Ever since I got Dally, my Pembroke Welsh Corgi, I feel like I’ve been more active. Now, granted, I got Dally before I moved away from my parents’ farm, so I was always busy in the barn and never had a chance to get bored. But when Dally and I moved to Texas for an internship, I moved into my first apartment (if you don’t count my dorm room at Murray State). If it hadn’t been for her, I probably would have turned into a pile of mush because I might not have done much working out, walking, or even started running.
When I moved to Lexington, I institutedlunchtime dog walks because I lived near work and I could walk a loop that took about 10-15 minutes. It was a great way to get Dally to stretch her legs, and a great way for me to relax from the morning and gather myself for the afternoon in the office. When LaMesa came along, the lunchtime dog walks became even more important because she has a lot of energy. The lunchtime walks are about 0.75 miles, and as long as the weather isn’t horrible, we walk–cold or hot.
I try to walk the dogs almost every day. In the summers I love to walk them after we eat dinner because (A) It stops us from eating more, and allows the food to start digesting (I’m a bit of a snacker even after dinner), and (B) It’s cooled off enough for them to walk and be comfortable. Winter walks are hard after work because of the time I get back from the gym (it’s already really dark) and the temperatures. However, this winter has been very mild, so we’re still able to get those walks in, ranging from 1.5 miles to maybe close to 3 miles.
The walks usually occur through the neighborhood or around the park we live by, and I like to take the girls through the tall grasses (off the asphalt path) because it is better for their conditioning (makes them hop through the grass, thus using their back and core muscles). Some times we even run through some of the grass to get them to chase me and work on their speed, and just to have fun.
There are some people whose only workout involves walking dogs. It’s a great workout, as long as it’s long and the inclines vary, but is it enough? It’s been known that walking is heart healthy, and for some people they tend to lose weight walking–which is great! But what do you think?
I believe dog walking can be great exercise, but you just have rev it up every once in a while: do some sprints with your dog in the grass, or maybe take a break from the walk, let your dog relax while you do jumping jacks or push-ups/sit-ups in the grass. I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from walking their dog–in fact, even I encourage everyone, even if you have a giant back yard. It’s great for you and your dog’s minds and creates a great bond. I hate it when I miss a walk with my girls, and trust me…they let me know they’re unhappy to miss a walk!