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.
I’m so impressed that you’re back to the C25K program–I keep thinking I should do it again because Rye would probably benefit from something more intense than just a walk, but there was a certain point in the program that my knees just couldn’t do, so it’s hard to find the motivation to even do just the first few weeks. Maybe once it cools off and the tourists are gone, we’ll try running by the lake and just keep repeating the first few weeks. We did order the Poofs with your link/code for both dogs, so I’m excited to see what kind of activity levels the girls have!
I think doing the C25K at whatever level you can get to is a great idea. I’ve already made it past where I left off last year, so that’s good, but who knows if I’ll be able to actually make it to the end either!
Thank you for ordering the Poofs through my code – I can’t wait to hear how your girls are doing!
For many years I was really great about exercising, but when I had a knee injury it really sidelined me and despite many attempts, I’ve never gotten back into it. I hope you are successful in finding an exercise habit that you love!
I don’t think I’ve ever been consistent with my exercising. I can go for a while, but something always sidelines me!
GROOVY GOLDENDOODLES says
We’re struggling with any sort of exercise around here because of this intense heat. Everyday it’s blazing hot and the heat index is seriously unsafe for humans not to mention pets. I don’t have the size house I had before – there’s no basement to go dow and run around. I think my neighbors are beginning to think I’m strange because the Boys and I are going out after 11pm to play ball in the well lit open field that belongs to the Citadel (I keep waiting for someone to throw me out!). I will have to come up with another exercise plan soon – we’re all becoming couch potatoes.
The heat can be very challenging! We haven’t had to deal with it too much here yet, our summer has been on the cool side. On the hot days we get out early if we can. We don’t have a basement anymore either, but our new house gets a lot of shade so stays fairly cool. But we’re still pretty low key on hot days – the heat especially seems to bother Cricket, I think just because she’s older.
Sylvie Savage says
This might be out there but I believe our dogs feel what we feel through our energy. If I want them to feel happy I have to feel happy! Knowing this helps me stay on track. 🙂
I believe that too…and that is definitely good motivation!
I have been addicted to exercise forever. I am so cranky if I don’t get it! But, it has to be something that I enjoy… for me, biking is heavenly so it feels like play rather than a chore. I hope that you can figure out a way to exercise that you like just as much.
I hope that the migration has gone smoothly.
You totally impress me with your dedication to exercising, especially when I know it can be difficult for you at times with some of your health issues. People like you help to inspire me to keep trying!
Barbara Rivers says
I’m like you – I find it easiest to exercise in the mornings. During the heat and humidity of summer it truly is the only bearable time to exercise outdoors. I do get a fair amount of exercise on my daily client dog walks, and when I feel like I need to burn some extra energy I’ll walk or run up and downstairs, sometimes while blasting motivating work out music 😉
Having a job where you get exercise while doing it is definitely a bonus! Getting out before it gets too hot is important in the summer here too, though we only get about 2 months of it, and then I’m back to going out just a little later when it’s warmed up a bit! The changing seasons definitely make consistency challenging too.
Jodi Stone says
My biggest suggestion is to just do it. We walk rain, snow or sun. The only times we don’t venture out is when it’s icy. I just cannot risk someone slipping. I got a rain suit for Christmas in 2015, it definitely helps, although it’s too heavy/stiff for me. I’d prefer a Trogg Frog suit myself, they are very light weight. So I recommend a rain suit for those really rainy days.
Also, I’m curious about your new host. I’m looking to change too, so if you have a minute, I’d love to hear about the experience and which hosting provider you chose.
I have two really good raincoats and some rain pants (somewhere) too, I bought it all with the hopes of getting out there. I think you’re advice is good….just getting out there might be easier than coming up with a billion excuses and arguing with myself over it! LOL I’m going to look and see what those Trogg Frog suits are though!
I will shoot you an email about my hosting change over the weekend, give you the details and let you know how it all goes.
Forest Poodles says
I’ve just started daily cardio for me, and I try to walk the poodles most days as well. It can be a challenge sometimes, but I, like you, am trying to make it a habit. Thanks for the fun post!
I am extremely consistent in my lack of exercise, so I can’t be of much use to you! I can’t fathom running with a migraine.
I’ve had daily chronic migraines for years now (though they’ve been better lately), and you’d be surprised what you will do when you have one, because you get tired of letting them slow you down. I only give in to the worst ones….but even my worst ones aren’t usually as bad as the ones some people have, so I count myself lucky in that regard. Though there was a time when they completely zapped my energy every day for weeks and I sure didn’t feel lucky then. :\
For us, our morning exercise is as routine as getting out of bed. If you get up earlier and do it, there are no excuses, you are done for the day if you don’t want to exercise again later, and you feel better all day. We alway, 365 days a year in all weather do our 1 hour walk first thing, some days Mom runs with Bailie and then walks us after. It’s not always easy getting up if it is raining, or dark out, but once we are on the road, we are so happy. That was a real killer with the broken ankle the first two weeks when Mom couldn’t even walk a few blocks. It killed us all because it is so ingrained in us. We are serious believers in early morning fitness. Good luck making it a routine and also with your migration.
