I call my dog Rusty my personal trainer. We walk every day regardless of the weather. He was preceded by other dogs (Columbo, Girlfriend, and Ladybug) who got me into this walking habit. It has kept my weight down over the years without having to go to the gym.
I was reminded of this earlier this week by an article in my local paper. This link needs a subscription, this one does not. I especially love this part of the article as it highlights a community in Arkansas where “volunteer” dog walking has become a weekly club event. Kudos to them!
And there's another way to dabble in dog time. In many communities, volunteers for local Humane Society shelters gather to give the friskiest residents a workout. In Arkansas, the Humane Society of Independence County has a weekly Dog Walk Club. Its volunteers walk dogs at 8:30 a.m. every Wednesday at the North Complex on 3451 E. Main St. in Batesville. Anyone can volunteer by calling (870) 251-4145 or (870) 307-5305A similar group meets in the nation's capital. Kevin Simpson, director of animal training and behavior for the Washington Humane Society, has dubbed the year-old group the People & Animal Cardio Klub, or PACK. (Because pack animals run together.)
"People love it because they're helping out and getting exercise," he says. The cooped-up canines get an even better deal: They're socializing and blowing off steam, which means they'll be better behaved and, thus, more adoptable.
As I have said before in previous posts, walking is a great exercise. It is good for both you and your pets (or the ones in the humane society). I would encourage you to take it up.
If you are just beginning a walking program, remember as summer begins here in the United States that heat becomes an issue quickly. Walk in the early morning or evening, or consider going to the mall to walk inside in the air conditioning.
My past related posts include:
Heat Related Illnesses (August 2007)
Pedometers and Physical Activity (November 2007)
50-Minute Strength Workout (December 2007)
Getting Back Into Shape (November 2008)