Don’t wait to start a walking program. Start today!Brisk walking is one of the safest forms of exercise and one of the healthiest forms of exercises. It is a proven fact that brisk walking helps reduce the risk for heart disease, for breast cancer and for type 2 diabetes.
Brisk walking is also beneficial for your dog, not only for health reasons, but, every dog needs to exercise! This keeps them not only health, but happy and out of trouble. A dog is not meant to sit and lie around all day long.
Walking also helps you to reduce weight, especially if you make a lifestyle change to consume healthier foods.
One of the problems with walking is that you fall into a walking-rut, and do the same walk over and over again. A boring walk can take the briskness right out of it. So, change your walking habits and start to plan a walking program that is beneficial to you, and again, take your dog along. I am sure your dog is in as much need of a walk as you are.
Be watchful of your technique. If you are fitness walking, you should be able to walk about a mile in fifteen minutes, or walk for about one hour. Create a plan for a beneficial walk, for you and your dog!
-Walk upright, don’t slouch, as I am sure your mommy taught you.
-Bend your arms, and pump them while walking. This exerts your cardiovascular system and it will allow you to walk at a faster pace, for a longer time period.
Walking at this rate should take you to 70-80% of your target heart rate. Discuss this with a professional.
Turn your regular walk into an exercise. Both you and your dog will benefit tremendously by this.
Other little things you can do while walking to help tone your body and increase your health.
-Stomach. While walking, pull in your stomach for a few seconds, then relax it again. Do this a couple of times during your walk. (I just read about this tip)
-Thighs. Plan your walk so that you will walk either up a flight of stairs ( My entrance to the park actually has a fairly long staircase), or up a hill.
You also want to remain motivated. One way to do this is to plan for different routes. Don’t get so much into a rut that you walk the same way each time. And, take a look around you. Don’t just go speed walking through a beautiful park and always stay on the paved sidewalk. Walk on the grass, beside the stream, in the woods. You will get an amazing sense of tranquility and your dog will be closer to nature. You can exercise and enjoy nature at the same time.
Sometimes, go walking alone, just you and your dog. Other times, see if you can find some friends (maybe even with their dogs) and go in a pack.
Get the proper footwear. This is very important. Also, make sure your dog is not over exerted, especially in the summer. Bring lots of water for you and your dog. If you are walking in the winter, be very careful with your footwear; make sure it has lots of traction. Dogs can slip and break their legs as well as we can. And, most of the time they cannot survive a badly broken leg. So, have different rules for exercising your dog in the snow or ice. Be very careful. Actually, I would even say do not take them out when the snow and ice could be detrimental to them.
And, if you have to walk in the dark, have lots of bright clothing, even a flashlight. Get a neon leash/collar for your dog. And, do not walk in a secluded area alone. Go in groups. Remember, a walking routine is to benefit both you and your dog, but, make sure it is a safe day, a safe area and a safe time to walk.
And, always check with a health professional, for both you and your canine companion.