There’s nobody quite like the furry little bundle of joy that loves you unconditionally and wants to participate in everything you do. Dogs also have a knack for being overly enthusiastic about everything and motivating you to get dressed and head outside for a potty break, so why not make them your new workout partner? 

Science is already on board as studies show that simply owning a dog can make you a healthier person. It's been found that dogs help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression, as well  increase your likelihood of hitting your recommended level of physical activity. 

My furry baby happens to be a six-month-old puppy, already over 40 pounds, with more energy than I thought possible. Since the day I brought Tchaikovsky home in late October, I have spent more time outside (usually in the freezing cold), trying to have her practice and master all sorts of puppy skills and burn through energy. She instantly became my best friend and also the reason I’ve lost a few pounds (and kept it off) during and after the holidays with many, many walks. 

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If you need to revamp your workout, try these ways to workout with your pet:

Running the race: The moment my puppy learned how to keep pace running next to me was such a proud moment! She was exactly the running buddy that I needed. As a lifelong runner, training for so many races over the years had made me bored with running and unmotivated to keep it up. It just wasn’t as much fun anymore, and my dog made me fall in love with running all over again. 
Get creative: Walking and running isn’t the only thing your furbaby can do with you. Dogs are also great companions for bike rides, skateboarding, rollerblading, swimming, and just about any activity that you enjoy. We hit the beach at least once a week for some puppy play time and fetch.

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Walking is cool again: Getting your daily steps in automatically becomes easy when you have a pair of sad puppy eyes looking up at you. Explore the neighborhood and take new routes. Dogs are creatures of habit, but there’s no reason your walk needs to be the same every time. Vary the distance and check out new areas. 

Downward dog: I may need to wait a little longer for the attention span to increase with Tchaikovsky, but doing yoga with your dog is not a new trend. There are “doga” classes and at-home training kits for you and your pup to bond and let go of all the negative energy. Namaste, furry friend. Namaste.

Humans don’t compare: That workout buddy who always cancels on you at the last minute doesn’t stand a chance against your most loyal companion. Dogs are always ready to hit the trails in rain, sunshine, or snow. 

Now go work(out) your tails off! 

Michelle Rivas is a Founding Creator and wellness blogger. When she's not writing for Vivala.com, you can find her at thehealthylatina.com.