The 411: National Dog Day

In honor of this Sunday’s National Dog Day and my guy Enzo, I’ve asked fellow dog lover La to share her tips for getting up and going outside with your favorite four-legged friend. —M.S.

As most of you know, Michael is a big dog lover (Enzo has the life, that’s for sure). We have a passion for pets in common because my beautiful standard poodle Storm (check her out on Instagram) is my favorite sidekick, too. We all know dogs love to play and, when we’re at work, they miss us … a lot. So today, take time out for the fluffy love of your life with some fun and creative ways to make walking the dog a good workout for you both.

Climb a mountain. Hiking with Storm is one of my favorite things to do—and also one of the best partner workouts around. Challenge yourself and your dog by running certain portions of the hike. On our hikes, there are several hills where I jog and Storm races me up the hill. It’s true that she has four legs and I only have two, so there is a little bit of an unfair advantage on her part, but she pushes me hard when we race those hills and it’s good for both of us.

Walk it out. If you don’t have access to a hiking trail, you can still push yourself on you daily walks with your dog. Start by walking a block, then jogging a block. On the next block, walk and then the following block, do high knees. Next, walk one block, followed by butt kicks. Add lateral shuffles or even skipping to the next round; the key is to walk one block and do something that gets both of your heart rates up on the next stretch. Your dog will think it is time to play and is guaranteed to love your workout.

The benefit of all of this movement: You’ll get your exercise in for the day and have a tired dog who’s going to sleep well when you get home.