Stay Fit on Vacation by Bringing Your Pup Along

If you have been trying to stay fit lately, you may feel hesitant about taking a vacation. If you spend those days off eating, drinking, and staying up late, you can really derail all the progress you’ve made so far. However, it’s important to take breaks. Whether you fly across the world or do a staycation, using up that PTO lowers your risk of developing heart disease, reduces stress, increases your productivity, and improves how you sleep at night. People who take vacations are happier, healthier, and better at their jobs when they get back to them.

What you have to do is change the way you think about vacations. Adding experiences that keep you physically active by spending time outdoors to your travel plans is a great way to prevent vacation laziness and maintain the progress you’ve made. And when you have a vacation like that planned out, who better to join in on the adventure than man’s best friend?

Why You Should Travel with Your Dog

Dogs are amazing travel companions. They never complain, are always stoked, and don’t take up too much room in the lodging. When you travel with your dog, he can help you stay present in the moment and truly appreciate your time off. Not to mention, dogs have a way of breaking the ice, making it easy for you to chat it up with locals. If you’re walking around a city with your pup, you actually blend in like a local, which makes it less likely that you’ll be targeted by scammers or pickpockets. Having your dog around also provides a sense of security.

But as someone who is trying to stay fit, bringing man’s best friend along has specific benefits. Dogs need a schedule. You have to be there when he needs to go outside, exercise, eat, and sleep. Having your dog along ensures you stay on that schedule as well. You don’t get thrown off everything by partying and sleeping in. Instead, you can spend your time together doing things that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

* Explore local hike and bike trails.

* Kayak or stand-up paddleboard on a lake.

* Go to the beach and run in the surf.

* Find a local agility course.

* Walk around downtown, stopping at a sidewalk café every now and then.

* Visit a local dog park.

* Try out a dog yoga class.

* Hike in the mountains.

* Shop for groceries at an outdoor farmers market.

* Try trail running at a state or national park.

* Go rollerblading together.

Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in the U.S.

When it comes to finding a vacation destination that is dog-friendly, you have plenty of options, even when restricting your search to the United States. Americans love dogs, and we’ve invested a lot of money in starting businesses and creating environments that reflect that love. But among the most dog-friendly cities in the US, these three are the best destinations for your vacation.

* Miami, FL, is about as close as you -- and your four-legged friend -- can get to paradise. With dog parks galore and plenty of dog-friendly diners throughout the city, Miami welcomes visitor looking for an active vacation. Tip: Hobie Island Beach Park, South Pointe Park, and Haulover Beach Park welcome well-behaved bow-wows.

* Austin, TX, is known for its live music scene, BBQ, and burgeoning tech scene, but it should also be known for its straight-up dog obsession. Dogs are welcome almost anywhere, from the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail to the city’s many watering holes with patios. Tip: go here in the fall/winter when it is less crowded but still 70 degrees outside.

* Seattle, WA, is the home of Starbucks and Microsoft, but you want to go there for the hikable mountains surrounding this Pacific Northwest city. Furthermore, all those coffee shops and microbreweries are happy to host your pup both before and after your hike. Tip: don’t just stick to the mountains; check out the many dog-friendly attractions in the city as well.

When you are trying to stay fit and healthy, it’s important not to lose your progress during your vacation. Taking your four-legged friend to a dog-friendly location means you'll have a companion for an easy, fitness-friendly vacation.

This article was provided by Jessica Brody. Photo by Trinity Kubassek from Pexels

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