Need Exercise Motivation? Try Walking Your Dog

Walking your dog is a great way to keep your motivation going for getting in your daily exercise.

I admit it.  I have been lax for years about getting in some daily exercise.  I have arthritis in my right knee and both hips, and I used it as an excuse to stop walking my dog.  But I recently developed a new attitude to my health and fitness and have taken it up with a vengeance.  

Need some exercise motivation? Try walking your Dog. Dogs make the best exercise buddies. Find out why in my lighthearted look at my best walking friend.

It was hard to get going at first.  Every step hurt and I had to sit a LOT on whatever would do as a seat.  Rocks, fire hydrants, neighbor’s walls…anything that would take some of the stress off my hips helped.  I could barely make it around the block at first.disclosureBut little by little, I got stronger and the pain from arthritis eased with each passing day.  One of the ways I kept my motivation up was walking with my dog, Ashleigh – an 11 year old German Shepherd with a touch of arthritis and a healthy dose of “alpha.”  Once she figured out that we were going to be walking again, she got excited.  As in ….”OMG can we walk today?  Pleeease say yes.  I’m ready when you are.  It’s time, it’s time,” kind of excited. Ready for my walkUnlike a human walking buddy who cancels because an appointment came up, Ashleigh is always there ready to go.    She’ll walk anywhere. 

  • Around the block?
  • Down to the corner and back? √ 
  • Through the woods to the softball field? √√
  • Hop in the car for a ride to the local walking trail? √√√

Why walk with dogs?

  • They never make excuses not to walk
  • Dogs seem to instinctively know that exercise is good for them and walking with them is a bonding experience for you and your pet.
  • Dogs get overweight just like humans do, and taking them along on your daily walk keeps both of your weight in check.
  • Rain?  Who cares?  A dog will walk in any weather
  • She never criticizes your work out clothes.
  • A dog is never late for the walk.
  • Dog always have energy on tap.  Walking with a dog usually means you will walk faster.

 Knowing that I have such a great companion gives me lots of motivation to make sure I don’t miss a day.

I am very fortunate to have a lot of options for my morning walk.  We live very close to a local amphitheater that is pretty much deserted during the week. There are lots of trails all around this area and it is within a short walking distance.   One of the best things about it, at least for me, is that I don’t have to leash my dog here.  This appeals to me because… how shall I put it?  Ashleigh is a pain in the butt on a leash.  Unless she can be walking several steps in front of me, she isn’t happy.  I’ve watched just about every episode of the Dog Whisperer and have tried to put everything into practice that Cesar suggests.  She is a lost cause.  And at 11 years old, I don’t think even Cesar could teach this old dog new tricks.walnut creek trailThe amphitheater leads to a local softball park.  Also deserted during the week days.  Again.  No leash.  I bring it along, of course, as well as a dog clicker.   I leash her up for “practice” from time to time.  As for the clicker, I am trying my darnedest to get her to walk where I want her to walk (by my side and not ahead of me.)  Ashleigh’s idea of complying with the clicker is to slow down, come back and walk right in front of me.  Just a little slower than my gait.  Sigh….leash and clickerOne of the nicest parts of the softball field walk is a stream that snakes through it. A beautiful scenic stream, better known as “oh goodie, I get to swim today.”  Out comes the clicker.  Note to self.  “Next time bring a towel.”Can I go swimmingThey say that dogs should get a chance to sniff and relieve themselves when you walk.  Fortunately, the softball field is well set up for this.  I just bring along dog clean up bags, and dispose of them in the plentiful trash bins.  This spot on the walk is a favorite of Ashleigh.  It is a cut through the woods, right next to the soft ball field and has lots of great smells.  walk though the woods.As the weeks have progressed, and my hips got more and more used to the walk, I decided that it was time for my hips to try out my favorite trail at Lake Benson Park.  This means several things:

  • Ashleigh has to walk on the lead.  (“You think I can walk nicely by your side now, but I think I’ll be alpha today instead.” )
  • There will be lots of other dogs.  (“Oh goodie…other dogs.  I can really practice pulling on the lead today.”)
  • The park is 15 minutes away by car so it means we can’t just walk there. (“OMG…a ride, a ride, a ride.  I can’t wait to get to the park where I can really pull on the lead cause I am so excited today.”)
  • You get the idea…but this is why it’s worth a leash pulling, alpha tending, excited dog walk is worth it.

