Keeping fit and staying healthy is a real lifestyle commitment. But while it’s easy to stay on track with diets, exercise regimes and healthy choices during the warmer summer months, when the weather turns colder, many people really begin to struggle.
Although the weather outside may not be so inspiring, the colder temperatures and excesses of the festive season can be a great way to get some of that much-needed motivation back into your life. After all, staying healthy is important all year round!
If you have a furry friend sharing your home, it’s also vital to remember that you aren’t the only one who needs regular exercise. Dogs need daily walks – for certain breeds, plenty of exercise is required to keep them in shape.
Luckily, the daily dog walk presents the perfect opportunity for the two of you to get fit together. The beauty of walking is that it is a way of staying healthy which is accessible to most people, no matter your age or fitness level. Plus, it’s much safer to go for a walk than a jog or a run during the icy winter weather – simply dig out your sturdy winter shoes, a warm jacket, and away you go!
So if you are thinking of getting into daily walks with your pooch, what are the main benefits for the pair of you?
If you are looking to lose some weight, walking is the perfect way to get into the habit of regular exercise. By introducing fitness into your life gradually, you will become accustomed to the routine rather than throwing yourself in at the deep end with a gym membership you won’t ever use! Similarly, many pets are facing an obesity epidemic thanks to large quantities of food and a lack of proper exercise. If your pooch is looking a little on the larger side or you want to ensure they stay the correct size, walking can provide a great solution.
We all know that keeping active and doing regular exercise is good for us, but did you know that walking for even just half an hour a day can do great things for your overall health and wellbeing? From refreshing your mind and giving you a chance to de-stress to lowering blood pressure, you don’t need to head to the gym every day to feel the benefits of exercise. When it comes to man’s best friend, walks also provide a wide range of advantages. Walking your dog can help to aid digestion, eliminate destructive or negative behaviour, and reduce hyperactivity.
After a while, exercising and staying healthy can become a rather jaded activity. Without someone there to accompany you and spur you on when you are tired or thinking of giving up, the negative thoughts can be difficult to banish. Luckily, your dog is the perfect walking companion! Always eager and ready and raring to go, how could anyone resist that wagging tail and happy doggy grin?
Of course, as with any outdoor activity during the winter, it is vital to do what you can to stay safe in bad weather. If the conditions outside are particularly treacherous, it’s best to err on the side of caution and wait until the weather improves before heading out. Similarly, make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the weather. Check that your footwear is sturdy with a good grip, and you have warm jackets, gloves and a hat for particularly cold days. Certain breeds of dog may also benefit from a winter jacket to keep them warm – similarly, up-to-date identity discs from Pet Tags are an absolute essential in case the two of you become separated.
At the end of the day, fitness is a real lifestyle choice and a conscious decision you have to make. It can be time-consuming, but the rewards of daily walks will soon be clear to see – for both you and your dog!