image   I have a 3 year old chihuahua/mini Doberman pinscher mix named Izzy. She is a little bundle of energy and the best fitness instructor anyone could have. I have learned so many things about walking/training from her.

Lesson #1: Get excited about the exercise you choose! The minute I pick up Izzy’s harness and leash she begins spinning around, running back and forth between Tom and I, and wiggling from side to side. You don’t have to wiggle, but pick an exercise routine that you look forward to doing.

Lesson #2: Go for it! Izzy is off and pulling the minute she is out the door. I do recommend that you warm up first(I can’t see Izzy doing stretches, but you should). Once you have warmed up hit your training pace and give it all you’ve got.

Lesson #3: Slow down once in a while! Izzy stops along the way and slows down to pee, to look at leaves on the ground, or to look for dogs, cats, squirrels, bunnies…..she reminds me that every so often I need to take in the beauty around me, to look at things I may not have noticed before, and to just slow down(even if it’s just for a few minutes).

Lesson #4: Know when to stop! Izzy can walk with me about 3-3.5 miles and then she is exhausted. Before she reaches that point I pick her up and put her in her front, pet carrier so she doesn’t hurt herself. Do you know your limits? Make sure you don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion or to the point where you get injured.

Lesson #5: Replenish your liquids! If it is warm outside I take a doggie water bottle with me as well as a water bottle for myself. Izzy and I stop to take a drink at regular intervals. When we get home Izzy gets a drink from her water bowl and I pour myself an ice, cold drink.

My fitness instructor says it’s time to go, so I am off for another walk. Happy trails to you!


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