With obvious health benefits for both you and your dog(s), this awareness month is a great way to help dust off the January blues, get out and about, meet other dog walkers and improve your own and your dogs well being.
In a 2017 clinical survey carried out by the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, found that 56% of dogs are obese. Clinical obesity results in more secondary conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and certain forms of cancer- which is the same in humans too!
With the biggest reason given for not being able to exercise pets is being “too busy”, Walk Your Dog Month is a great opportunity to set yourself some small targets to get out walking with your dog and hopefully change your habits long term to the benefit of you both.
To help, we’ve created a list of ways you can incorporate more walking into your day!
- Keep walking shoes in the car and at work.
Need a change of scenery? Early to an appointment? Stroll around the area. You’ll also get in some rejuvenating “me time.”
- Invite a friend, spouse or child for a walk.
Burn calories while building stronger relationships with the people you care about. It’s a win-win.
- Walk, don’t sit, during your child’s activities.
If your child is at dance class or football, don’t sit in the waiting area. Take a walk around the field, gym or neighborhood.
- Invest in a wearable activity device.
From simple pedometers to more high-tech activity monitors, such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch, these devices can motivate you to move more. See how many steps you take in a typical day and then set goals to gradually increase that number over time. 10,000 steps is a common and good long-term goal.
- Squeeze in a walk with a colleague at lunch.
Incorporating a walk at lunch can help make you more productive and boost creativity. You’ll also burn a few extra calories in the process.
- Park once – and only once.
While out running errands, park your car in a central location and walk to all of the shops instead of driving. If your bags get too heavy, return to your car and drop them off to get in the extra steps. As an added bonus, you’ll also save on petrol money.
- Walk part of your commute.
Many places offer “park and ride” locations. Find one a little distance from where you are heading, park there and walk the rest of the way in. You’ll feel energized and ready to take on the day.
- Rearrange your route.
Change up your walking routes and explore different areas nearby. Instead of always starting from your home, begin your walk from a friend’s house, the shops or the office. Anywhere you find yourself at least once a week is a possible starting point. You’ll also notice a lot more while exploring new areas on foot.Will you be walking more next month too?