Furry Fitness: Pumping Up With Your Dog At The Gym
Combined, my canines and I have burned many countless calories together over the years. Be it biking, skijoring, swimming, hiking or playing disc in the park, it’s safe to say that live an active lifestyle. I find that dogs make great exercise buddies! But because of restrictions banning pooches at the gym, most of that exercise has to happen outdoors.
When I head to the gym for a workout, it’s a total bummer leaving my dogs at home. Afterward, I drag myself through the door exhausted, while the dogs are well rested and want to get out for a romp.
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It seems that I’m not the only pet parent stuck with this dilemma, which is why the trend of Human-Canine Fitness Class is catching on and proving to be a huge success!
So, wait… I can bring my dog to the gym? Awesome sauce! I appreciate that dogs doesn’t judge you if your yoga pants expose your bumps and lumps, or if your Downward Facing Dog still needs some work. Plus, if you happen to be working really hard on a set of sit-ups and accidently pass some audible gas, you can always blame the dog!
As you can imagine, I signed myself up, and dragged along my husband and friend. Together, with our dogs Burger, Ember and Belle, we headed to scope out the facility. The first obstacle was to see how our dogs would do interact with strange dogs also attending the class. Our instructor Shalin brought out the tiniest Yorkie I have ever seen in my life, as well as a six-month-old puppy. There was some barking and excited moments from both parties, but the dogs quickly calmed down and focused on us again.
Once we passed the “Don’t eat strange dog test,” we were given a tour of the facility. The room is divided up into a number of stations. All of the exercises have a dog component and a human component, and it’s your choice whether you work the dog or work yourself.
We spent some time working the dogs on and near the equipment, so they could become familiar with each piece of apparatus. Our instructor recommended that we should never force the dog, and always let the dog approach the apparatus on their own terms.
Ember and Burger tend to view the world through party-colored glasses. Their inner dialogue goes something like this: “That was fun! Oh, now I am sitting over here, this is fun too! Time to stand? Standing is fun!” Belle is a little more mature and reserved, and sees everything she takes part in as part of a sacred duty or a challenge. But in the end, all of the dogs enjoyed getting to know the equipment. And passing out treats like they were going out of style helped, too!
Join us next time when the real workout begins. We’re going to attend a full class with other dogs and people. Will I fall flat on my face? Will brining my dogs to the gym prove too much of a distraction? Will gas be passed and dogs blamed? Will there be a little too much leg lifting, and not for exercising? All these questions and more will be answered (that is, if we’re allowed back!)
Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: “Get outside and play with your dogs!”
Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: "Get outside and play with your dogs!
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