I know that it makes me feel better. That’s why I decided to start the C25K, because it starts you slowly so you don’t feel exhausted after and then give up. I think you’re right….I need to just get up and go, without even thinking about it!
If I could do half as well as you and your Mom do, I would be way ahead and happy!
It definitely helps to get into some sort of routine, and to have partners and motivation. Sounds like you’re on the right rack! 🙂
Good luck with the server migration!
Thank you….hopefully it all goes smoothly!
Brian Frum says
I think exercise is overrated so I let the sisters handle that for me!
I appreciate your honesty! 🙂
I discovered years ago that exercise is easier for me when it’s challenging. Any effort to make it easier makes it less likely for me to do it.
So I prefer running alone, early in the morning, and even in the rain.
I think you need to find the exercise and conditions that work best with your personality.
Good luck with migrating your site. It can be scary. But hopefully it is a change for the better.
Thank you – it is scary! Everyone had been saying there were a lot of issues with Hostgator and to get away from them. Since everything was coming up for renewal it seemed a good time to do it. I decided to get help though, because the thought of screwing it up petrified me!
M. K. Clinton says
I desperately need to get into an exercise routine. We sold our treadmill and recumbent bike last fall when we decided to sell our home. What a premature mistake! My knees are so mad at me for not moving them more often. Good luck with the update ♥
I find exercising indoors SO boring, but weather can make getting outdoors so challenging (and I’m sure for you that’s the heat). Hubby and I have been through I don’t know how many different pieces of exercise equipment over the years trying to find something we really like for the winter time!
Two French Bulldogs says
Mom never had dogs like us. We would prefer standing around or playing monster with mom
Lily & Edward
Maybe I need dogs like you guys? 🙂
I would like to hear some tips too… I gave it up to run…. I have to admit that I’m too lazy…. but I do one walk per day more with Phenny ;o)
I use every excuse in the book, except for the true one of laziness! 🙂
Shadow and Ducky's Mom says
While we continue to wait out the canine flu, we’ve been spending time in the back yard as usual. Ducky and Shadow both love being out in the fresh air, so as long as it’s not too hot and “sticky” I spend hours with them on the days I’m not at the vet’s. And Ducky is SO loud and vociferous when she wants out that it’s easier on our psyches to just give in. ????
I think that just getting everyone outside in the fresh air and moving a bit is so important too. It’s much better than sitting on the couch watching TV. 😉
Shadow and Ducky's Mom says
I couldn’t agree more; but the dog-daddy would be content to watch the news or AHC channels ALL. DAY. LONG. UGH!
Well, it’s a good thing the girls have their Mom then! ♥
I have such a hard time with consistency. I don’t want the dogs too routine oriented as I have fibro and can have rough days where I need them to be mellow most of the time. They do expect mornings to go exactly the same way and often get offended on weekends if anything happens differently.
However, despite my fibro, I do need to be better at consistently doing at least one short walk a day – our condo complex has an easy circle that can’t be more than 1/4 mile long – perfect for Callie, ok for Charlie, ok for me even on bad days. And I need to consistently play a couple of rounds of tug with Charlie every day. Not only does it wear him out, but it is good for strengthening those quads to help protect his knees.
Why is it so hard?!?
I know…it shouldn’t have to be so hard, should it? I have a friend with fibro and I know how rough that can be. But easy exercising can be good for that too, yes? I try to motivate myself by remembering that exercise is good for our health (human and dog), and even a little bit is better than nothing! The walks are so good for both Luke and Cricket’s joint issues, so thanks for reminding me of that too.
Exactly! It really shouldn’t be that hard. Especially to just get out for a short walk if you can’t do more that day. And you are very right – any doctor will tell some one with fibro that daily amounts of easy exercise – like, oh, say, walking – will be of huge benefit. ???? Now it’s just a matter of getting out there. Although I did already go for a walk with Charlie this morning! Pat on the back for me today ????
Good job on getting out for that walk! One day at a time, right? 🙂
Monika & Sam says
The dogs have routinized my schedule so much, it’s second nature now. We go for walks twice a day, rain or shine. They push me to get out and for that I’m thankful. If for some out-of-the-ordinary reason I miss a walk, it’s as disturbing to my routine as it is to theirs. Just keep at it, even if an abbreviated session and soon it’ll be second nature.
Two walks per day, that is really great! Do you have raincoats for them, or just dry them off after a walk in the rain?
Monika & Sam says
We do have rain slickers (though it rarely rains here). ???? Mostly they are used for when it snows so they don’t look like flocked Christmas trees.