Winter 2018

30 | WINTER 2018 ON A MISSION by DOROTHY CASE, RN, MS, LMT You want to walk again? Callie our rescue Blue Heeler mix doggie is always ready to go outside and run or walk or just play. Do you think that she knows all the great benefits that she gets from being quite active? Does she know that she is keeping herself agile and limber and also helping to maintain her sleek figure by keeping her weight in check and to allow for a few doggie treats? And is Callie aware that staying active helps her sleep good as well as aids in food di- gestion and elimination? In keeping up with our furry friend, we are reaping many health benefits too. Exercising regularly can help reduce our risk of cardiovascu- lar disease, prevent and/or manage type 2 diabe- tes, depression, arthritis, and body weight. And to add to that list, exercise can help strengthen our muscles and bones, get better sleep, boost our energy level, keep our thinking/learning/judg- ment skills sharp and many more. So, whether you are exercising on your own, with a human friend or a furry friend, it is recommended that you get at least 150 minutes/week of moderate or 75 minutes/week of vigorous exercise. For example, you might want to walk or bicycle ride for 30 minutes on 5 days of the week to total 150 minutes of aerobic exercise for the week. To help maintain muscle mass, add some strength training which can be utilizing body weight, free weights, machines, bands and more. This should be part of your exercise program twice weekly on non-consecutive days. And to gain and/or maintain flexibility and joint range of motion, frequently add in some stretches. This may also help to improve balance and posture as well as may decrease risk of injury. Health Benefits of Having a Dog