Exercising with My (Very) Active Dog

April 10, 2020
Caucasian woman holding up a ball in front of a black Labrador

Exercising with My (Very) Active Dog


Written by Walker Condon


My energetic black lab, Sully, will turn 1 this month. Still considered a puppy, she typically wakes up full throttle, battery charged, ready to go outside and fetch the ball.

During this period of quarantine, I’ve challenged myself to keep my body moving while also expending Sully’s energy.  How can I stay healthy and get Sully to eventually lie on her dog bed quiet, still, cuddly and exhausted?  This begins week three with my new co-worker, and we’ve established a mutually beneficial exercise routine to accomplish this goal.

It starts with a 10-minute warm-up walk/jog around the neighborhood.  If you pass me on the street, you will see a smile on my face (exercise does that for me) and hear constant chatter with my pup: “Heel,” “Leave it,” “Good girl,” “Want a treat when we get home?”

Sully’s fun starts when we get back to our yard.  I go through a simple circuit of exercises, while Sully practices patience with frequent sprints to fetch the ball.

“Sully, sit.”

“Sully, wait.”

“Sully, get the ball!”

“Goooood, Sully!”

12 Walkouts


Caucasian woman holding up a ball in front of a black Labrador


Caucasian woman performing plank pose with black Labrador


12 Reverse Lunges


Caucasian woman performing low lunge with black Labrador


12 Push-ups


Caucasian woman performing chaturanga with black Labrador

12 Squats


Caucasian woman performing chair pose in front of black Labrador


Plank for 30 Seconds


Caucasian woman performing elbow plank with a black Labrador


*Repeat exercises for up to 5 rounds before cool-down

As our workout comes to an end, my heart still beating fast and enjoying those feel-good endorphins, I can’t help but process the selfless love of a dog. Whether Sully gets to come along for the workout or not, she will always greet me with that same care, respect and love as I enter the front door.  I hope in this period of time where life slows down a little bit and I have more time for reflection, I can learn a lesson from my pup.  I hope my heart towards others will grow to be more and more like my dog Sully coming to greet me at the front door – that kind of selfless love…no strings attached.

Keywords: Exercise, Mental Health