Help Wanted: Personal Trainer

cabana sitting in the middle of weight machine, exercise ball, colorful dumbbells, and yoga mat; she's wearing a red and white sign that says personal trainer on it; above her head is a sign that says help wanted, but crossed out with the words position filledSeems like my whole adult life, I've always weighed about 10-20 pounds more than I'd like to. So my usual New Year's resolution, along with 90% of the American population, was to lose weight. I'd set the goal of trying to exercise EVERY SINGLE DAY, just for the month of January. I knew it wasn't realistic to keep that up for an entire year, but I felt that for 31 days, it was possible.

Usually, although I might only end up having exercised for 20-25 days out of the 31, I felt it helped me set a pattern of more regular exercise. Doing this for the past several years, I've gotten to the point that if I don't exercise for 2-3 days, my body feels miserable, begging me to stop being lazy and get moving.

But in 2009, I didn't have to make my usual exercise resolution! With new puppy Cabana in our home, I HAD to take her for walks every day. I'm a firm believer that a tired puppy is a good puppy. Because it's not good for puppies' joints to run alongside us (it's considered "forced exercise", as opposed to being able to start and stop at their own will) until at least 12 months of age, I went for multiple short walks with Cabana instead.

I've heard the formula for puppy walking is 5 minutes for every month of age. So a 5-month old puppy can walk for 25 minutes, while a 12-month old can go for an hour. Of course, this is just a rule of thumb and would depend on the puppy and the breed.

In the past year of walking Cabana and more recently jogging with her (almost daily; my husband gives me a break 1-2 times a week), I have lost about 7 pounds, without making any other changes in my diet (heaven only knows since I love to eat--a lot) or overall lifestyle. Yippee!

Recalling what Katlynn shared in her post about Focus, Cabana's half brother, when he was career changed, the trainers said, "Focus is a dog that needs a job – a job to this dog would be to go jogging every day...."

When I read that, I thought about how alike Cabana and Focus seem to be, and how jogging with me every day would be a great job for Cabana! She makes a fabulous personal trainer, pushing me to go faster and further, loving every step, motivating me to get my butt out there, regardless of season or schedule. (Plus, Cabana runs on leash SO much more politely than when she walks.)

I hope I'll be able to lose the other 3-13 pounds in 2010, now that I've got my personal trainer at full tilt. And I encourage you all to get out there with Cabana and me! Our dogs need the exercise every day, and regardless of weight, we humans do, too!! Happy 2010 to everyone!

Sierra Rose  – (December 31, 2009 at 12:05 PM)  

What a fantastic post!!! My mom has experienced the same thing...just in smaller numbers...but I keep her ACTIVE, if she likes it or not, we're on the GO! Although lately, we have been mixing it up with ball play and snow play..but still...we're out there!
Hope to take a hike or jog with you all in 2010!!!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Coreena, Eva and Charlie  – (December 31, 2009 at 12:24 PM)  

Thank you so much for this post! Having a hyper-active golden retriever that also has kidney failure (a killer mix there, if I do say so myself!) it gets very discouraging for me to walk Eva. She can't last for very long but she needs to go for walks to help her get rid of that energy! Thank you so much! What an amazing goal to walk all three of my dogs one time a day for a month! Good thing I just bought some warm, water-proof winter boots!

Deborah  – (December 31, 2009 at 12:36 PM)  

That is great that Cabana is your trainer! I should exercise. I hate to though! Just to reduce stress it would be good for me!!!
With my crew, I should be able to find atleast one personal trainer!
Happy New Year my new friends!

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (December 31, 2009 at 1:00 PM)  

Sierra Rose, yes! We look forward to having a playdate with you soon!

Coreena, I'm so thrilled you're making the goal of walking your dogs every day for a month! Doing it every day helps eliminate the usual mind games of, "I don't feel like it today, maybe I'll go tomorrow," since you gotta go today AND tomorrow! Good luck with it, and even if it's not all 31 days, you're bound to have gone walking more often than you might have without the goal.

Deborah--you've got a whole TEAM of personal trainers! Put 'em to work! Plus, exercise is the best way in the world to reduce stress!

