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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sweating Like a Dog

I've read several articles lately that discuss how dogs are the best workout partners because they keep you on a consistent schedule and won't let you bail, they are ready to go any time, and even their enthusiasm will improve your workout. Studies have even proven that dog owners are more likely to workout more and lose more weight than those who don't own a dog.

I believe this to be totally true. Gabe has always done a great job at getting me out of the house to get in at least a 20 minute walk a day. If I haven't taken him for a walk, he will stand by the front door and stare me down until I get the leash out. For the last couple of months I've been taking Gabe and Jack for about a 20-30 minute walk every night (or I TRY to go every night) and when we get back I take Chase and Dakota for a 20-30 minute walk. Chase will NOT let me come back in the house until I take him, so he is another great workout motivator for me. Chris is responsible for walking the other dogs, but they are usually content with laying in our bed and on the couch by the time the sun goes down so they aren't very good exercise motivators!

In addition to our nightly walks, I usually take Gabe for a quick 15 minute walk once I return from my early morning workout classes. As soon as he sees me walk in the door at 6:45 in the morning with my running shoes on, he knows he is going for a walk and if I can't take him for whatever reason, he makes me feel guilty about it until our night walk. Gabe is our only dog who will get anxious and start to pace around the house if he doesn't get a good walk in every day so I try my best to get in a couple walks with him on a daily basis.

Before Gabe's first knee surgery I took him for short runs with me, usually about a mile or two. He really loved running and I loved taking him with me because it would totally zap his energy for several hours. It's been almost 2 years since Gabe has been my running buddy and I'm ready for him to join me on my short runs again but I'm still a little nervous because he had his second knee surgery in May. I'll probably give it another month and see how he handles half of a mile and then I'll increase it to a mile if he doesn't show any signs of being sore.

I've never been a fan of running with other people but I LOVE having Gabe run with me...he always has a huge smile on his face and he pulls me along for the first half of a mile because he is so excited to get going. At the end of every walk and run, Gabe is always so happy even though he is obviously tired. Before we go inside the house, I hug him for a while and thank God for my favorite workout buddy.

Check out this article that talks about the health benefits of having a dog!


AQ said...

Wait...I thought I was your favorite work-out buddy. Have you forgotten Capture the Rag???

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