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Pet Blogs United aims to support our fellow pet bloggers by encouraging members to visit other members and leave comments. It’s a great way to find great blogs & new friends.

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To be a PBU featured blogger, first become a follower through Google Friend Connect (juct click the follow button you always see). Then just send an e-mail to Pet Blogs United. We'll contact you, have you pick some of your favorite posts and feature you when your turn comes up on the list. Pet Blogs United will only feature blogs about, by or for pets & animals.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Staying Fit With Your Pet ~ Guest Post

When I grew tired of my usual morning indoor run, I decided to explore alternative, more visually stimulating environments. I realized even if you use the best elliptical on the market, sometimes it helps to change-up the scenery from time to time. So I set out on a mission to find something that would simultaneously hold my interest and provide me with a great workout.

After doing some research, I discovered a few articles written about exercising with your pets. I thought to myself, “Hmm I own two Golden Retrievers (Cooper & Hannah) who need the exercise just as much as I do. Plus, they would love the extra bonding time outside.” Cooper and Hannah typically spend time playing in our backyard but this seemed like a great opportunity for all of us to reap the benefits of extra exercise. So, we gave it a shot!

Initially, we started with walks through our neighborhood, but I soon noticed a problem -- I wasn’t able to gain speed and keep my momentum while trying to control two large dogs. I think they enjoyed the scenery more so than myself, stopping every minute to sniff each and every fire hydrant, stop sign, and random patch of grass along the way.

It was back to the computer for another search. I truly enjoyed the idea of including Cooper and Hannah in my workouts but needed to find something all three of us could do together. Then it hit me. I live in Arizona; a state with hiking trails everywhere.

Hiking would offer the workout I wanted and present the opportunity for Cooper and Hannah to explore a variety of more “natural” objects with their noses. Still, before jumping to conclusions, I knew I better test this perceivably brilliant hypothesis. So off we went on our first hike, a moderately difficult trail just outside our neighborhood.

Cooper and Hannah started off a little bumpy, their limited experience with rocky terrain required acclimation as they began a bit unsteady. However, as we continued along the trail, they adjusted to the rugged ground quite naturally. I could see they were enjoying the smells floating through the surrounding fresh mountain air. They particularly fancied chasing the lizards that scurried across the path from time to time.

Once we made our way back down the mountain, I could tell I made the right choice for all of us. However, I would recommend looking into pet insurance prior to journeying into the wilderness with your canine companion. As much as Hannah and Cooper appreciate their freedom during our hikes, I want to stay prepared in case an accident requiring medical attention occurs.

Anyways, after a month of morning hikes, I started noticing greater weight-loss and an enhancement in my mood. Relevant to mention, incorporating my pets improved my dedication to the workout; I wasn't the only one depending on it. They looked forward to it every morning just as much as myself – if not more.

Hannah and Cooper, too, started to benefit and see results from our hikes. They shed a few pounds and are in the best shape of their doggy lives. Even our vet noticed the difference in their health and musculature. She positively supports our hiking routine, recommending the idea to other dog owners.

If you’re growing tired of your usual routine, maybe it’s time to include your pet(s) and find a more rewarding exercise practice? If hiking isn't for you, try a causal walk around the neighborhood or check your area for local dog parks (great for canine socializing). By keeping the health of your pets in mind, the whole family can benefit!

6 comments:

Cotton said...

I get tired pretty fast. But, I like walking in different places
Cotton

Brenda said...

I couldn't agree more! Lady, Lucky, and Katie love their walks and hikes. Can't let these three off leash anywhere unfortunately (I miss that, had it with my last dog!), but no matter - we head out with extender leashes, and they can sniff to their hearts content. There are many, many days I don't want to get out there, cold wet windy days especially, but do because they're all staring at me expectantly! I think our regular walking/hiking routine is one of the reasons Lucky and Katie - both 12 - are in such fantastic shape for their age.

Rykers Boyz n Allie said...

FaRADaY: I sit on top of my mommy when she does crunches - and I count for her when she lifts weight, does that count?

Jessica @ YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner.com said...

I am glad you found a good fit for you guys.

I LOVE hiking! And I LOVE hiking with my dogs! I have two miniature Dachshunds and they can go almost everywhere big dogs can. People are always surprised....hence the name of my blog about our adventures :)

Loy Cerf said...

Nice, informative article! My dog and I increased our exercise routine by walking up and down the local sledding hill...My dog is much better at this than I!

tylersat99 said...

Hiking is a great idea. We have neighbor walks during the week and on weekends we take a long woods hike. We usually walk an hour to hour and half. The Newfs love the smells, the scenery is beautiful, and there is a falls with a pool for swimming. Great workout for all and a lot of fun.
Mica, Lexie and Mom

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