All of January is “Walk Your Dog Month”- yes, it’s actually a thing. A fun little fact: The largest dog walk “The Great North Dog Walk” was organized in the U.K. in 1990 and in 2018 held the World Record distinction of 33,149 dog walking participants. So if your new year’s resolution (hopefully) includes more walking, why not take your best furry friend along too.
The acronym “FIT” helps to remember the important components of a good walking program. It stands for frequency, intensity and time. For people unaccustomed to regular physical activity, it’s important to start slowly and work your way up to achieving your walking goals. You can also add shorter more frequent walks during the day. Go at whatever pace you can manage without difficulty. The American Heart Association states, “There’s good data to suggest the most protective walking speed is above 3 mph, which corresponds to more than three times the energy spent at rest”. However, you should start at whatever pace is comfortable for you. It’s fun to track your challenges with a fitness watch where you can work against yourself.
Walking is a game changer for physical and mental health, and staying active on those grey, chilly winter days can help keep the blues away. If your walking route starts to feel boring, change your path and make it more interesting. You and your furry friend can make the Ocean Reef dog park a walking destination and you can do a bit of socializing there too. Be sure to follow guidelines for safety and watch for golf carts and cars, especially if you are wearing headphones.
Keeping active is key to good health and your furry friend will benefit too.
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Mark your calendars for Tuesday, January 30th “A Night Out with the Medical Center- Ladies & Men’s Night” with Neurosurgeon, Robert Wicks, M.D. of Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute.