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Challenge: Walking the Talk

Turn Walking the Dog Into Growth and Bonding Sessions

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What if you turned a daily chore into a family bonding experience? For many families, walking the dog is typically a matter of squeezing it into schedules, or a "whose turn is it?" type ordeal.

Rather than treating walking the dog as an item on your to-do list, make it a sacred part of your day, and a family event that brings all of you closer together.

With this in mind, think about the tips below and use them to get the absolute most out of your daily dog walks.

Set Fitness Goals and Crush Them As A Family

Physical well-being is a basic necessity that carries over into every part of your life. No matter your good intentions, you can't be present, have energy or fulfill your goals if you're low-energy, sick and in pain.

Likewise, your kids can't perform in school, adapt socially and grow into healthy young adults if they're not exercising their bodies.

The family can get on the same page with wellness by setting a goal for the walks. These fitness goals could be distance walk, time walked, steps, heart rate for the duration of the walk, or any other goal you'd like to shoot for.

No matter the goal, challenge yourselves to continuously set and break records. This way, the family will not only bond over a goal, which brings you together emotionally, you'll use this daily ritual to build peak health.

Let's not forget that the family pooch will also benefit! When your dog gets their daily exercise, they'll get lots of fresh air and fun, while keeping them healthy and strong. Likewise, your dog will be more relaxed in the house and will get more restful sleep.

This is especially important if you own an energetic dog breed like the Affenpinscher. These terrier pups have seemingly uncontainable energy at nearly infinite levels, so a brisk, daily family walk will work wonders for all.

Use Walks As A Sacred Time Where No Conversation is Off the Table

Most of us walk around stressed out and seemingly unable to relax into the present moment. Studies show that some 20% of people deal with chronic anxiety.

As kids grow and go through different stages of life, depression is common.

While these issues of emotional stress and mental health don't have a one size fits all answer, the last thing you would want is for your kids to feel that they have no one to talk to. Sometimes, providing this emotional safe space means taking off the "parent" blinders that build boundaries.

Make these walks a judgment free safe space where everyone gets to speak openly and honestly. Keep this absolutely sacred and you'll find that your child will open up to you. You'll also find that you can be more honest with your child, and can explain things to them in ways that they understand.

Using the walk to have these conversations helps you to tackle the tough conversations that come with growing up.

Make Fun the Through Line

Above all, make these daily dog walks fun!

While setting fitness goals and having talks are great, make fun the through line for these walks no matter what. This way, it's something that everyone looks forward to, and provides a break from the rigors of everyday life.

Use these tips so you can make dog walks the best part of everyone's day.

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