His name is Gus, and he's the best gym mascot you'll ever lay eyes on.

By Arielle Tschinkel
January 20, 2020

Even the most passionate fitness enthusiasts can admit that on some days, working out can feel like just another chore to check off the to-do list.

But having your dog alongside you during a workout is sure to help you get through those last reps with a smile, as gym owner Alexis Karstetter proves on her English Bulldog, Gus' Instagram.

Karstetter owns The Foundation, a Missouri-based fitness training facility, and her pup serves as the official mascot of the gym's two locations, per Gus' Instagram page.

Gus can often be seen hanging out with fellow gym-goers at The Foundation, acting as *the* most adorable spotter and cheerleader. (Check out these other funny dog photos that will inspire you to hit the gym, too.)

In a recent post, Karstetter got a smooch from her pooch as she worked on her glute strength, captioning the shot: "No Sweating, Just Snuggles!"

Gus has a tendency to join Karstetter's sweat sessions on the reg. Earlier this month, Karstetter shared a video of herself doing a TRX workout, which Gus immediately interrupted by climbing on top of her.

"Some don't understand the importance of A.) STRETCHING or B.) PERSONAL SPACE," Karstetter joked in the caption of her post.

Gus seems equally enthusiastic about cardio, happily trotting alongside Karstetter while she runs on the treadmill. (Here's how to train your dog to run with you.)

It's safe to say that any workout would immediately be better if done by Gus' side. But experts actually agree that having a pup can help you stay active and meet your fitness goals. (Here's the most surprising health benefit of having a dog.)

Case in point: A 2017 study published in the journal BMC Public Health found that dog owners walk an average of 22 minutes more per day compared to people who don't own a dog. "Not only did we see an increase in exercise, but also the exercise was at a moderate pace," study author Daniel Mills, of the University of Lincoln in the UK, told NPR. And since the American Heart Association notes that moderate-intensity walking can be just as effective as running in lowering the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and other health conditions, lacing up your sneakers and hitting the road with your pooch could help benefit your ticker in the long run.

Plus, dogs can improve your health by increasing how much leisure time you take for yourself, not to mention being a proud pup parent might even help you live longer.

And BTW, for those who don't have a pet, finding opportunities to work out with animals can still be great for your overall health. Practicing yoga with animals, for instance—whether they're goats, bunnies, or cats—isn't just worth it for the epic Instagram shots. It can be aces for your mental and physical health, too.

While actual scientific research on the subject is limited, trendy yoga flows with four-legged friends can provide an instant calming feeling to those who hit the mat, Guru Jagat, a Kundalini Yoga Master and founder of RA MA Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology, previously told us. "It doesn't surprise me that the innocence of animals is something that people want to connect with," she explained. "Everything's just gotten so complicated and denatured that we covet anything that reminds us of simplicity and innocence." (Related: Puppy Pilates Might Be the Cutest Workout Trend You've Ever Seen)

When all else fails, visiting Gus' Instagram page is a surefire way to at least break a smile, even if you're not breaking a sweat.

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Comments (1)

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