Skip the Gym and Exercise With Your Dog!

November 19, 2020 | We Care | A Story from Barbara Rivers

Many areas around the country are seeing a renewed tightening of restrictions at gyms due to rising Covid numbers nationwide.  If you are a dog owner, don’t despair!  The following inspirational account proves that regardless of your access to an indoor fitness facility, your health and well being does not have to suffer. 

Here’s a confession from a previous gym aficionado who used to hit the gym every morning before work for at least an hour:

Once my two dogs, Missy and Buzz appeared in my life, my gym habits changed dramatically.  No longer could I spend that hour only exercising myself.  Knowing how important stimulating walks are for dogs, I committed to exercising my pups every day, rain or shine.  And do you know what?  My weight didn’t go up and my health actually improved!

It took me a while to notice some of the indirect health benefits of being outside as much as I now am with my dogs, but they are significant.  Oddly enough, I am rarely sick anymore, and that is coming from somone who used to get bad colds and bronchitis at least three times a year!  I used to be in bed on average for 10-14 days a year with sore throats, nasal congestion, coughing and laryngitis.  Those days are gone!  I actually haven’t been sick at all in the last 12 months, and only had one minor cold the year before that.  Varying my environment has helped me get healthier!  I believe that breathing fresh air while being out and about is an improvement over even the best filtered gym air (so much carbon dioxide is exhaled from everyone working out alongside you in a traditional gym setting.)  You will never be vitamin D deficient again, and you will find that you can experience the same positive vibes you receive after an intense exercise session at the gym by being out with your dogs.

“Knowing how important stimulating walks are for dogs, I committed to exercising my pups every day, rain or shine.”

Even if you “only” go for a relaxing stroll around the neighborhood, or commit to an extended jog or hiking excurision along the beach or in the woods, the benefits that come from being connected to your four legged best friend cannot be found inside a gym.

An additional benefit to more outside exercise with your dog?  The financial one!  There is no monthly or yearly fee for a membership to the great outdoors.  You might even come to think of your dog as your very own personal trainer!  You don’t want to let him down, and he doesn’t require a ridiculously high fee to motivate you.  Even on those days when it is cold and grey outside and you might have considered skipping a trip to the gym, your dog will remind you he doesn’t care that you’d prefer to be on the couch… he or she needs to go out!  Whenever I’m taking Missy and Buzz for a walk on an extremely cold day, I can’t help but think that there is no way on Earth I’d be outside at that moment if it wasn’t for my pups.  Without dogs in my life, I’d be much more likely to be huddled inside, making poorer choices for my health instead of braving the elements while taking care of my dogs. 

So grab your dog’s leash and head outside!  Enjoy the exercise together with your K9 friend and experience the beauty of increased bonding with him or her.  You won’t regret it!

Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

If you enjoyed this post, you should read Fall Safety Tips to Keep Fido Safe here.

How do you exercise with your dog?

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