Your Dog Makes a Great Exercise Buddy

by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society

I’m going to make a confession. My name is Loree Walden, and I hate working out! Really, I hate it! But exercise is a necessary evil we all have to deal with in one way or another if we want to live a long and healthy life.

Now, the plop-down-on-the-couch days are replaced with a happy wagging tail, greeting me at the door, who’s more than ready to go out for a w-a-l-k!

So, I grab her leash (and the poop bags) and off we go. It’s hard to be bitter about it when she’s so stinkin’ happy and looking up at me like “let’s go Mom!!”

I find myself talking to her about my day or the pretty flowers we just passed, or just anything on my mind. Before you know it, we’ve walked for over a half hour, and now she’s ready to go home and I’m up for more walking!

Our walking together is good not only for my mental well-being, but it’s good for both of us physically. Research has shown that just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day reduces the risk of developing illnesses such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, respiratory disorders, some forms of cancer and more. It’s also helping us both lose weight and keep our hearts pumping and healthy.

I will tell you that about 3 ½ years ago I decided to change not only my food choices and eating habits but her’s, too. Eating smaller meals that include healthy choices for me, and Cassidy, has resulted in me losing over 60 pounds, and Cassidy has not only maintained a healthy weight but has a lot more pep in her step. She’s not as lazy or sleeping all the time and loves our play time where we both get a good workout playing tug of war with one of her toys! (She’s a strong little girl and gives my arms a nice workout!) She’s become my motivation for lacing up my shoes, hitting the road, getting healthy and enjoying the great outdoors. She’s my therapist, my workout buddy and my best friend.

I didn’t know it was possible to love something as much as I love her. The changes she’s brought to my life are more than I could ever list. If you’re looking for the motivation to give you a reason to get out there and get some exercise and change your life and your way of thinking about things, get a dog! You’ll both end up benefitting and guess what? You both need each other more than you could ever know!