Working Out With Your Dog!

Brittany Pratt run for the animalsIt’s true that having a dog makes you healthier! Research shows that those with dogs get more physical activity than those who don’t own dogs. Having a dog forces you to get out to walk them increasing your daily activity and reaping the health benefits.

The best part is a dog can be your best training partner acting almost like your own in-house Personal Trainer. No one likes exercise more than a dog; they’re always ready to go, they never cancel and they never complain.

Walking your Dog

All you need is a leash and you can explore the outdoors while working your heart and lungs and burning some calories. The options are limitless. You can walk sidewalks in an urban area, hit some paved biking and walking paths in your community, or get to the mountains for some walking or hiking trails.

Running with your Dog

If you’re both ready to ramp up the intensity, take some time to train your dog how to keep a straight line while running with you and off you go. Be sure to understand your breed of dog and their tolerance for distance running. Some breeds can manage long distances and others will require you to keep it short and sweet. Remember to assure you both stay hydrated.

Water Sports with your Dog

You’ve probably seen photos of dogs cruising on the front of their owners’ Stand-up Paddleboard or chilling in a kayak while their owner paddles away. You don’t have to leave your dog at home and once you see how much your dog loves these activities, it might just motivate you to be consistent. Remember the life vest for your dog too!

Catch and Release

You throw the ball, the dog runs, retrieves and returns. Repeat. This game doesn’t give YOU very much exercise. How about you mix it up a bit? Try throwing the ball and then you both race to the ball. Or throw the ball one way and then run the other way and hide and your dog has to retrieve the ball and then find you. Or throw the ball and then before they get back, see how many jumping jacks, pushups or jump squats you can do. You’ll both be sweating and panting in no time!

Dog Park Bootcamp

While your dog is playing with all the other dogs, how about you do a set of squats and lunges. Take your exercise tube and wrap it around a pole and do rows and presses. Use the time to get your own workout in.

Join a Dog-friendly race

Add purpose to your workouts together! The Humane Society is hosting their annual Walk/Run for the Animals on Saturday May 4th at Esther Short Park. Do something good for you and your dog while raising funds for the Humane Society!

No Dog?! No problem!

All of this sounds great but what if you don’t have a dog. You can start by volunteering to walk dogs at the Humane Society. Help them get the exercise they need while reaping physical and emotional benefits yourself! Here’s a great place to start in Vancouver.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.

Couve Run 2017

Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA. Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.




Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

Scroll to top