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Your Dog Can Be Your Best Friend for a Healthier Lifestyle

Take the dog for a walk, or a run, as a daily exercise routine

Adapted from NIH/National Institute on Aging | June 11, 2012

Being physically active can be more fun when you’re with someone else, but that someone else doesn’t have to be a person.

Here are some tips to help you and your dog have a great time being active together. It will help you both stay fit and healthy.

Set Up a Routine and Have Fun

  • Dogs, like people, are creatures of habit. Go for walks and play about the same time each day.
  • Make a plan with a neighbor to walk the dogs together.
  • Take a brisk walk to your local dog park.

Be Imaginative

Walks are great, but consider other activities, too.
  • A game of catch is a classic.
  • Agility training — create a mini-obstacle course in your yard or at the park; together, move around, through, and even under the items.

Keep Safety in Mind
  • Stay hydrated. On long walks, bring water for both you and your dog.
  • In hot weather, go out in the morning or evening, when it’s cooler.
  • In cold and snowy weather, wear boots with good traction. Check your dog’s paws and remove snow and ice from its footpads.
  • Check yourself and your dog for ticks if you’ve been walking in the woods together.

This material is provided by Go4Life , the exercise and physical activity campaign for adults over 50 from the National Institute on Aging at NIH.