Monday, December 26, 2011

23 And A Half Dog Hours: Into The New Year

Mount Rainier Is Backdrop For Dog Walk Christmas Eve 2011
 Depression is a much written about problem in the Pacific Northwest.  Especially during the winter months, when the daylight hours are only about 8 and a half and when the weather seems dreary.  As a dog owner and trainer, though, I noticed a long time ago that dogs DO NOT CARE about the weather.  They love to walk, run and play through any kind of weather.  And their anxiety decreases dramatically after a short period of intense exercise.  And as a retriever trainer, the necessity for me to be out with my dogs in any kind of weather is huge.  And I feel better after being out in the winter light and fresh air too.

Freddy Walks With Dogs Across Prairie On Christmas Eve
 Add to a tendency for depression the fact that over 33 percent of Americans are obese plus the fact that around 40 percent of American dogs are overweight and we have plenty to be depressed about! But not to worry!  There is a simple solution for everyone involved. 

Thanks to my friend, Jennifer Coleman of Team Beachbody, I watched this great video today about the 30 minute solution (or medication) for MANY health problems today, including, of course, obesity/weight problems, but also a myriad of other health problems, such as dementia, diabetes, hip fractures, depression, arthritis and fatigue.  At the risk of having my readers roll their eyes and NOT click on the video, I will spill the beans.  (Do watch the video anyway.  It is really impressive!)  The solution, according to Dr. Mike Evans, is exercise.  No, no--not triathlons--but mostly WALKING.  And he gives a great tip to people who walk their dogs regularly.  He says "A dog is a great walking coach with data showing 67 percent of dog walkers achieve 158 minutes a week of walking."  Early in the video Evans talks about what is the best return on investment for increased health and reduction of illness.  Walking is FREE!  And our dogs want desperately for us to go outside with them. 

Check it out!

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have recently seen our commercial fitness options severely reduced with the exit of Bally Total Fitness.  Bally Total Fitness sold out their Oregon and Washington state gyms to LA Fitness.  LA Fitness has simply closed many of the Bally locations and fired their employees.  I hear people grumbling about this everywhere I go in the Tacoma area.  When the standard New Years' resolutions are to be acted upon, I imagine there will be severe overcrowding at the few LA Fitness locations.

Christmas Day 2011 Was Rainy, But Still There Were Blue Skies!

Before going down to the commercial gym with a credit card or gobs of cash, perhaps we could think about dedicating a structured routine to walking our dogs.  It might be a superb ROI.

If you would like information about where to go on a great off-leash dog walk in the Seattle-Tacoma area please email Kate Johansson

Rosie Crosses Muck Creek Christmas Day 2011

Dogs Having Fun In Muck Creek Christmas Day 2011
Sunset Christmas Day 2011

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