home icon

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.

Newsletter
Next Avenue in your Inbox

Each week we'll send you stories, perspective and advice.