Your K9 companion can ramp up your workout plan + top 5 best workout breeds


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Your dogs may be your best workout buddies. They won’t complain that they’re too tired to jog with you, or lure you to happy hour instead of hitting the gym. So it’s no surprise that dog owners usually are more fit than those without dogs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and feelings of loneliness — just make sure you’re not allergic! (See our story on hypoallergenic pets.)

If you need to freshen up your workout plan, your four-legged friend may be the ticket.

Did you know there are doggy-and-me fitness classes? Thank Dog! Bootcamp is one of many doggy-and-me classes available on the West Coast. It combines cardiovascular training, obedience training and strength training. The concept is genius: You and your pup stay fit while forming a deeper bond by learning obedience techniques. If you haven’t seen a class like this in your neck of the woods, you will — this trend is growing! Click here for our Q&A with Thank Dog! Bootcamp founder Jill Bowers.

Sign up for canine-friendly fun runs and fitness-related events near you. You’ll both stay fit and socialize! Check Runner’s World for event listings near you and great tips on running with your dog!

Remember, dogs are loyal to their masters. While it’s your responsibility to take the initiative by strapping on your sneakers and putting on their leashes, they will help you finish what you’ve started once you walk out the door. Just be sure not to overwork Fido and give him plenty of water!

Want to reward your pet for being such a good sport? Check out PetCareRx’s Deal of the Day for discounts on pet products.

Top 5 ‘un’official best workout companion breeds* (Always consider adopting from your local shelter!)

  1. Australian shepherd: This breed is master of the agility course and requires daily vigorous exercise. If you’re a high-energy person looking for a high-energy dog, adopt an Australian shepherd!
  2. Siberian husky: As long as it’s not too hot, a Siberian husky is a perfect fitness companion. Bred for sledding, it’s in the husky’s blood to carry light loads at moderate speeds over great distances.
  3. Toy fox terrier: You better stretch before playing with a fox terrier. They possess an unending energy and zeal for play, according to the AKC.
  4. Labrador retriever: The American Kennel Club describes this popular breed as “an ideal sporting and family dog.” Your kids will love physical activity with you and this sweet breed.
  5. Border collie: Known as the “The workaholic of the dog world,” border collies are high-energy and super athletic.

* Source: American Kennel Club.

Tell us: How do you stay active with your pooch?