Jordan Walker considers dogs as practical domesticated companions, which can transform from your lovable buddy, to a guard dog when it feels that you are in danger. He loves writing about them, sharing these at Coops And Cages and in blogs such as this one. In this article, he talks about working out with dogs.DoginGrass

Stress, heart problems, weight management, high blood pressure, asthma, cancer prevention and the list could go on – these are just some of the reasons why people need to exercise regularly. There are several ways to get this done, the most popular of which is doing it at the fitness center. But there is another option. You can exercise with a pet dog instead. Which do you think is the best way to get fit?

What A Fitness Center Can Offer

1. You can work with a trainer. Those who choose to do workouts at fitness centers can work with professional fitness trainers. These are certified individuals who can help design a fitness program for you. They are especially handy for people who may have existing health conditions that need special exercise regimens. Some fitness centers even offer the services of a nutritionist.

2. Other services in store. Some fitness centers are now offering more than just the use of common gym equipment. They could have swimming pools, saunas, Jacuzzi, and steam rooms available to members.

3. State-of-the-art equipment. You can set up a home gym. But doing so is expensive on the pocket and you may not be able to purchase the ones that offer the best quality. A fitness center has all the gym equipment you need from treadmills, utility benches and stationary bikes to name a few.

4. Safety standards. Working out at fitness center is considered safe. Members are required to present an identification card upon entering the facility so you can be sure that shady people are not lurking about. To prevent possible accidents while using gym equipment, fitness centers assign certified trainers to supervise. Even bacterial contamination is not a problem since the facilities and equipment are regularly sanitized.

5. Group workouts. There are group workouts made available by fitness centers such as aerobic exercises. Such programs will give you the opportunity to meet other people for friendship, as well as be inspired to stick to the routines just like they do.

The Dog As An Exercise Buddy

1. It won’t judge you by your age. Dogs are not choosy about the company they are with. People mostly group themselves together depending on age, gender or personality matches. Your own dog won’t see these and will always gladly accompany you while walking on a dog leash.

2. You pace the speed. People have different needs when it comes to exercise. The aged for example will only need brisk or slow walking. Sporty people on the other hand may require intense workouts. You can condition your dog to walk or jog depending on your own exercise needs.

3. Will never be bored. You may have walked the same street several times. But dogs see the world differently than you do. While you usually go on autopilot and the streets before you become a blur after having passed these everyday while going to work, your dog will take it all in like this was a new experience, smelling the flowers or getting curious at a bird.

dogs-n-fitness4. You’ll be obliged to exercise. You know your dog needs to exercise and the yard or the house is not the best place to get it done. Whether you like it or not, being a responsible owner will prompt you to get that leash and walk your dog. In short, you will be exercising even on the days that you don’t feel like it.

5. It’s a people magnet. If you are able to meet people at a fitness center, you can do that too simply by walking your dog. Of course, to get that done, you may need to invest a bit in its grooming needs. Even people who don’t own one usually can’t resist staring at a cute dog and starting a conversation with its owner.

6. Dogs are open to new adventures. Take it for a walk around the neighborhood, go hiking on a trip, or take it at a farm, your dog will always be happy to keep you company unlike teenagers who may complain of being bored.

7. Keeps brain and heart health in check. Being in the company of pet dogs according to experts is considered a great stress reliever as it can reduce cortisol, the reason why you may have elevated feelings of stress. Just being with them also contributes to better circulatory processes, reducing the risk of stroke.

8. Offers variation too. You think you’ll get tired of performing the same dog walking routine? Dogs can do other things too. Fetch stick together or go swimming. Have you tried Frisbee, skating, or surfing with your canine pal? They are natural born athletes.

Comparing the Two

So is a fitness center better than a dog exercise companion? Or is walking the dog better than a fitness center? The answer to that will depend upon your exercise needs, your financial capability, and if you can live with a canine pal. Fitness centers will need you to pay for membership fees and these are considered expensive especially for the ones that have the best facilities. If your salary is considered on the average, the fee could be considered quite a splurge. In comparison, a dog could seem more reasonable on the wallet, even though you need to pay for its salon visits, veterinary checkups and pet foods. The fitness center may be able to offer the use of a swimming pool, but with a dog, you have the option to go to different beaches. Dogs will need to be cared for, which basically means that it’s like marrying someone. Once the membership term is over, you can just ditch the fitness gym for another if you are not satisfied with their services.

The One That’s Better For You

Do you need a fitness program catered to your health need? Or want the convenience of being able to work out any time you want using several types of equipment? Then you’re better off working out in a fitness center. Do you like animals and meeting strangers on the streets? Or love the outdoors and would like someone to accompany you in your sports adventures? Then you should consider getting a dog as an exercise buddy. Whether you choose to exercise at a fitness center or do it with a canine pal, their end goals are just the same despite their differences in some of the benefits offered – that is to make you healthier.


JordanWalkerThis article contributed by Jordan Walker

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages

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