Your Workout Goes to the Dogs
The Pack Fitness Offers Fido-Friendly Exercise
If you’re a dog lover, a fantastic and fido-friendly workout option in Modesto offers you the chance to enlist your furry friend in your exercise regimen. The Pack Fitness combines a fun and challenging work out for humans with exercises that can help reinforce obedience training for their four-legged companions. The program offers a variety of classes held at parks throughout the Modesto area, from Buddy’s Bootcamp (the basic fido-friendly class which helps owners work on six commands with their dog while performing various exercise drills), to Doga Yoga (which combines a focused walk and 45 minutes of yoga and doggy massage) as well as a few seasonal courses that are dog-free.
Certified fitness instructor and “pack leader” Jennifer Lipomi has been helping her two-legged clients reach an ideal level of fitness since 2010, but it was only two years ago that she brought the bright idea of adding dogs to the mix to the Stanislaus County community. Lipomi started off with Leash Your Fitness in San Diego before finding her way to the Central Valley and starting The Pack Fitness in May, 2011. “It just made so much sense to combine my love for dogs and fitness,” said Lipomi. The Central Valley course immediately took off, drawing participants across all levels of fitness with dogs of every shape and size. “I know everyone can exercise safely and effectively and still have a great time doing it,” said Lipomi, who added that incorporating dogs helps her clients relax and have fun while they work out and ultimately increases their commitment to the course. “You already have a reliable workout partner in your dog, and not only that, your pup provides a fun distraction so you don’t even realize how hard you are working!”
According to Lipomi, classes are open to all participants, not just those with furry companions, though most of the clientele does bring a dog with them. In addition to the benefits the workouts bring to her human clients, doggy participants also see improvements from the classes. “You see improvements in the dog’s behavior with consistent work,” said Lipomi. “Our classes provide a unique and safe setting for you to enjoy your workouts and work on your dog’s obedience.”
According to Lipomi, she designs The Pack Fitness classes to ensure that anyone of any fitness level can walk up and join in. “I design my classes in a balanced way for strength, endurance and flexibility. My goal is to help you find that sweet spot where you are challenging yourself without over-exerting, all while maintaining proper body mechanics,” said Lipomi, “We will never force you to do anything or yell at you for slowing down.”
Lipomi added that while The Pack Fitness does not offer dog-training classes, the fitness sessions do reinforce good obedience in trained dogs and can even help dogs without prior training learn some basic commands. “The dogs are always moving or in a command and our classes are designed with dog psychology in mind so the dogs have less chance to get bored or anxious. We also often have professional dog trainers in class to answer questions and help with dog behavior.”
The Pack Fitness classes start at $12 per session, though a discount is available for those who prepay for more than 20 classes. For a current schedule of classes, visit thepackfitness.com.