Do you have a soft spot for pets? If not, consider it seriously. For the sake of your health, it will help you tremendously.

Bernard my Lhasa Apso mix whom we rescued from the local Humane Society 3 years ago helped me get started on my exercise routine, since I have to take him out everyday.

We keep each other company between 1.5 – 2.5 miles at a time: through rain, snow, and hot weather.

For Bernard, this is his poop walk and his pee walk, in addition to his normal sniffing adventure around the neighborhood.

Personally, I don’t like running (but short sprints are OK). I think it is too stressful for your knees vs. the hard concrete surfaces that we run on.

In addition,

  • It is too time consuming.
  • You have to deal with the hazards of the terrain.
  • You settle for the fat-burning limitations of your body (30% of your metabolism – max).

In other words, walking has a “bigger bang for the buck”.

For me, it’s my gratitude and recovery stroll, and I also consider it as my cardio exercise.

More specifically, there are 7 distinct stages of our walk, each contributing holistically to a healthy weight:

  1. Spiritual Well Being – This 30 minute period gives me the time to give thanks for all the blessings that have come to my family. Gratitude is an integral part of our health, please don’t take that lightly.
  2. Micronutrition – During these summer months, I get the opportunity to bask in the morning sun to get my daily dose of the best source of Vitamin D.
  3. Oxygen – I get the fresh scent of clean oxygen from all the pine trees that adorn our path.
  4. Mental Fitness – The quiet time gives me the option to listen to my audiobooks, either for inspiration or education. Or at other times, I use the solitude to rethink my business or my personal relationships.
  5. Cardio – The last 1/2 mile point, marks our challenge portion. Here we begin a 1/4 mile climb up a hill. Depending on how Bernard and I feel about it, we can:
    • continue our leisurely stroll, or
    • start a brisk walk, or
    • jog/sprint up that 10-15 degree incline.
  6. Recovery – By the time we get to the top of the hill, we’d both be out of breath, and the next 1/4 mile to our front door gives us our recovery time.
  7. Water – Finally, we reward ourselves with a refreshing cool drink of the most critical nutrition we all need – pure clean water.

I can easily say that if not for Bernard, my daily ritual would probably not have happened; especially since I have had absolutely ZERO exercise for at least 10 years prior to Bernard’s arrival.