Ro  – (December 31, 2009 at 2:21 PM)  

Oh I think you have explained something for me, I hope I hope I hope. I am so incredibly drained and lethargic and achey and generally yuck today, and I was wondering if it's because I haven't been to the gym since it's been closed, and I think it is, after reading your post. I can't wait to get back to the gym on Monday. I've slacked out in working out at home. It's so much harder to get motivated!

Katlynn and Ryder  – (December 31, 2009 at 4:49 PM)  

What a great idea! If I did keep Focus running would not be in the picture as I hate running, but that is a great job for these hyper energy dogs like Focus and Cabana! And I totally 100% agree that a tired dog is a good dog!

L^2  – (December 31, 2009 at 6:27 PM)  

Yay for personal trainer Cabana! :-) I take my dogs for walks every day when the weather is warm and it definitely keeps us all happier and healthier. We all struggle with getting enough exercise when it gets cold though. Willow can't walk very long/far anymore, but Stella would be up for a 5 mile run every day if I could only keep up with her.

Happy New Year!

OSU 98  – (December 31, 2009 at 9:09 PM)  

Tired puppies = happy parents. :) Its hard not to walk them when you know they get so darn excited. The word walk in our house incinuates pandemonium....

Toby- The dog with a blog  – (January 1, 2010 at 8:52 AM)  

Interesting idea!

I need to start taking Toby on more walks...

Cute picture:)

Toby's Trainer
SEGDI Raiser

Becky  – (January 1, 2010 at 9:06 AM)  

Your explanation of the picture just sounds so cute! I agree walking with a dog is the best! Being able to be back outside taking a brisk walk (as a cane user - walking was an effort to get to the next destination not fun) was one of the best gifts when getting a guide dog. For the next couple months it is more of an effort with all the snow but we still bundle up and enjoy. Glad you have such a great & cute personal trainer.

Martha G  – (January 1, 2010 at 11:57 AM)  

Oh - what a great motivational post! I'll have to do the same. Just wish someone could do something about the rain blowing sideways! Guess I'll be investing in rain gear.

Samantha  – (January 1, 2010 at 3:19 PM)  

Hello Cabana! What a wonderful name! I wanted to introduce myself and be your pal - I found you through Sierra and am so happy to know you and also know that you live so close!!! In fact, my mom and dadster used to live "there!" So we know that beautiful place furry well! Yes... Mom refers to me as her treadmill heheh!! She even made a post a month or two ago called "Dog is My Treadmill!" We hope to meet you furry soon, which would be great fun! Happy, Happy New Year!
Hugs xo

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (January 1, 2010 at 5:07 PM)  

I know, I'm spoiled by the weather here in the Bay area. Even if there's rain, it's rare to have a day where there's no let-up in which to take a quick walk. I feel for those of you in more inclement weather!

But at least you don't have to pull weeds in the middle of the winter like I've been doing today!! The rain makes the weeds...well, grow like weeds!!

Ro  – (January 1, 2010 at 5:09 PM)  

Hahahahhahahahah!!!!! Weeds growing like weeds hahaha I just got such a chuckle out of this hehehe!!!

Ally, Teddy and Kira  – (January 1, 2010 at 6:37 PM)  

Me too, me too! Thank you Mimi for this post. I've decided to walk my dogs each and every day for the month and have inlisted Alex to help motivate me. Even on the days that I'm doing well I want to at least walk them down the block to the highway and back! Hopefully it will turn more into a lifestyle than an "attempt". Of course, my dogs don't need anywhere as much exercise as your Cabana, but they still need some, which is easy to forget with thier lazy ways ;-)

Kengiboo  – (January 2, 2010 at 12:59 AM)  

Congratulations on your new job Cabana! I can't wait till Kengi can take long walks and walk to and from school with me. (I'm starting a new job at a school that's 2km away from home and I plan to walk as it's good for us and the environment!) Right now we're only allowed to walk the perimeter of our garden (on the outside), but after his shots on Friday he'll be allowed to take proper walks. YAY! So here's to a fit and healthy 2010 for us all!

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