy lifestyle.

If you own a canine, you already know that dogs are considered humans’ best friends for a reason. Our canine companions are fiercely loyal, remarkable motivators, and bona fide people-pleasers. As a duo, both you and your pooch need regular physical and mental stimulation to thrive. For a little nudge in the right direction, here are a few top tips for getting fit with your dog.

Get Moving: Find an Activity You Both Like

Dogs may instinctively crave a bit of activity, but they cannot go gallivanting off without you. While you may have your own goals for getting fit, there a number of activities you can do with your dog to get you both up and get off the couch. While it’s critical to get moving, there’s also no need to run marathons just yet.

Take it slow. Find an activity that works for both of your benefits. Bear in mind that certain exercises may not work for your current abilities or preferences, and certain exercises are not suitable for your dog. After talking to your doctor and your veterinarian, seek out various physical activities that have the potential to develop your bond and get the most out of a workout.

Get Committed: Aim for a Month

In order to be successful with your fitness goals, you must make a commitment. Being committed means doing something even when you don’t feel like it and even when it’s not convenient. You should commit to exercising for at least 30 days. Whether you and your dog train 2 days a week for forty-five minutes or 5 days a week for twenty minutes, doing it for a month will help you to stick with exercise.

Get Going: Build a Routine

Having a routine is more than just a day-to-day schedule of work and play. Implementing a structure around your daily activities can be beneficial in times of great uncertainty or stress. Whatever exercise or activities you choose to do, be sure to create an exercise routine that you can stick to. Building a set routine is one of the top tips for getting fit with your dog.

Routines can vary during an exercise journey, so no matter if you swim, jog, bike, run, do “doga,” or enjoy other outdoor sports, be sure to add a sprinkle of variety from time to time to keep your mind and body engaged. With time, you will be able to hatch a beneficial routine that is specific to the two of you.

Get Adventurous: Take a Hike or Explore

Humans and dogs alike are creatures that are meant to be in the great outdoors—it’s innate in our DNA. Breathing fresh air and exploring vivid locations together is advantageous to the body, mind, and soul. Keep the changing seasons and weather conditions in mind while venturing into new environments, as well as the intensity levels of the trek.

Be sure to wear the right gear and be aware of how to protect your dog’s paws during a winter hike—and how to prevent heat exhaustion as warmer weather returns. With proper planning, a change of scenery will be very valuable in your quest to get fit and spruce up the well-being of your household.

Get Rewarded: Compensate Your Efforts

Incentives tend to improve behavior. Having some kind of reward or compensation after staying consistent with exercise can help keep you stay focused and on track. Pick small rewards for short-term goals and bigger rewards for long-term goals. Being active three-times a week for a month does not really warrant a trip to the Caribbean whereas losing 100 pounds warrants something more than a new workout outfit. Match an appropriate reward to the completed goal for you and for your dog.

Follow the above tips to help you get fit with your dog so you and your dog can get fitter, leaner, and healthier.

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