The dogs around here have a pretty easy time maintaining fitness – they get, in all but the most exceptional of cold, road walks of at least 1.5 km a day (Sam and Sally usually get 2 road walks), runs at the farm (shorter now but generally I walk 3 km and they run for the full 45 mins+) , training time (every day, every dog does SOMETHING for their brain), and at least half an hour outside keeping me company while I do outside chores. They run up and down stairs, do balance games (tho I don’t have a balance ball or peanut). We end up balancing working cardio, muscle and brain fairly well. If somebody comes up lame they go on moderate rest – ie leash walks and walk and brain work only until they are sound. Luckily around here lameness seems to last a day or two at most and doesn’t happen often. I think it noteworthy that Thea and Sally are the most likely to come up lame – they are hard on themselves always!

You’ll notice I’m sure that the dogs have a variety of ways to stay fit.  They work all their muscle groups and I make sure there is variety on their off leash runs – one day might be flat work, another may include swimming  in the pond, another will have a gradual incline or  a steep one, another may be through a woods where there is lots to clamber under over and through, a half hour of vigorous fetch gets worked in whenever Sally has choice! Grid work is part of life when the ground is appropriate as well.

I’ve got the dogs cross training down to a fine art.

My fitness? Not quite as organized! When at work I used to open the student weight room for 90 mins once a week after school and ride the stationary bike while the teens worked out. Here I walk, I wood (mainly loading and unloading – I’m literally not strong enough to lift the splitting maul over my head), I garden in season and recently have started riding. I’m also trying to much out 4 stalls twice a week as part of my fitness plan. That uses muscles not commonly used in daily work and gives me an aerobic push taking the cart to the muck heap. I need to remember to take care of my fitness as well as I do the animals if we want to have the most fun playing together.