Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Walking on National Walking Day

Via the Internet, I discovered that today is/was National Walking Day. Locally, the publicity hyped the annual Waccamaw Area Heart Walk, which is scheduled this year for October 15 and is one of my favorite events. So I assumed having an official walking day in April was just a brand-new PR idea (and a good one) from the Heart Association.

Not so. A little googling and I learned that National Walking Day started in 2007. It falls on the first Wednesday of April, and, yes, is sponsored by the American Heart Association. All of which made me wonder how I missed the previous nine NWDs, given that I walk my dog almost every day. Maybe I was sleepwalking.

Anyway, since the first of the year I have been walking my rescue dog Ellie not once but twice a day. When we first moved to South Carolina, I was walking my sweet Sadie dog (God rest her soul) twice a day, but as she aged and we both struggled with the hot summers, we gradually cut it down to one a day. We will see if Ellie and I can handle two-a-days in mid-summer -- or (more like it) if I can handle Ellie the goofy coonhound handling it just fine.

I have to stop myself when I start toting the money I've spent on my new best friend for Science Diet and vets' bills, because I quickly realize that because of E's penchant for walking, I now have lost 15 1/2 pounds in the three months since adopting her. My blood sugars have dropped so much that my doctor soon may be taking me off some diabetes medicines. Tomorrow I have a check-up with my cardiologist that I am actually eager to have.  I have a sense that the weight reduction is bringing under control an enlarging left atrium that an echocardiogram revealed last summer.

What would it have cost me to achieve these results if I had not had this Amazing Walking Dog? You figure fees for a health club membership, a personal trainer, maybe a dietary clinic, perhaps special meals ... and you count a big stash of green. Having a walking dog in the house is cost-efficient. And this doesn't even begin to account for how the daily walks help clear the mind and lift the spirits.

Maybe there should be a National Dog-Walking Day (if there isn't one already).

                                             © Robert G. Holland 2016

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