How Often Do You Walk Your Dog?
Most dog owners walk their dogs an average of three times a day, usually for 20 -30 minutes each walk, and even longer at weekends. This may not sound like much, but when you join these short walks together it soon adds up. If we are taking a new route with our dogs, we often like to track it and see how far we've been. We have tried various app's on our mobile phones, but the favorite and the one we always go back to is called "MapMyWalk" which tracks your movement, tells you the distance, and your average speed. We were surprised to find that just by adding an extra few streets to a walk, we added a 1/4 of a mile, and a 20 minute walk equates to just over 1 mile!
Walking your dog 3 times a day, 7 days a week can work out at 21 miles a week, and if you add an extra 2-3 miles or so for the extra miles you do on a weekend, you are easily racking up 24 miles a week. Over 4 weeks, you are walking just short of 100 miles!
So What's Dog Walking Got To Do With Podiatry?
As explained above, just a few short walks each day soon adds up, and before you know it, you've walked 'More Miles than The Proclaimers!". The most important thing to consider when doing this much walking is your footwear. Don't be tempted to wear older shoes when walking the dog, just because you are going across muddier terrain. Your footwear will make the difference between to staying on your feet when slippery under-foot, and at best landing flat on your backside, or worse, spraining your ankle.
Wearing the the correct footwear will also make a difference. Open toe sandals are great on the beach, and ok for walking on a flat surface, but a slight detour off the beaten track (including walking across a field) can result in potentially very painful injuries. The image below is the toe of someone who managed to get a small thorn in their toe whilst walking a dog across a field with just socks and sandals to protect their feet. You can see the size of the thorn that was removed, which was extemely insignificant compared to the pain they were feeling. Read more about this case here.
Man's Best Friend
We are a nation of dog lovers, and not many things make us happier than when we are out and about with our furry companions. There are many benefits to being outside and walking. Firstly, it's good for our mental health. Fresh air and exercise not only gets the heart pumping oxygenated blood round the body, but it also can take us away from mobile phone data coverage, and a well earned break from all those digital alert interruptions (many of which are usually new suggestions of thing we may want from Amazon!), and social media illusions that everyone else's life is perfect!
Dog's don't need mobile phones and social media to be happy, just a walk with their friend, and fresh air to sniff. There's many a day we look at our dogs, and say "Walkies?" then another fun adventure begins.
Captain Cooks Monument
Be Proud of Your Achievement
Now that we've talked dogs, marathons, footwear and mental health, the whole point of this post was to let you know you could be completing as many as 2-3 marathons a month, and not even recognising it, which is why good footwear will keep you walking comfortably and injury-free.
With this in mind, next time you talk to the doctor and they ask you how much exercise you take, you can say with some confidence you complete 2-3 marathons a month!