Life is always better when you walk the dog, wouldn't you agree?
There is so much more than just the act of walking the dog that is beneficial. So many benefits from the bonding, it reduces stress and of course add in a bit of exercise. Did you know that it helps your physical health, your mental and emotional health too for both you and your dog?
Just 15-30 minutes a day, 5 times a week can affect not only your weight, but your joints and that of your dog too. Walking them is a great way to burn those extra calories and keep the pounds off for both of you. Most people have a hard time getting motivated to go workout, well, when you have a pup that has their leash grasped in their mouth and with those eyes (those puppy eyes that see right through you.. you know THOSE eyes) is begging to go out, (look at that little tail that is quivering with such enthusiasm that his whole back quarter is vibrating) who needs more prompting than that?
Through your daily walks, cuddles after as you relax, and playing in general, a great bond is created. Happy people, happy dog. Through this bond and this relationship it helps to lower your stress and hence lowering cortisol, which is the stress hormone.
Being with your dog helps increase your awareness and being present, in the moment. Less boredom is always helpful! When you spend time, in the moment, it increases your well being.
While you are out on your next walk, pay attention to how your dog acts. What catches her attention? Is her head held high and her eyes checking on you and what is around her? She got a bounce in her step?
During your walks and play time what's going on in your own mind? Is it wandering and taking in what's around you? You know, if you relax, you might find that it will. This is important because it leads to increasing your ability to focus and that leads to better brainstorming and problem-solving.
Feeling a bit blah on your regular walks?
Step back and let your dog lead you. This is mentally stimulating for him. Allowing him to sniff around a bit and choose the direction alleviates boredom. Do you choose the same route, walk after walk? Can get a bit mundane, right? Even your pup can get bored doing the same walk day after day. Change it up, take a quick ride to a nearby park. Change of scenery, gives new perspective, new scents, new terrain to walk on. Don't want to have to stop at every blade of grass or stick or twig? Just increase a few sniff breaks here and there and maybe add in some training - learning to sit and stay, roll-over, shake paws. Mix up the pacing to keep your dog guessing and her interest high. Have a few sprints here and there. Burn a few extra calories, and boost that adrenaline with the added excitement.
How does this fit into organizing your life?
Believe it or not, it is a part of decluttering your mind and soul. Adding up all the mental, physical and emotional benefits, it boils down to another tool in your box that allows you to relax, take a time out and do some #selfcare. Having breaks and downtime is so important to having that work/life balance. Having a strong bond with your dog reduces stress and helps to bring you into the moment. And this selfcare is for not only you, but your pup who is wanting your attention and love too.
Let's go! Time for our walk!