The RIGHT Moves

Dear Davi,

My human wants to change her routine and increase our weekly walks together — I’m piddling with anticipation. How can we mark our miles and make a difference?

Doug the Pug

 

 

Doug,

Take it from me — a hound who gets around — walking is more than just a way to exercise. It’s a way to get outdoors, sniff your surroundings, and socialize with dogs and people outside your home.

Walking not only keeps your mind active — and out of trouble — it gets your blood flowing, your heart pumping and the calories burning. It even aids in getting the digestive system moving, which is great if you’re experiencing any, ahem, backup.

The real treat is spending time with your human and building a trusting relationship. We depend on our humans to take us out to explore the sights, smells, and sounds of the world. Walking together each day or at least several times a week helps strengthen this bond and build a balanced, healthy and happy life together.

Even if you’re fired up and eager to go, it’s a good idea to start slowly, especially if you’re out of shape or there’s extreme weather. Aim for 30-minute walks, three times a week. After you get comfortable with short excursions, step up your game and increase the number of walks or the time spent walking.

It’s also a good idea to vary places you walk as much as possible. I’ve discovered a few parks around town perfect for a short stroll: 

Boone Park, 3700 Park St., Riverside Smack in the middle of Historic Avondale, it’s got paved paths that wind in and around the park — almost a half-mile loop. There are water fountains and poop bags, plus shady benches and grassy patches to rest after a walk.

Losco Regional Park, 10931 Hood Rd. S., Mandarin In the middle of a busy area, there’s a scenic trail that wraps around the wooded park and water fountains and places to sit along the way.

Blue Cypress Park, 4012 University Blvd. N., Arlington In Arlington on the St. Johns River, with a riverfront boardwalk and two miles of trails that lace through the park. Bring plenty of water and poop bags.

Tip: Track daily walks and log miles by downloading an activity app. I use MapMyDogwalk to record my routes. It’s free and easy.

If you really want to make every step count, take a walk for a dog. Let me explain: Walk for a Dog is an app with a purpose. Every time you walk, a donation is made to your favorite animal shelter or rescue organization — I walk for DARE, Dachshund Adoption & Rescue Education. Every walk counts, whether it’s around the block or a three-mile hike. The more walks you take, the more you help donate. Cool, right? It’s available for both Apple and Android and it’s FREE.

Grab a leash and put your best paw forward, no matter your fitness level. Let’s get moving!

____________________________________

Davi the Dachshund isn’t a personal trainer but he has been known to strut.

About FOLIO