When I recently had my own annual doctor’s visit, we discussed exercise. Exercise is something that I have always been challenged on being consistent with, for myself and for the dogs.
My doctor suggested that I simply need to make it a habit, so that I don’t feel right when I don’t exercise. I know this to be true, because the one thing the dogs and I are consistent with is playing ball daily. I truly don’t feel right if we don’t play, because it’s such a habit now. On the weekends or other days the Dadz plays with them instead, while I don’t mind a little break, I also feel kind of left out!
For myself, I’ve started doing the C25K (Couch to 5K) running program again this spring. I never finished it last year. Unfortunately, neither of the dogs can run with me because they both have joint issues. While they get their daily play through fetch in the yard and Luke playing with other toys in the house, I still want them to have at least some change in scenery for variety and stimulation.
I know how much they enjoy walks by the excitement I see when we get out the harnesses and leashes (I’m still loving my NiftiSafe Latch leash for just that reason!). You can see the impatience in my recent photo shared on Instagram:
“Hurry up, Momz! What is taking so long?” Summer can be as much work as winter. Harnesses on. Bug spray on. Don’t forget treats for training along the way, spray shield in case we encounter loose dogs, and hands free leash around my waist. How do we ever get out the door? #beagle #labmix #walkyourdog
When I get back from my run, which I do on my “work from home” days, two days per week, we go for a walk. I am doing my best to keep to this routine consistently, but doesn’t life just throw up stumbling blocks sometimes? Last week I woke up with a migraine one morning. While they are not debilitating for me, they do slow me down. I didn’t feel up to running, but I did take the dogs for their walk. That’s progress for me to still get out there when the routine is thrown off.
The one thing I haven’t figured out how to work around is the weather. Both my running mornings this week have been rainy. Heading out in the rain to exercise is something I can’t get myself to do, because I don’t want anyone, including myself, slipping on wet ground and getting hurt. Plus it’s just no fun out in damp, buggy weather like that. While the weather has improved by afternoon, I need to exercise first thing or I won’t do it. All my energy comes in the morning (we will still get out to play ball though).
If possible, I try to make up a day on the weekends (and hopefully add that day too), and on the holiday weekend recently, even Dadz joined us in a walk! I am trying to be more flexible when I can’t be consistent (another struggle for me).
Another thing that has greatly helped me with motivation is the Poof Pet Activity Tracker we reviewed recently. While I’ve had to reduce the dogs’ goals a bit on it so we can have some successes, when we’re not reaching goals that helps to keep me motivated to get them out more.
On the plus side, walks have become easier and more enjoyable with the dogs as we add some woods trails to our property. With two reactive dogs (Cricket is leash reactive, Luke is reactive to everything), it’s just simpler for us to walk in places where we are less apt to run into others. We use the road as part of our routes, but it is usually quiet there, especially in the mornings. We’ve had a lot of projects since moving to our new house over a year ago, so more trails will be added but it’s going to take time. I prefer wide trails when walking in the woods because going off a trail, or bushwhacking, exposes us to more ticks and I prefer to avoid them if possible.
If you looked through my blog archives, you would find several more posts on the subject of routines and consistency I’ve written over the years. It is an ongoing struggle for me, but one thing I am consistent about? I never give up trying!
Do you have any tips for staying motivated and consistent about exercising with your dogs?
*Heads up! We are going to be doing some blog maintenance over the next few days (migrating to a new server). Therefore, we will not be posting for a few days, and if you visit at some points the site may be down. Don’t worry, we’ll be back (and I’m getting help with this so it will hopefully go more smoothly)! Keep an eye on our social media for some posts and updates on our progress. If you don’t follow us there yet, you can find the links in the upper right corner of the blog.
We have some fun stuff planned for when we’re back – reviews and giveaways of some products we think you’ll like, along with some other topics I’ve been promising that we think you’ll find interesting.