Walking the dog helps your dog stay healthy, but it can be good for your health, too, especially if you pick up the pace a bit. Enjoy the fresh air, the company of an “exercise buddy” and the benefits of daily exercise.
Make your routine more fun
Dogs and people are creatures of habit. Go for walks and play about the same time each day.
As you get into a routine. change your stroll through the neighborhood to a brisk walk.
To make it more social, make a plan with a neighbor to walk your dogs together.
Walk to your local dog park. It’s a great place for you and Fido to make new friends.
Walks are great, but consider other physical activities, too. A game of catch will give you and your dog a great workout. Improve your agility by setting up a series of obstacles in the yard or at the park, such as lawn chairs or bags of leaves, that you can both move around.
Keep safety in mind
On long walks, bring water for both of you, especially on hot days.
When it’s really hot, walk in the morning and evening, rather than during the middle of the day.
In cold and snowy weather, wear boots with good traction.
Check your dog’s paws, and remove snow and ice from his footpads.
Hikes in the woods are great, but be sure to check yourself and your dog for ticks when you get home.
By Colin Milner
To find out more about how you can be more active, visit the Go4Life website at www.nia.nih.gov/Go4Life.
Provided as a service by the International Council on Active Aging. Reproduced with permission from the Go4Life physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH, www.nia.nih.gov/Go4Life.