Occasionally, there are days when walking the dogs feels a little too much like a chore. It’s either difficult to pull myself away from my sewing/crafting table or I’m just feeling LA-to-the-ZY. I forget that the walk is actually mine and that I get to go where I want and walk for how long I want. It’s not all about the dogs; they’re just my sidekicks who keep me company. On those days, believing in the following things reminds me that walking, especially with my mutts, is something for me.
This is a big incentive for me. It’s sort of like, as they say, killing two birds with one stone; I get to burn some calories while the dogs burn some energy. It’s quite surprising how much one can really work off on a slow one hour walk. For my body, the count is about 163. That’s over 1,100 calories a week and almost all the calories consumed during my breakfast each day. To find out what you burn on your walk, use this calorie calculator found at Health Status (dot)com.
2. Get to Know Your Neighbors
Taking a walk forces you to slow down a bit. And slowing down makes you accessible to those around you. Those around you are your neighbors. Therefore, walking allows you to be accessible to your neighbors. Don’t forget that this is a good thing. I really enjoy knowing my neighbors. If you’re shy about this, as long as your dog is not an incessant barker or biter, he will be the perfect ice-breaker for you to make acquaintance with those living next door who you’ve missed out on for so long.
3. Practice Those Leadership Skills
We’ve gone over this: this is your walk, remember? Your mutts should know this. Walking as a team is a great way to build confidence in your furry pal as well as in yourself. Know that your dog wants to be told what to do by you. He wants you to lead and he wants to follow. Practice your commands while you walk and feel good when he performs well or when he doesn’t and you’re able to successfully correct him.
4. See Your Neighborhood In Another Light
One big reason I love a good dog walk is because I often discover parts of my neighborhood that I wouldn’t otherwise know existed. In Los Feliz, there are many hidden stairways leading through the hilly neighborhoods as highlighted in Charles Fleming’s book “Secret Stairs“. I’ve been fortunate to stumble upon many of these historic gems on my daily hikes. I’ve also found some of my favorite boutiques and restaurants that I never really saw until I passed them on foot.
5. Feel the Sun
Simply put, sunshine makes you happy. According to this study, sunlight may increase the levels of a natural antidepressant, serotonin, in your body. So just walk and be happy.