My dogs are very fit and healthy. It helps that I am careful about what I feed them and how much. And that I keep them relatively fit by taking them for regular walks and playing fetch with them. But I have not been so good at keeping myself fit and healthy. So this Fit Dog Friday is mostly about me and a little about how my dogs Maya & Pierson contribute.
Benefits of Keeping Fit
I’ve been very focused lately on losing weight in a healthy way. Since mid-December, I have lost 18 pounds. Now, thanks to a little initiative on my part and to great partners like Maya and Pierson, I am only 5 pounds away from reaching my goal weight! Besides the benefit of losing excess pounds, I also get to buy new clothes, I have fewer problems with acne, my fibromyalgia symptoms are less severe, and I feel like I have more energy.
How did I do it? I did use some Herbalife products. However, these products were merely a support. What really helped me lose weight were the lifestyle changes. I’ve always generally eaten healthy foods like whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and baked but not fried meat. But I’ve also been eating too many sweet foods. So the first thing I did when I really made up my mind to lose weight was to eliminate those sweets (for the most part).
Walk, Walk, Walk
The second thing I did was exercise more. It hasn’t been enough to just walk the dogs. Now we walk faster, more often, and further. Sometimes, instead of driving to the convenience store for a cup of coffee, I will walk the mile distance with Maya or Pierson. I’ve even taken one of them with me when I walked to the UPS store to ship a package. I also walk to the grocery store if I just need a few things, but Maya and Pierson don’t get to go because they are not allowed in the store and I don’t want to leave them tied up outside for that long.
Fun Activities with the Dogs
Maya, Pierson, and I have also been doing more fun activities together. Instead of just playing fetch with the dogs, I try to get involved with the games. Seeing who can catch the thrown ball becomes a contest to see who can get to the ball first. Although I always lose this game, Maya & Pierson love it when I chase them. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I’ve also been taking Maya to dog park more often. Our dog park is around Clinton Lake and is not fenced. So from the dog park, we are able to walk the wooded trails to an area by the lake for Maya to swim.
Dog Walking Group
I’ve recently joined a group of other dog owners who have trouble with their leash-reactive dogs. In this group, we actually walk spaced out so that our dogs can’t hurt one another. The distance apart depends on the dog. I have to be the furthest away because Pierson’s behavior is the worst amongst the group. His behavior is especially bad at the beginning of the walk. But after about 10 minutes of walking and rewarding for good behaviors, I can decrease the distance between him and the dog ahead of us. After a few of these group walks, Pierson still has to walk a few feet behind. But this group has really helped him decrease that distance.
I can see us doing even more fun activities this spring. My husband and I are talking about going camping and hiking. I’d also like to teach Pierson some agility, which means less time for me sitting at the computer and more time outdoors. What other fit activities can you think of that Maya, Pierson, and I could do together? What do you and your dogs do to stay fit?
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