Friday, October 9, 2015

Fall Fitness Fun

Barley's favorite season is winter, but I think fall comes in at a close second. By the time fall hits, we're desperate for it. Summer is always nice with our usual two-walks-a-day routine and the freedom to go on adventures, but often our walks our neighborhood walks since they have to be squeezed in quickly during the cooler morning and evening hours--and those can lose their excitement quickly.

Fall makes the world seem new again. The tourists have left the beach that we haven't visited all summer, so we get to see the little reminders of them that have been left behind. Summer storms have changed the shape of the beach and washed up new things onto the beach. Often, they help us add in a little more variety to our walks.

Someone made a stool out of a stump and a slab that's a great perch for a dog.

This tree is a good balance beam.



Adding in balance activities to our walks helps keep Barley even more fit and helps get her ready for agility class each week. Dog walks are expensive--and way too big for an apartment--so we love that we can use nature to still incorporate exercises that otherwise we'd only get to see once a week in class.

We've also been sure to incorporate lots of stretching into our walks as well. Barley loves to turn and twirl to stretch out her back, but we also make sure to do some paws up and bow to work even more muscle groups. (Plus, they make for really cute pictures at the lake.)




In addition to adding in various balance and strength activities to our walks, we're also sure to add in some mental exercise. Last week, you got to see a lot of our sit-stay and focus work with the fun scarecrows at the arboretum. We usually don't have that level of distraction, but we do try to work those elements into as many walks as possible.

Our sweet little town has helped us out with distractions this week with the GhoulFest scarecrows. Most of them are too close to the edge of the sidewalk to get good pictures of without risking being run over, but there are a few that we can practice with.

"Shouldn't this guy have a snack for me in that apron?"

"I'm your little angel, right?"

We've been working on adding in more intensity with our Couch to 5k training, which has had to be adjusted a bit--but that's another story for another day. Even with our struggles, though, it's paying off. Our agility trainer commented on how trim Barley's looking during our class this week.


We got in 24.8 miles this week and our goal for the year is looking unbelievably close as we're now at 930.22 miles for the year.

We had a great time participating in Dog Walking Week. Day 3 was our biggest struggle because of a cold, rainy day, but we managed to get a short walk up to the dumpster twice that day--definitely not our normal definition of a "walk," but it did get us out of the house a couple times and after getting 5 mile days on Day 2, Day 4, and Day 5, our short "walk" was a nice rest day. Hope everyone else had a successful Dog Walking Week and is enjoying lots of fall fun.


17 comments:

  1. I love all the simple ways to stretch the muscles while out and about. I'll have to try these moves with our dogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barley loves getting a chance to pose for pictures in the middle of our walks! And I love that they have some health benefits as well :)

      Delete
  2. Love seeing Barley using nature to get her workout going - that's the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We agree! It's not always easy to find space for more fitness equipment inside--and we don't want the few things we have to get boring before we need them during the snowy seasons, so we love that there are so many natural elements we can use this time of year.

      Delete
  3. Love your "natural" agility course! Adorable photos too... with the added benefit of stretching!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I try to justify the insane number of photos I take of her by telling myself there are benefits to her physical and mental health when she's posing!

      Delete
  4. I love Barley's adorable, happy face! She's such a game little walking buddy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She does have a ridiculously happy face. Even when I don't want to be out exercising, it's hard to be crabby about it when she's trotting along beside me.

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. We love that there are so many fun ways to have adventure without getting too far from home.

      Delete
  6. Great perch photos! Mr. N did a paws up on a beer bucket today..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. N is a dog after my own heart!

      Delete
  7. Barley is so cute! We love to do perch work and balance stuff on whatever we find out in the world! Congrats on your mileage! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Walking is more fun when you can incorporate nature into your fitness :)

      Delete
  8. Fall sounds especially nice in your area with new places opening up to visit, and so many fun obstacles to play on. I'd like to find a place to walk that had some obstacles like that - I think Luke would have a lot of fun with that and it would be so good for him too.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always loved fall, but Barley makes me appreciate it even more. Things are constantly washing up on the beach or the shore line changes, so Lake Erie makes every walk there an adventure :) I bet Luke would love the different obstacles on the beach.

      Delete
  9. Those are some great walking areas and cute pictures!

    www.tiffanysdiamonddogs.com

    ReplyDelete