Is there a word that gets your attention every time someone says it? There are probably a few contenders: “Goal!” or “Pizza!” or “Sasquatch!” or…you get the idea.
For dogs, however, one word reigns supreme: “Walkies!”
Man’s best friend gets so fired up about walks that dog owners often have to spell out the word when discussing it. As in, “Hey, are you taking Rover for W-A-L-K-I-E-S?” You’ve got to hand it to dogs: no matter WHAT the weather, they still go nuts when walkies are mentioned.
So take Rover’s lead — and his leash if need be — and make the most of an invigorating family stroll — even if Rover constitutes your entire immediate family! Getting some free and easy outdoor exercise with loved ones is a super-appropriate way to celebrate National Pet Day (April 11th), or any day! Is walking your dog good exercise? Does walking a dog help lose weight? You’re barking up the RIGHT tree on both counts!
Even better, it’s easy to turn a family walk into family fun with or without a canine companion. Rover provides the enthusiasm, you decide where to go. What kind of free family fun is within walking distance? Here are three awesome options:
WALK to a local park
Going for a picnic, letting the kids run around, getting some fresh air, reconnecting with nature — it’s all great fun and the walk gets the blood pumping. You can even snap off a few split squats, or do some lunges on the way!
No snow? No problem! If there’s a basketball court, play a game of horse. If there’s a parking lot, bring a few sticks and a tennis ball for some road hockey. And does it get any easier than tag or hide and go seek? Pro tip: Rover is amazingly good at hide and go seek.
Take a HIKE!
You live in Canada! Beautiful forests, mountains, and plains are literally everywhere. Humans have a long and storied belief that being in nature is good for the mind and body. Simply walking around and being in nature is invigorating for the adults, and a fun adventure for the kids. Forest and mountain trails also provide great workouts, for every experience level, with invigorating inclines to get the heart pumping, and relaxing declines to enjoy in-between. What about Rover? Not even a question. You know he’s always excited to get back to nature!
WALK to the beach or lake!
It’s no secret that people find large bodies of water naturally calming. So what more perfect destination for a beautiful stroll? Even if its out of walking distance, such locales often offer scenic strolls after a bit of a road trip. Bonus! The kids are always excited to hone their fledgling construction skills and build things; the sand provides hours of engaging activity while the parents can sit back and relax.
After all this outdoor fun, Rover will probably move on to his second-favourite word: “Dinner!” The rest of the crew, meanwhile, will be all over the Championship Chocolate Fudge you just whipped up.
Walkies plus brownies? It’ll do everyone some good — with or without a canine companion — with hoofing it briskly for 30 minutes burning around 250 calories. Sounds like MVP material this National Pet Day!
Got any other ideas for some free outdoor fun? Go right ahead and share them in the comments below!