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How to Lose Weight by Walking Your Dog

Jana likes to grow stuff, exercise, snack, and explore creative projects as a means to relax and grow.

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An Easy Weight Loss Option

Here's great news for anyone who is unfit and interested in walking—you have an evolutionary perk when it comes to walking for healthy exercise. Over thousands of years, the human body has evolved to walk for great distances. This doesn't mean one must walk to the next city! You can reap amazing weight loss benefits with regular walks, and they don't even need to be strenuous or far. This type of healthy exercise can cause easy weight loss—if done right and with realistic expectations.

Why Do I Need a Dog?

The short answer is that you don't need a dog to lose weight by walking. However, there are certain benefits. It's a great chance to bond with a beloved companion pet, the dog receives healthy exercise as well and mostly, dogs who love walking nag for their time outdoors. See them as a biological alarm to remind you that it's time to work on your own health and go for a walk!

Most dogs take to walking like fish to water. They love exploring the pavement or earth. There's nothing more invigorating for dogs than to investigate new stuff. However, some don't want to leave the yard or cannot be safely walked. In that case, never force a dog to go. You can still reap the easy weight loss benefits by taking yourself or a friend for a walk. Just not on a leash, people might call the authorities.

What to Pack

Walking your dog doesn't call for heavy packing. You can stroll along with just the clothes on your back but consider taking along a small water bottle and bowl for the dog, a spare leash or harness, as well as a small first aid kit. Make sure the leash or harness doesn't allow the dog to escape or choke.

Dress for the Occasion

Nothing spoils a walk faster than wearing clothing that's too hot or cold. Make sure that your pet also has adequate protection during colder times.

Nothing spoils a walk faster than wearing clothing that's too hot or cold. Make sure that your pet also has adequate protection during colder times.

Here's What You Can Expect

  1. There's a direct link between quick weight loss and effort. In this case, effort doesn't mean strenuous walking that lasts for hours. Always remember that “quick” in the weight loss world should never be at the rate of a pound or a kilogram every few days. That's extremely dangerous. It's safer to lose smaller amounts per week or month. Permanent weight loss has a gentle downward curve, not a sudden drop. That being said, if you keep a regular walking schedule, you can expect to lose weight at a pleasing rate.
  2. Don't expect to time yourself walking a certain distance. Most dogs repeatedly brake to sniff at something. For the unfit owner, sniffing moments allow a breather. Don't despair if you don't like this; as dogs get used to a certain route, they do fewer stops. If your dog likes a hefty pace, try and keep up with your pet. You'll soon work up a sweat.
  3. For the first few times, expect some stiffness and aches. As the body adjusts and grow fitter, muscle soreness will be apparent. In fact, you can count on this, should you walk a strong, boisterous breed. When the stiffness becomes a bit too much, skip a few days to recover. In any case, it's a good idea to walk every other day or three times a week to give both yourself and the dog some time to grow fit.

Stepping It Up

Walking your dog can be a rewarding free weight loss option. Even more so when you develop a regular routine. You'd be surprised how quickly the body becomes fitter from this healthy exercise. As mentioned earlier, quick weight loss is directly tied to effort. Once you are in a regular walking routine and more fit, there's no harm in adopting a brisk pace for longer distances. Take care of your health (don't overdo it) and always keep an eye on your walking companion's health as well.

Keep Things Fresh

Keep things interesting by visiting new places. Make sure it's public property and that you are allowed to be there.

Keep things interesting by visiting new places. Make sure it's public property and that you are allowed to be there.

Tips and Warnings

  • To avoid boredom, try new routes. Whenever walking your dog in a new place, stay vigilant, so they don't swallow foreign objects. Many people discard small bones and litter without regard to the environment, or that somebody's dog might eat or step on something sharp
  • If time is a problem, take a good look at your schedule — especially the weekend. There has to be ten or twenty minutes somewhere to dedicate to walking your dog. One amazing thing is that owners often become addicted to the activity and then time will almost open up by itself
  • Educate yourself about canine illnesses out there. Many, like parvovirus and distemper, can be picked up by your pet or shoes and brought back home. Both can be prevented by vaccinations but not tick bite fever. When returning from walking your dog, use a tick comb or inspect it's coat and between the toe webs for ticks
  • Finally, focus on the enjoyment of spending alone time with your dog and nature (if you're lucky enough to walk somewhere beautiful). The more one enjoys the process of walking for weight loss, the less it feels like a chore to shed that extra weight.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Jana Louise Smit

Comments

Jana Louise Smit (author) from South Africa on September 12, 2018:

Great suggestion, Carolyn! I live in the country, perhaps that's why that one slipped by me. ;)

Carolyn Fields from South Dakota, USA on September 10, 2018:

Great hub! I would add that packing a couple of empty plastic bags (for cleaning up after your dog) is very important when walking in the city. Out in the country it's not as much of an issue.