As I gathered my dogs’ leashes early this morning, I yawned. I had to get up earlier than usual for these extended morning walks, but they have truly made a difference in our demeanor as well as our weight! My older dog, Lucky, has had an issue with weight despite diet and regular twenty minute walks. I was always an avid treadmill user but realised that I enjoyed walking outside much more. However, I don’t like to walk when it’s dark out, so I had to wait until daylight savings in April before I could try a new outdoor exercise routine. I realized that I could get the same amount of exercise if I simply woke up earlier and walked the dogs for an hour instead of 20 minutes.
I set the alarm earlier than usual, and, believe it or not, it wasn’t that hard to get out of bed since Lucky and Honey (my two standard goldendoodles) were already chomping at the bit, ready for their morning exercise. I padded to the kitchen where I could prep my morning cup of coffee and drink a liter of water, my two ways of hydration before the walk. The one good thing about waking up early is that I get some peace and quiet before the school rush starts. I fed the dogs and got my kids’ breakfast and school lunches ready as well. That way, the morning won’t be as crazy when I get back with the dogs.
The sun was just rising as we stepped out of the house, and I let the dogs choose which path they want to go on that morning. I am indeed fortunate that my neighborhood has multiple dog friendly streets for us to choose different paths several times a week. Lucky always prefers the path that leads to the creek where he loves to waddle.
As we stroll down the sidewalk, peace surrounds us. I pass homes that are now surrounded by shrubs of brightly colored azaleas and flowering lilacs. The sidewalk dead ends to the entrance to the park with the creek. Fields of buttercups are scattered throughout the park, and we then cross a bridge over the creek that leads us to a gravel path. The dogs scamper ahead of me as they charge into the creek, eager to dunk their heads and splash around in the water.
These morning walks are a great time to appreciate nature and to clear my head. I literally am absorbed with the surrounding home gardens, natural flowers in the fields and making sure my dogs don’t get me wet in the creek!
As we trot on home, I realised that all of us are definitely more relaxed from the walk. We get our morning exercise, and we explore the neighborhood as well. For the dogs, it’s like reading their morning newspaper. They get the “news” by sniffing all the new smells and meeting the other dogs being walked in the neighborhood as well.
With or without dogs, I highly recommend morning walks!