An out of shape dog often has an out of shape owner. While there are ways to exercise your dog while being lazy yourself, it only makes sense to get in shape together. Just like people, dogs that are healthy and fit are happier and live longer.

Your dog doesn’t ask much from you but provides so much. Give your dog and yourself the gift of fitness and longevity.

Get fit with your dog and share some quality time together with these activities:

1. Swimming. Most dogs are naturally excellent swimmers. Swimming is a very healthy, low-impact exercise for you and your dog.

* Be sure to keep an eye on your dog. It’s not always easy for them to figure out how to get out of the pool when they start to tire.

2. Hiking. Dogs love to go for walks, but they love to hike even more. The variety of terrain and smells is more interesting to the average dog. The natural surface is much easier on their feet than a concrete sidewalk. Hiking is a great stress reliever for dogs and humans.

* Consider how much time wolves, coyotes, and foxes spend hiking each day. It’s a very natural activity for your dog. At one time, humans spent most of their day hiking, too.

3. Camping. Dogs love to camp. Camping goes great with swimming and hiking. Try it once with your dog and see how much you both enjoy it.

4. Rollerblading. Rollerblading isn’t as popular as it once was, but it’s still a great activity to do with your dog. It’s a great way to pick up the pace, which your dog will love, without being too hard on the owner.

5. Biking. You’ve probably seen a few people on bikes with their dog trotting beside them. This is another way to give your dog the speed he craves without overextending yourself.

* Biking together might take a little practice and training to make it work, but it’s worth the effort.

6. Trail running. Think of trail running as hiking at higher speed. It’s a great workout for both of you.

* Take it easy if you haven’t been running recently and consistently. Consider this to be an advanced activity for both of you.

7. Walking. The old standby is always available. Every dog is excited by the prospect of a walk. Just pull the leash out of the closet and watch your dog go bonkers.

* Some owners have taught their dog to walk on a treadmill, but that doesn’t help the owner get in shape!

8. Road race. Once you’ve both increased your conditioning, consider participating in a short road race with your dog. 5k is a popular distance for human-dog running teams.

9. Playing fetch. Traditional fetch is great for the dog but doesn’t do much for the owner. Mix it up a bit. Throw the ball, and then you both run after it. You’ll never win, but you’ll get some great exercise in the process. Get the ball back from your dog and repeat. See who decides to give up first!

Dogs love to be active, but they’re quite content to sleep the day away if there’s nothing interesting going on. Just because your dog is content lying around all day doesn’t make it acceptable.

You can share time and get in shape together. Lose a few pounds and increase your fitness together. You’ll both have a great time.