Introducing my movement motivation; our chubby dachshund, Spike. I’m lazy, he’s lazy, we love cuddling up on the sofa and exercise isn’t something either of us craves. But, without our daily walk, Spike bites and my hormones go loopy. Nothing beats a stroll in the great outdoors with your canine companion, in fact studies have found that owning a dog can significantly improve a person’s cardiovascular health, mental health and lifespan.
Owning a dog can bring several benefits, including:
- Walking a dog can improve your physical fitness and overall health.
- Dogs (not Spike!) can help reduce stress and improve mental health.
- Walking a dog can provide opportunities to meet other dog owners. (Unless your dog tries to attack other dogs).
- Dogs are loyal and provide a sense of security.
- Studies have shown that dog ownership can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Owning a dog can structure to one’s daily routine.
- A dog’s companionship can reduce feelings of loneliness.
Of course, not everyone can be a slave to an opinionated dachshund. If you’re in need of non-canine movement motivation read on.
Here are some tips for motivating yourself to exercise:
- Decide what you want to achieve and set specific, achievable goals.
- Incorporate exercise into your daily routine and stick to it.
- Experiment with different types of exercise until you find something you enjoy and look forward to doing. For me, that’s walking.
- Keep track of your progress, such as the distance you’ve walked or cycled to see your improvement over time. I use the Active 10 App, which is free from the NHS. You can find it here.
- Exercise with a friend or family member which can make it more fun.
- Choose a time and place for exercise that is convenient.
- Avoid boredom by trying new activities.
- Pay attention to how exercise makes you feel physically and mentally, and use this as motivation to continue. I feel happier and calmer after a brisk twenty minute walk.
How do you motivate yourself to move more? I’d love to know.
Take care and stay healthy.
Charlotte and Spike x
To learn how to boost your immunity, click here.