A friend of mine from the gym I go to is a regular listener to my radio show, The Great Outdoors. He caught me between exercises on Friday and chastised me for talking about all the outdoor activities that can be good substitutes for formal workouts. I’ve promoted the Elk Hunt Diet and my Fishing Fitness Program, and I’ve talked several times about the health benefits of a good pheasant hunt.
This gentleman pointed out that all those are good, but you can’t do them all year long. He said the only exercise you can do every day is walking the dog.
I live where the dogs walk themselves, so it has never occurred to me. When I go out to feed the livestock, the dogs tag along, and they race from one end of the property to another, occasionally adding a rabbit chase to their own morning or afternoon workouts. But I suppose if you live in town, where the yard might not be big enough for your dog to really stretch his legs, you need to take the dog for a long walk each day.
I got to thinking about how that would work with my own dogs. The bird dog would provide the best source of cardio exercise. She would constantly be pulling on the leash, running from one side of the sidewalk to the other. She would lag behind, and I’d have to pull her along. She’d race ahead, and I’d have to dally the leash around my waist and haul her back. And if she yanked the leash out of my hands, I’d have to sprint across yards and through flower beds to catch her.
It would be great exercise to keep me in shape for hunting season, and it would give her a chance to tone up for the hunt, too. It would keep her nose sharp, too, as she sniffed up all the “messages” left by other dogs along the way.
Do your dog and yourself a favor, and get out there and get both of you some cardio each morning.