Move that body: 3.5-mile walk with Denali
I woke up this morning at 6 with the plan that I would eat a small bite and head down to the basement by 6:30 to do some incline walking. When I went upstairs to grab some shoes, though, Mark was already rolling over so I decided to skip the treadmill and take a walk with my boys.
Usually when I walk with one of the boys who will go unnamed (ahem, the one I’m married to), we tend to do no more than 2.5 miles. The one who is allowed to sleep in the bed gets bored walking more than that. However, I wanted to go a bit farther and I got the go ahead to pick the route. Ha! Then Mark’s curiosity about where a co-worker lived sent us down a dead end and added about a half-mile to the walk. In the end, it was 3.5 miles of meal planning and basking in the gorgeous morning.
And since walking – more specifically walking with the boys - is more than likely going to be popping up more and more on the blog, I thought I’d offer up some of my summer dog walking tips.
1. Dress appropriately.
You might need wicking gear but a pair of stylish glasses and a tank are nice. BTW, the photo is hiding my 3 million sizes too big basketball shorts that now have pain on them.
2. Take water. It’s a good time to get in a good 20 ounces of water without thinking about it. Take a bigger bottle if you don’t have a baby sitting on your bladder and can handle 30 ounces for a few miles.
3. Teach your dog to drink from the bottle.
Go ahead, call me gross. I don’t care. I share my water with Denali. We usually squirt it in his mouth, and he does pretty well about lapping it up. It’s really important that your pup gets water. After all, if you’re hot, he’s hot.
4. Free up your hands and tie the poop bag onto his collar.
It looks like a cute little bow and keeps your hands from sweating. By the way, I have no idea what that white spot is on his nose.
5. Teach your dog directional commands. Denali knows “right,” “left” and “stop.” If you say right, he will turn right. If you say left, he turns left. If you say stop, he stops and sits. This one might not be as important on a walk as it is on a run but we keep up the practice so he doesn’t forget.
6. Speaking of commands, “leave it” is a good one. Most unsuspecting pedestrians don’t enjoy Denali kisses.
7. And if a pedestrian wants to greet your dog, make sure that he knows that he has to sit. No sit = no lovin’.
8. Plan your route so that if you find yourself needing that little plastic accessory you have somewhere to drop it off. There’s nothing worse than being a half-mile into a 3-mile route and being stuck with that. Especially if you have preggo super powers.
9. Use a leather leash. If you don’t want to spend money on one, get a nylon leash. But never, ever, ever use a retractable leash. The retractable leash gives a dog too much leeway and you can’t gain extra control by wrapping the leash around your hand.
10. Watch out for “snacks.” And by snacks, I mean dead animals, half eaten tacos, lost articles of clothing. Trust me, you don’t want to know the things Denali has put in his mouth. (To clarify: Denali never gets water after eating something nasty. Teeth must be brushed first!)
Do you exercise with your dog?