Lake Benson walking trailInto the car we go.  One of my new sponsors, E Cloth has provided me with a wonderful car interior protector for the back seat of my car.  This protector keeps my back seat free from the grime on Asheigh’s paws, and keeps her dog hair from accumulating too.  I love the pattern of it.  It’s waterproof, made of 100% Polyosford material, and has adjustable straps to fit any vehicle.    My dog seems to really like the feel of it too.  The seat under it has ups and downs, and the seat protector has a smoother feel.  Into the car we go and off to Lake Benson. She looks almost sad here.  It is because I made her sit while I tried to take a kazillion pictures before I found a good one.   Don’t let her demeanor fool you.  She’s excited to go and eyeing that leash with a “you just wait” thought. 

Back seat with protectorLake Benson park has the most fabulous walking trail.  It ranges from a paved walking trail around a large open area, to a woodland trail and a trail that leads down to the lake.  There are bridges, lots of places to sit, which makes my hips happy, and the most scenic views imaginable.  It is, by far, my favorite place to walk, pulling alpha dog on lead or not.  Lake Benson parkWe spent the next hour walking the trails, sniffing the smells, making doggie friends and enjoying the view.  I think I actually wore my dog out today.  When we got to the top of a long wooded hill, I was longingly thinking how good it would feel to sit on the seat looking out over the lake.  Little did I know that Ashleigh also loves that spot and she got first dibs on it!  Not a lot of room left for my poor hips, is there?

Ashelgith took my seatAfter we fought over the seat for a while, and I finally got a chance to rest (too), we continued the woodland trail part of the walk that leads to the lake area.  There are two seats here.  We both got a chance to sit!

Lake bensonWe had such a great day.  I’m pretty sure Ashleigh remembers the park from when we walked it before. She seemed to know where the best parts were and took my favorite trails as though we had not missed a few years walking here. Now, if I can just get her to forget how to pull on a lead, we’ll be all set!  And not quite sure how I will ever take another car ride again without my buddy…she seems to really like her new home.Comfy dog

Note:  I received this dog car seat protector from E Cloth for free in exchange for mentioning it on my blog post.  I only recommend products that I feel would be useful to my readers.  I highly recommend this one. It is very well made, works really well and does a great job of protecting your back seat while the dog is in it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Please note that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  69 comments for “Need Exercise Motivation? Try Walking Your Dog

  1. Pat
    09/20/2015 at 12:24 am

    The best part of walking my dog for me is the early morning fresh air.

    • admin
      09/20/2015 at 8:38 am

      Hi Pat. And it is so much cooler then too! Carol

  2. Ali Celestino
    09/21/2015 at 12:20 am

    I love seeing my dog happy and she loves her walks and it makes me happy.

    • admin
      09/21/2015 at 9:31 am

      Me too Ali. It does not take much to make a dog happy does it? Carol

  3. addrienne mertens
    09/21/2015 at 8:38 am

    The best part is in the morning it’s so quiet and the sunrise is the best!

    • admin
      09/21/2015 at 9:31 am

      Hi Addrienne. Yes. Early morning is the best. It’s cooler too! Carol

  4. Cathy Bradford
    09/21/2015 at 12:50 pm

    The companionship

    • admin
      09/21/2015 at 1:03 pm

      Hi Cathy. So true. They are such friends! Carol

  5. 09/21/2015 at 1:11 pm

    Exercise is one of the main reasons we got Jesse two years ago. And despite back surgery when I just couldn’t walk him, we walk about 2 miles every morning. I love it!

