I have tried working out by myself and with friends and my partner before. But my best fitness buddy at the moment is probably my beagle, Buddy. (See what I did there?)
He is the reason I get up and go on a pretty decent walk everyday. No one else in this world (I suppose until Little Man can actually talk and beg me to go and play sports with him or take him for a walk or to a play place) that can actually get me up and out of the house on a walk.
As he is a beagle he is a pretty energetic dog. He benefits greatly from decent walks and frequent playing. He is the type of dog that can walk for hours and hours and never really tire. A few weeks ago Big Man made him a toy that involves two people standing opposite each other and holding a handle attached to a rope. You open your arms with some force and this slides a ball and pull toy that we have attached to the rope, to the other person. They then fling their arms open and it returns back to you. Buddy then cases it up and down and tries to catch it. The force at which you have to fling your arms open is a real good arm workout!
No matter how tired you are or how horrible the weather is outside you know you have this life that depends on you to take him out so he can go to the loo and get some stimulation. It also helps keep him calm throughout the day and there are many benefits to walking on you, both mentally and physically. I have always been told that a person who walks their dog everyday is healthier than someone who lives in the gym and I really believe it. Sure you may not have bulging muscles everywhere but walking is one of the best exercises and it is due to the cardiovascular effects on your body and the fact that it is pretty low impact on your joints.
One of the reasons that dogs end up being put into shelters is because people underestimate how much energy their breed of dog has and it does not match their family. I know I am guilty of underestimating how much energy Buddy would have, but I am sure he is more energetic and frankly more crazy than any beagle I know. It is also about understanding how to let them release this energy. 15 Minutes of throwing a ball with him will tire him out way more than walking for three hours. If you play with him before hand then he is usually better behaved on the walk (not much better but still better than before). It also means that when I come home from a walk we can both relax. I will still take him on a good two hour walk if I have the time, but that is because I know he likes to get out and explore and I like to walk and Little Man likes to get out as well.
Does your dog (or any other animal really) help you keep fit? Do you agree that a person who walks their dog every day is one of the healthiest people out there? I mean not only is walking great but if your dog is like mine it builds a lot of arm strength!
PuppySpot created a little leaflet that explains a bit more about fitness and how your dog can be your best workout buddy. PuppySpot is a service that is committed to helping responsible breeders place their puppies with the right families (quote from their About Us page). I will insert the leaflet below.