Dogs Help You Exercise

Written by Nat Smith, community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

They say that dog owners live happier, longer lives. One big reason? Dogs can help you get out more often, stick to your workouts, and stay upbeat while you’re at it. How can your pet help you overhaul your fitness routine? Check out these tips from

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#1: Enjoy Nature

Gyms can help us get regular, efficient exercise…but they do nothing to salve our souls. The further we remove ourselves from nature, the more isolated we feel. Taking daily walks with your dog can help you reconnect with the sounds and sights of the natural world.

Your dog will fixate on the small things (like squirrels!) you’d otherwise overlook as you go about your day. Pets can help us connect with the larger world, adding peace and mindfulness into our daily lives.

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#2: Change Your Routines

If you have a young, active dog, they’ll love getting out for runs. When you see how happy they are getting to run by your side, you might be motivated to lace up and get going–even if you’ve never been a runner.

Maybe you’ll give up your Saturday Netflix binges for day hikes on nearby mountain trails, or peaceful walks around a tranquil lake. Or your afternoon slump will give way to tug-of-war at the dog park.

Slowly, you’ll find your regular habits supplanted as you find ways to get–and stay–active together, building a closer bond with your pup and keeping the two of you in great health.

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#3: Up Your Happiness Quotient

Pets improve our mood, and so does exercise. What happens when we combine the two?

Working out on our own can sometimes increase our stress–because we zone out, worry about work, or otherwise remove ourselves from the present moment. Dogs can help us stay grounded and focused, and the fact that we’re taking care of their needs helps us feel even better.

Your dog’s infectious joy will also prompt you to be more social when you’re out and about, so the benefits just keep multiplying.

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If you don’t yet own a dog, start thinking about it! But if you’re not ready to take the plunge, become a dog-sitter via to enjoy the benefits in the meantime.

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107 thoughts

  1. Absolutely agree with everything you’ve shared! My dog definitely motivates me to spend more time outside, exercising and enjoying nature. She also adds such a great level of happiness to my life. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. I would become a pet owner, but I am scared of dogs or cats. I like them and I find them cute. In fact I participated in raising awareness for pets and stray animals in my university but I have had some bad experiences with dogs so I am very wary of them

    1. You could always look at a senior dog. I volunteer with a rescue and there are a lot of older, “settled” dogs who make great companions and are low maintenance! My own rescue is crippled and can’t easily walk far.

  3. Great post!! All so true. There is NO substitute for near daily walking/hiking, even with the best indoor workout program in the world.

    So often Stella will give me the “look” pleading for some outdoor time, and who could refuse that? Off we go!

  4. Good points, in your article, Ula. 😉 I recently interviewed with Rover, here in The San Francisco Bay Area, and they seemed like a really good outfit, who know what they’re doing. I could recommend them to anyone looking for an interesting career choice.

  5. Haha… So true… And they make the entire experience so beautiful and so them. It becomes special if we see it. 😜

  6. Oopsie looks like I commented on one of your old posts for the award nomination 😝
    Anyways I’ve nominated you for a liebester award I’d love it if you checked it out:-)

  7. Great post, but I only love dogs as puppies. Don’t know if i’ll own one some day though.
    if you don’t mind I nominated you for The Sunshine Blogger Award, kindly accept it by clicking the link then you can nominate other bloggers too.

  8. I’ve had several dogs, all of them rescues. Because I believe with a rescue, when you love them they know the difference. Dogs teach us much about unconditional love. This is why I’ve often asked myself why ‘dog’ is ‘god’ in reverse. Nice blog post, and pictures too. Enjoy your day.

  9. Totally agree. My local dog park requires a mini 15 minute hike, also playing fetch and running is mandatory. I burn at least 800 kcal extra a day because I have a dog.

  10. I have a rescue dog who is crippled and can’t easily walk far, but we do short walks every day, and I take him biking and kayaking! Dogs are the best!

  11. This is exactly what I want to share with other people whenever they ask me why they should have a dog. Since my dad gave a dog as a birthday present, I have realized that my lifestyle has changed tremendously in a positive way. I used to wake up really late, and I tried to linger in my bed as much as I could in order to maintain my beauty sleep. That all changed the day I became the owner of Zip – my dog. I had to wake up at 6 AM every morning to walk him around the neighborhood so that he can release his energy. Initially, that daily routine was a nightmare to me. However, I realized that I gradually become fit, and I sometimes tried to run with Zip. In this way, I could take a break in the middle of a busy life to savor the beauty of nature that I tended to ignore. Besides, it also has the ability to assist both my physical and mental preparation for a new day. My advice is also similar to the one in the post: exercise with your dog!

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