    • admin
      09/21/2015 at 3:43 pm

      They really do make great walking companions don’t they Heather? Carol

  6. Morgan Watson
    09/22/2015 at 7:24 am

    I think the best part is just seeing my dog happy and enjoying the sunshine!

    • admin
      09/22/2015 at 9:06 am

      Me too Morgan. My dog just loves to walk with me. Carol

  7. Angelica
    09/22/2015 at 12:38 pm

    My favorite part of walking with my dog is seeing him exploring and visiting neighbors. (He has quite the treats and pets route figured out. Lol!)

    • admin
      09/22/2015 at 1:01 pm

      I bet he does. Dogs don’t forget a thing! Carol

  8. Jim Alix
    09/22/2015 at 12:47 pm

    This’ll go to a friend with a dog.

    • admin
      09/22/2015 at 1:01 pm

      Best of luck with your entry Jim. Carol

  9. Natalie
    09/22/2015 at 3:37 pm

    The best part of walking my dog is watching him react to squirrels and birds.

    • admin
      09/22/2015 at 4:25 pm

      Run and chase. Yippee!! Carol

  10. Holly MacRitchie
    09/22/2015 at 4:29 pm

    My favourite part is that we are both getting exercise!

    • admin
      09/22/2015 at 10:28 pm

      Me too Holly. Carol

  11. Catherine R.
    09/22/2015 at 6:39 pm

    I just love to see them happy and enjoying the outdoors.

    • admin
      09/22/2015 at 10:28 pm

      Hi Catherine. There is nothing quite like watching a dog have fun is there? Carol

  12. Connie Lee
    09/22/2015 at 7:42 pm

    I enjoy watching her having fun exploring-sniffing and all the surprising and funny things she does.

    • admin
      09/22/2015 at 10:29 pm

      Hi Connie. It is amazing what they find with their great sense of smell. Carol

  13. lynnsie
    09/23/2015 at 12:32 am

    She gets so happy when its time to go for a walk and that makes me feel good .We both have fun and She is always ready to go no matter what ,she’s my girl.
    Lynn

    • admin
      09/23/2015 at 8:46 am

      Hi Lynne. My Ashleigh is the same! Carol

  14. Ashley C
    09/23/2015 at 12:18 pm

    I love seeing how happy walks make my dog and how much they enjoy seeing people and discovering new things on our walks.

    • admin
      09/23/2015 at 9:10 pm

      Hi Ashley. It is amazing how we get so used to our surroundings but our dogs find them just fascinating, isn’t it! Carol

  15. Ruy M.
    09/24/2015 at 6:18 am

    I favorite thing about walking my dog is how stress relieving it is for both of us.

    • admin
      09/24/2015 at 9:02 am

      I so agree Ruy. I can start walking filled with stress and it is gone by the time the walk is done. Carol

  16. Hannah C
    09/25/2015 at 11:01 pm

    I like knowing that both my dog and I are getting exercise. We also both enjoy the fresh air.

    • admin
      09/26/2015 at 12:34 am

      Me too Hannah. I love being outside and so does Ashleigh. Carol

  17. 09/26/2015 at 12:07 pm

    Taking pictures with the deer in the neighborhood, my dog has the fawn colors of a deer and looks just like one.

    • admin
      09/26/2015 at 8:12 pm

      It must be nice to have deer that you can see nearby! Carol

  18. Wendy Hutton
    09/26/2015 at 6:07 pm

    the best part is to see how excited he is to go out for a walk

    • admin
      09/26/2015 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Wendy My Ashleigh goes nuts when it is walk time. Carol

  19. Robyn Bellefleur
    09/28/2015 at 5:00 pm

    The best part for me is just getting some fresh air.

    • admin
      09/28/2015 at 5:12 pm

      Me too Robyn. It’s been raining cats and dogs here. Hope it ends soon. Carol

  20. Karen thaeter
    09/30/2015 at 7:27 pm

    I love the way my dog enjoys getting outside,and the walks are very peaceful

    • admin
      09/30/2015 at 9:26 pm

      I love the outside too Karen. I can’t say mine are peaceful but they sure are fun!

