Dogs are amazing! Not only are they great company but they can help you get fit. When you want to grab a cookie instead grab your dogs leash and go out for a walk. The fresh air and change of scenery may be all you need to lift your mood and get you away from the cookie jar long enough to make better food choices.
The Dog Whisperer is one of my favorite shows. He insists that walking your dog is the best way to deal with bad behavior. It can be a great way for you to deal with bad behavior too. Skipping your exercise will be a thing of the past. Studies show that dog owners who walk their dogs can lose up to 8 pounds per year. Walking 20 minutes a day burns around 600 calories per week. If you cut out a few cookies you could lose even more!
Getting out in the sunshine (or the rain if you live in Seattle like me) is good for the soul and the body. Vitamin D is obtained from exposure to the sun and that happens whether it is cloudy or sunny. Stress is relieved by walking and being with your best friend. It is a perfect combination.
Here are some suggestions to make your walks a big success:
Take your dog to a class to learn how to behave on a leash. Being dragged down the street is not the best thing for you or your dog. Using a harness may help but it is best to get some training for you and your dog.
Make sure the area you chose to walk allows dogs. There are some places that do not allow dogs even on leashes.
Wear a back pack with water for you and your dog, a dog bowl, poop bags, a picture of your dog, and proof of rabies shots. Make sure your dog is wearing his tags as well. You can get dog bowls that fold up and fit nicely in your back pack. Cleaning up after your best friend is a law so to avoid paying a big fine and making other people really angry be sure clean up after your dog. The picture is to help you find your dog if for some reason he or she gets away from you. If it is really hot out a spray bottle is a great idea. Dogs do not sweat and can get over heated so a nice mist can keep them comfortable.
Your dog brings you all kinds of joy. A nice long walk everyday will add to that joy by giving your dog and yourself the exercise, fresh air and sunshine you need so make sure you grab that leash every day and get fit with your best friend.
Your fitness expert
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