Time to walk the dog! You probably get tired of the added pressure, but you must admit that sometimes “pressure” is what it takes to get you off of your butt and out of the door. Julie Knapp and fitness expert Tricia Murphy Madden both wrote articles (Weight Watchers: May/June 2011) about your “best friend” and how they can help you stay in shape.
Your dog is your best friend when it comes to fitness. No whining, no complaining and always eager to go. It is tough (well, impossible is a better word) to skip that daily walk when your dog is depending (begging, pleading, nagging and cajoling) on you.
Enough is never enough. Studies show that people who walk dogs are more apt to be out there every day (rain or shine or sleet or snow) and show more fitness improvement than those who walk alone or with human companions. Dogs are eager and curious and they never want to stop. If you follow their lead you are more apt to walk further and faster (of course you have to quell their urges to sniff every bush).
Dog walkers are nice people. Having a dog with makes it easier to meet people. You are more apt to talk both to your dog and to other dog walkers (I am willing to bet that you know the names of more dogs on your route than you do their masters). You are also more apt to be a mindful-walker, meaning you are aware of surroundings and thinking about “walking.”
The second article had to do with turning your dog into your training buddy (sort of like a service dog). Some people will give you funny looks but down deep but who cares. You can do the recommended side squats, crunches, walking lunges and shuffle side steps while your pal takes that pause that refreshes. Why waste time? Remember that your dog needs to get in shape too. Apply the same healthy principals that you use for yourself.
The only equipment that you need is a 5 or 6 foot leash, some healthy dog treats, baggies for cleanups, and of course a huge smile on your face. You can both actually enjoy your walk.