  21. Wanda Bergman
    09/30/2015 at 10:00 pm

    I love getting the fresh air and watching how much my dog enjoys sniffing everything as we walk.

    • admin
      09/30/2015 at 11:50 pm

      Me too Wanda. They seem to enjoy it anew each day too!

  22. Lindsay
    10/04/2015 at 9:54 am

    I love killing two birds with one stone. I get the blood pumping and my dog gets out. We both benefit from walking.

    • admin
      10/04/2015 at 5:27 pm

      I feel the same. It is great the way we keep each other healthy too!

  23. Lori B
    10/10/2015 at 11:44 pm

    I think it’s great that Ashleigh still gets to go on walks with you! You can tell she enjoys all the sensations of the experience!

    • Carol
      10/11/2015 at 9:08 am

      Her favorite time of the day!

  24. Mary Somerville
    10/11/2015 at 3:41 pm

    I love how excited my girl always is to explore everything we encounter!

  25. Carol
    10/11/2015 at 5:36 pm

    Excited is an understatement with Ashleigh!

  26. wen budro
    10/11/2015 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you….I really enjoyed your post. It’s so nice to hear someone else say that their dog is a pain in the butt to walk on a leash. I’m lucky that my arms are still attached to my body. LOL You’re much luckier than me, though, to have so many wonderful trails that you can use.

    • wen budro
      10/11/2015 at 6:08 pm

      Oops….I forgot to answer the question. My favorite part of walking my dog is seeing how happy it makes her.

    • Carol
      10/11/2015 at 10:58 pm

      Hi Wen. Yes I am so fortunate. Even my local walk around the block is quite scenic.

  27. Richard Hicks
    10/13/2015 at 10:31 pm

    I just love being outside and getting exercise when walking the dog

    • Carol
      10/14/2015 at 9:34 am

      Me too. It is so much fun sharing nature with my dog.

  28. joni
    10/15/2015 at 1:08 am

    We like the peacefulness of the woods.

    • Carol
      10/15/2015 at 10:13 am

      I like that too Joni. Just me, my dog and nature.

  29. Julie Bolduc
    10/15/2015 at 1:16 pm

    My favorite part is the excitement they show when I say the word WALK

    • Carol
      10/15/2015 at 1:59 pm

      I have to NOT say that! Ashleigh goes NUTS.

  30. Elizabeth H.
    10/15/2015 at 11:30 pm

    Even though we take the same routes, it’s always new to him. Love watching him explore!

    • Carol
      10/16/2015 at 8:39 am

      Ashleigh is the same. As long as it’s walking time, she doesn’t care where we go.

  31. laurie murley
    10/16/2015 at 12:14 am

    I love watching him enjoy seeing other dogs

    • Carol
      10/16/2015 at 8:40 am

      He sounds social! Mine is somewhat shy with other dogs.

  32. Crystal E.
    10/16/2015 at 5:05 pm

    I like the exercise we both get together! Otherwise, I might never get out and walk!

    • Carol
      10/16/2015 at 5:08 pm

      Same here Crystal. She keeps me motivated.

  33. Megan C
    10/16/2015 at 10:30 pm

    Not walking alone, its nice to know my trusty buddy will always want to go with me. Its a bonus she does well on a leash.

    • Carol
      10/17/2015 at 9:53 am

      I wish mine were better on a leash!

  34. Nancy
    10/16/2015 at 11:00 pm

    I like it when our dogs just show they are so happy, trotting along on our walks.

    • Carol
      10/17/2015 at 9:53 am

      It is the highlight of their day!

  35. cassandra
    10/16/2015 at 11:23 pm

    I think the best part is burning some of the energy my dog has. He is soooo hyper. It really helps with his chewing on things he shouldnt when I leave him unsupervised.

    • Carol
      10/17/2015 at 9:53 am

      Yes, it really does. Good point!

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