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January is walk your dog month!

Walk your dog month

January is ‘Walk your Dog Month’ giving you the perfect opportunity to get moving to work off all that festive food and drink and kickstart your healthy new year’s resolutions with more exercise and fresh air!

The shorter days and cold wet weather doesn’t need to slow you down. This awareness month has great health and wellbeing benefits for both you and your dog.

With so many of us now working from home, regular breaks away from the computer screen and the home office environment is highly encouraged. Walking is free, completely flexible and has a positive impact on both your mental and physical health. In fact, walking is deemed one of the most effective cardio exercises, reducing the risk of diseases, and extending your life.

The same benefits can be applied to your beloved dog. Last years report by the PFMA indicated that 51% of dogs are classed as obese, so it’s incredibly important for them to get regular exercise too.

One of the main reasons we give ourselves for not getting outdoors in the winter is being ‘too busy’ – but January provides a great opportunity to set yourself some targets and step by step change small habits which can be continued into 2021.

As well as pleasing your pooch, your walk can also provide an opportunity for some social interaction (at a covid safe distance) with other dog walkers, or even friends & family.

When walking there are some important safety elements to consider:

  • Wearing brightly coloured or reflective clothing, leashes and collars.
  • Stay in well-lit public areas
  • Ensure your dog has access to plenty of fresh clean water during a long walk and afterwards
  • Protect your dog's feet from the elements- ice, snow and de-icers and grit can all cause nasty sores so be sure to protect your dog's feet and wash them down afterwards
  • Make sure your dog is warm or cool enough – particularly if young, old or with a health condition such as arthritis

Don’t have your own dog to walk? You can borrow one! There are a number of companies that link dog lovers to dog owners who may not be able to care or walk their dog as often as they would like.

Alternatively, simply clocking the steps you do each day can be the incentive you need to keep moving. The goal of 10,000 steps is the recommended daily step target for healthy adults to achieve health benefits. Activity trackers provide data which enables you to become aware of your physical activity levels, work towards a goal and monitor progress. There are a number of cost-effective trackers available on the market – and you could even start a friendly ‘step’ competition with friends and family!

Whatever your way, fresh air and gentle exercise can help beat any January blues.

Kickstart your health

Our Private Health Insurance cover can help boost your health by giving you quick access to diagnostics and treatments. We have a wide range of policies to suit all needs and budgets, including our Elite cover which is our highest level of personal health insurance. You’ll get full cancer cover, access our 24-Hour Advice Line and we’ll also cover the costs of boarding your beloved dog, or other pets too. Get a no-obligation quote today!

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