Get Fit & Have Fun in San Diego
From doggie bootcamps to intense bodybuilding programs, it’s an exciting time to get in shape. What are you waiting for?
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I Tried It: Dog Fitness
Christina Orlovsky Page, 39, Eastlake
You Try It!
Leash Your Fitness
Locations available throughout the county
$20 for a single class
I spent much of 2014 “off the wagon” of regular exercise, with the occasional heart-pumping burst during a quick jog around the block with my dogs. But those two rascals, Toby and Tilly—particularly Tilly, a beagle-dachshund mix with a lot of destructive puppy energy to burn—need more exercise than that. So it only makes sense the class that finally got me off the couch was “Bonding with Bootcamp,” a comprehensive cardio, strength training, dog-obedience, and agility class all in one. Offered by Leash Your Fitness, the hour-long session seemed like just what I needed to jump-start my workout routine and provide some extra exercise for my restless pooch.
Tilly and I took a Sunday morning class at Markim Pet Resort in Carmel Valley. Class rules say one dog per participant, so Toby had to stay home, but it was for the best: It’s hard enough to hold the leash of one dog while focusing on the proper form for lunges. Two dogs would have been a disaster.
I’ve taken many a bootcamp class in my day and, workout-wise, this one was similar, with intervals of running, lunges, squats, ab work, resistance band work, and even some weighted hula-hooping. What made the class different—and so much more fun—was that Tilly was right alongside me the whole time, jogging, sitting and staying on command (well, we may have to work on the staying part), and enjoying the energy of 15 other dogs and their owners. The best part, for both my two-year-old pup and her proud owner, was the obstacle course that included the dog-only A-frame climb and a series of high and low hurdles for both of us. I’ve never taught Tilly a “jump” or “over” cue, but she was a natural, her short legs leaping through the air with ease. She was smiling and wagging her tail the entire time.
If the class sounds like it was more for Tilly than it was for me, make no mistake: I was tired, sore, and extremely well-exercised at the end of 60 minutes. But I also barely even noticed an hour had gone by. My dog provided a joyful distraction and even though there were times I didn’t want to run that second lap, Tilly was having so much fun I didn’t want to let her down.
A happy, tired dog is just one benefit of the Leash Your Fitness bootcamp, but there are plenty more: One woman in the class has lost 30 pounds. Another no longer has to take medication for high blood pressure. And all the participants enjoy the guilt-free feeling of not leaving their dogs at home alone while they enjoy the great outdoors. It was enough to make me want to go back—and maybe take Toby along for the fun next time.