Walking Routine: Online Tools for Wagging Tails
Spring is slowly revealing itself. With everything happening in the world, escaping into the outdoors might be the best course of action to catch a much needed break from the news and the house. Your furry friend will love an adventure with you. Developing a walking (or other exercise) routine can keep your doggies out of trouble by expending energy while keeping you happy and healthy too. As we say at Run Those Dogs, a tired dog is a happy dog!
Ready to Explore Somewhere New?
Now is the perfect time to find a less beaten path to explore. There are several options that will give you enough information to help you confidently jump on a new adventure. And if you need more motivation, March 30 is National Take a Walk in the Park Day.
You don’t have to live in Whatcom County to use this free online search tool to learn more about parks in Washington State. WhatcomParkfinder.org is a new free online tool meant to help physicians and health care providers prescribe time outdoors to patients to help them improve their mental, physical and emotional health. The tool is free so anyone can “self-parkscribe.”
Just like animals in your life can make you healthier and live longer, so can time spent outdoors. There is a lot of scientific evidence to back up the idea that time spent outside can improve your blood pressure and level your blood sugar. It can also ward off depression and reduce stress. Imagine the synergistic affects (working better together) of time spent outside with your pet?
This tool is handy because it includes parks all over the State of Washington and beyond. You can filter parks by location to find those closest to you. But you can also filter by amenities, by checking a box for things like off-leash areas, bathrooms, parking, playgrounds and more. With this tool, you can find new parks and then explore them with your dog for a change of scenery, new smells and perhaps new views and sunsets. Give the tool a try. You just might discover your new favorite park that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Washington Trails Association
Designed to inform hikers across the state, you can use the incredible free Hiking Guide created and maintained by Washington Trails Association. Their guides are constantly updated and augmented by trail reports from the public. Their system uses symbols to help you find which trials are open to dogs. Additionally, you can decide which hike you want to explore based on all kinds of criteria as well. Perhaps you want a short hike, a kid-friendly hike, or a work out with elevation gain and views? Whatever you are interested in, their Hiking Guide has you covered.
Part of the fun of a walking routine is knowing how far you’ve gone! Furthermore, by tracking your walks with your pup you can keep pushing to go further and keep a routine on track. Most smart phones come with built in apps that will track your health and your steps. You can always snag the free FitBit App if the built-in app isn’t working for you. Also, you don’t even need the fancy smart band to go with it. The app uses your phone’s built-in motion sensor to track your steps and distance walked. It also saves the walking path you and your puppy enjoyed together.
Need A Friend?
Developing a routine for you and your pup can take some time. But if you keep trying, soon it will be integrated into your day without extra thought or reminders.
Sometimes it helps to plan walks with friends to add an element of accountability and fun to your adventures. As a precaution during the coronavirus crisis, please ensure you’re practicing social distancing, with humans staying at least 6 feet apart and don’t forget frequent hand washing.
When you need help to keep up your routine, Run Those Dogs is ready to lend a paw! Whether you’re headed off on a business trip, vacation or just having a rough week, we’re here to help.
In the end, set a goal to walk regularly. If you can only get there part of the time or need help gearing up into the routine, Run Those Dogs has plenty of great team members who can help take your dog out for a walk or a run. And please don’t forget that we also love and care for cats as well.
Run Those Dogs is wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy spring full of time outside. Your physical, mental and emotional health will thank you for the effort. And so will your dog!